Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's sort of like they were reading my mind...

So, I have a pretty decent cookbook collection (somewhere around 150 books at the moment)... There are a few on the shelf that I'm intimately familiar with and know I can turn to when I'm looking for certain things, but many of them could contain pretty much any recipe without me having any knowledge of it. I'm not sure if this happens to normal people, but I often find myself in the situation where I want to use a certain ingredient, so I go over to the shelf and pull down 10 or 20 books, flip to the index of each, see if my ingredient appears there, then try the next one. If those 20 don't hook me up, the process continues until I settle on something that sounds delicious. It is, quite frankly, kind of a hassle.While wandering around the interwebs the other day, though, I found a site that seems to have been designed just for people like me. It's called Eat Your Books, and it's basically a tool for making the most of your cookbook collection. You start by adding your books to your online bookshelf, which goes pretty fast. For all of them that are indexed by the site (a good selection so far, and growing every day), the site has a list of all of the recipe titles in the book as well as the ingredients in each recipe.As you can see above, so far 123 of my cookbooks are there, with 11,782 recipes to search through... This is where it gets cool. Let's say, for example, that you have an obsession with Thomas Keller and fava beans... You can go to the search page, enter the favas as the ingredient and Keller as the author...
Run the search, and you have before you all 8 Thomas Keller recipes that use fava beans...
... including the Fava Bean Agnolotti with Curry Emulsion that I made on Sunday...
This is actually how I stumbled upon the Sweet Corn Chowder with Pork Belly Dumplings recipe from Sunday, too... I wanted to make a Thomas Keller appetizer that would be seasonal in June. It never would have occurred to me to crack open Under Pressure for that purpose on my own, but when I threw those requirements into the search engine I was on my way to deliciousness.Are you seeing the genius of the site yet? This is something that a kid like me will use pretty much constantly. (It's actually something I had pondered building a personal version of on one of the days when I was fed up with my scanning-endless-indexes method, but luckily that will never have to happen now...) I'm looking forward to watching their list of indexed books (already at over 1100) grow and to continuing to play with the site's many cool features. Not to go all Martha Stewart on you, but this is definitely a good thing.

3 comments:

Mom said...

I signed up for the free month trial. I already think it is very cool. I may have to buy more cookbooks though!

Midge said...

I need a system where I can send links to all the recipes that I have bookmarked in my google reader that I can easily sort through.

emmo said...

@ Mom: I totally know the feeling... =)