Thursday, 1 May 2014

random recipes #39 - time for a Spring clean

... with Spring in full swing and Summer almost upon us it's time to cast our eyes over the clutter and mess of our lives and think long and hard about what to clear out... if you're anything like me then there's an awful lot of stuff and for many of us it really more of a thought than an actual action so it rarely gets done so I thought that I would take advantage of my random recipes challenge and work out which cook books I really never use any more and see if I can't clear some space on the shelves for more!

... so the idea is to take a long hard look at all your books and find the ones (or maybe it's just one) that you REALLY never use... never even look at... or simply don't care for any more and give that blessed book one last chance for survival...

... I have a few books that are potential candidates for this including the very odd Lady Maclean's Cook Book - a completely bonkers set of recipes by a very bonkers lady and one which i've simply not got to grips with even though i've had the book for close to a decade... then there's Italian Cooking (no author) - a very thin book of strange recipes that, as far as I can see have very little to do with Italy at all... but I think the winner has to be the Essential Low Fat Cook Book - could there be anything more offensive... oh yes, it's written by Anthony Warrall Thompson and to make matters worse, there on page 50 is a Fruit and Fibre Yoghurt Layer... no redemption for this book then, I suppose I only have myself to blame!

so here are the rules:

1. go have a good Spring clean and gather together the potential books for disposal ...obviously we'll donate these books to charity rather than throw them in the trash...  then randomly select a book from these books... you can do this any number of ways, I like to count them all, assign each one a number and then randomly draw a book out of the hat but you could throw them all up in the air and select the one that hits you... I leave the selection process to you

2. take that book and open it at a random page

3. cook the recipe on this page... and don't cheat... do it with a friend in the room who will make you stick to it... it's a challenge after all and you're only cheating yourself... this is specifically designed to take you out of your comfort zone...!

4. you may change the recipe for dietary or monetary or seasonal availability reasons only

5. post it up on your blog, with a link to this page then email me with a link at dominic(@) so I know you've joined in, you can also attach my natty new badge to show people you're taking part.

6. tweet your entry including the hashtag #randomrecipes and I will retweet all I see

7. challenge deadline is May 29th and I will post the round-up on May 30th

eat and of course, enjoy!


  1. Oh gawd, what a challenge! There are all those diabetic recipe books I panic bought when I was first diagnosed, before I realised that I could just adapt my normal ones. All those you buy on holiday thinking you will use them all the time and then never even open. And the celebrity chef ones that you buy on impulse then remember you've said you'll never buy a celebrity chef one again. And for me, a lot of the ones I win - I can't resist a recipe book competition yet the prize books, when they arrive, are seldom what I'd choose.

  2. What? You want me to THROW AWAY A COOK BOOK (well, give it to charity). Sigh.

  3. Oh I own a variety of very ugly, rarely used, old fashioned cookbooks. I do find it very difficult to part with anything ugly or not (just in case, you see) let alone a cook book, but if I must might be liberating!

  4. Thanks for sharing this recipes. I do agree with Sally.
    kitchen doors

  5. What a fantastic idea for a challenge! I'm scouring the cookery bookshelves now! :)

  6. SUCH a good idea - I have actually just done a bit of a cull and given some of the nicest ones away. It might be different in the UK but I have heard some very disturbing stats about what happens to books given to charity shops here. More often than not they are just sent to the dump - because the charities can't afford to a) send them to 'the deserving poor' and b) don't have the room to keep them. Anyway, I can't wait to get into this, genius idea!

  7. I'M IN! And, I have just posted and linked up to last month! K xx

  8. Fab idea Dom. I'm such a hoarder and always find it difficult to throw things out, but I really have run out of space and I'm pretty sure there are a number of potential candidates for consideration here.

  9. LOVE IT! I know just the book I will use! Let the fun begin!

  10. I did a huge purge just before our move so this might be a bit of a challenge...wonder if my MiL has any cookbooks on the chopping block :-)

  11. I am intrigued by Lady Maclean's Cook Book :) wonder if its a relative! This is a hard challenge as I hoard, but will have a good search


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