Cookbooks in the kitchen: The last place they belong

There are quite a few ways to manage cookbooks in your kitchen. For me, the best way is to keep them out of the kitchen, all together. Let's see if you come the same conclusion I did.

Cookbooks in the kitchen: Keep 'em open and keep 'em covered
The next time you want to follow a recipe, your easiest option is to simply leave your cookbook open on the counter. Book tends to close? A heavy spoon or other utensil (unused, of course - Doh!) will keep it open. But concerned about the opportunity for a rainbow of splashes across your pretty, pretty book? You can help divert disaster by putting a glass dish, such as a glass casserole dish, on top of the book. But it has to be just the right size. Too small and the book edges are exposed to disaster. But too large and the pages may try to close underneath their glass dome. And if it is embossed on the bottom, all you can read is Pyrex!

But even this option won't help you if you have a spill. Because we all know how fast that liquid will race across the counter, only to be absorbed by the nearest sponge. Which, in this case, would be your lovely book. So the open-on-the-counter option just isn't going to work well.

Cookbooks in the kitchen part II: Shove 'em in a holder
Logic dictates we get the book off the counter. Which is where a cookbook holder can help.

Alas, however, even here we encounter problems. First, the holder takes up precious counter space. Which, as we all know, should only go to key appliances and utensils. Which, in turn, already take up 98% of all counter space (one day, I hope to write a blog entry entitled Counter space: Why is there never enough?, thus addressing one of the world’s greatest mysteries). So if you add a holder, you can kiss that remaining 2% of space good bye (and give up your dream of ever making a strudel).

Second, the holders tend to be good only for average-size books. Too small, and the books try to close. Too big, and the books don’t fit. At least not without a hammer and a goodly amount of grease. But ‘nuff said about that.

Ta da!: The solution of solutions to the dreaded cookbook-in-the-kitchen problem
My solution? I use our 3-for-1 “it does everything but diaper the baby” printer-scanner-photocopier to copy the recipe. Then, I clip a large binder clip to the top of the recipe and hook one of the clip handles onto a kitchen cabinet handle which, as luck would have it, is about eye level.

By hanging a photocopied recipe, not only do I keep my pretty and precious cookbooks out of the kitchen and away from the multiple hazards of spills and splatters and fire, but I manage to keep that 2% of counter space, free, thus negating the need to turn the communal bed into one big chopping board (and if you thought crumbs were a problem, you can’t imagine what chilies are like).

So if my cookbooks are not in the kitchen, where are they?
Why in the living room: In the bookcase and gently cascading off the coffee table and onto the floor. And on the hutch in the dining room in a drunken row. And in a toppled pile in the bedroom, on my side of the bed.

All handy for the browsing. Which is as it should be.