I love books. And I love cookbooks more. I don’t have a massive collection but I have a few “go to” books on the shelves in our home. From basic pancake recipes to sweet indulgences such as David’s chocolate orbit cake. When possible, I’d like to buy the hard bound editions and usually bought online, the anticipation over their arrival envelopes a certain anxiety in me that I’d be checking the courier’s online tracking every few minutes just to make sure, imagining the driver pulling up the drive way and carrying my precious hard bound cookbooks. Exactly how I feel when my girls are not within my sight – out at a party or a playdate with mates. There’s that maternal bond that exists between my cookbooks and me. They can have ganache stains on some of them, one with blueberry syrup stains and some bits of flour clinging from the sides but that’s ok. The messier they get, the more love they feel.
A recent article by Julia Moskin in the NY Times asked the inevitable question. Are cookbooks obsolete? The article cited some great cooking apps with features like interactive voice prompts, clear and close up photos (some you can actually zoom in and out to see the actual texture and size), built in timers, and all other glorious and convenient benefits. Such as the ability to travel with the user. Ms Moskin interviewd Bob Huntley who developed CulinApp which was released this year with Baking with Dorie as its first product. Although this is not the first of its kind out there. It poses this question whether cookbooks are actually becoming obsolete. The app looks amazing, and it beats the price of having to buy the book which could be worth 5 times more. Why, it even has video’s of actual steps! It seems to keep to its tag line “We bring the Chef to your kitchen”. Other than this, heaps of other cooking apps surround the tech savvy home cook. From magazines apps to cookbooks to videos. Julia Moskin mentioned in her article that by June next year, students at the Culinary Institute of America in NY will also be issued tablets loaded with the school’s new app. Certainly beats lugging all those heavy bound text cookbooks around.
Now lets segue to the real kitchen and have a look at what's new today! Its cheese pimiento spread! And its easy to make! A food processor or in a large bowl using a rubber spatula are the 2 ways to make this spread. Its important that the butter is soft and in room temperature to mix all the ingredients together.
250g unsalted butter, softened
500g tasty cheese
3 mediums sized capsicum, diced finely
salt & pepper to season
dash of paprika for added colour
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of paprika. You may add some fresh chillies with the capsicum for the added hit.
Transfer into reusable jars or containers, and keep in fridge.
How long it will keep for? I can only guess it should keep for 2 weeks in the fridge.
Now this recipe is not from any cookbook or an online page. I grew up with a cheese pimiento spread in our pantry under the Kraft brand. But ages ago, my sister in law made these from scratch and it was just as how you would want a cheese pimiento spread to be. Cheesy and has that sweet and the right kind of spice from the capsicums. This batch made 2 jars the size of a 250g-jam. Too much for the mature palate in this home, so I'll be sharing the love and bringing a jar to my sis and big brother's place.
Now, are apps making cookbooks obsolete? Yeah. Tablets may be the next best thing that can happen to the culinary arena. But to me, nothing beats the feel and smell of new books. The crisp white pages when they’re still new and then become tinged with ingredients and use through the years. I like cookbooks because I can bring it to a book signing when my favourite Chef is at the local book store or has visited from overseas for a food festival. I like books because no matter how stained they may be, from use and time, I know that I can pass them on to my girls when they need some cooking inspiration in the future. But then again. That’s just me. I’m just a sentimental fool. And yeah. I have just recently learned what a hashtag is and still learning how to tweet. Does that make me un-techno savvy?
How about you? Do you have a cookbook collection? Would you trade in a cookbook for an app?
PS - Dorie Greenspan is one of my favourite chefs and I have in fact ordered her book Baking from My Home to Yours just recently. This post is an objective opinion of apps in general.