I prefer to be inspired rather than instructed so recipes do little for me. While I have read many and I have many cookbooks I dont often follow them. I prefer to use the recipe as a starting point and then I will go from there. Many things are the result of previous things so if for example you like to make cake from a box you should know already that it is usually two eggs, some oil and 2 cups of water and if you live in high altitude you add more flour. If you like to make pies then you should know how to make your favorite pie crust with out having to follow the instructions everytime. Hollandaise or bernaise sauces, for example, are more instinctual for me, I havent read how to make these in years. That is how I cook, I base it on flavor experiences and flavor pursuits, will this combination give me the excitement that each component gives me alone?
I have read Larousse Gastronomique for the last 20 years at least, I have an old copy and a newer copy they both inspire still (and I have to admit the older copy with its black and white lithos is far more appealing than my new copy with its color plates only because of its antiquity and its ability to still hold its own) It is this encyclopedic approach that stirs me up. I like the history of cooking probably more than cooking itself. I love the Physiology of Taste by Brilliat Savarin and if you havent read it then you should. (I have a nice old copy but these are two online editions) Where am I going with this? No where I thought it would be enlightening to know how long and where I draw from and that I only recently started to share my passion with everyone else besides my friends and family and hopefully other food heads that I can learn from. Trust me I learn something new every single day. Like what you ask? Like next time I make whipped cream I am either going to use fresh blueberrys to make it purple or infuse it with an herb like maybe lavender - I have never done it before.
To assuage all concerns I have decided to post some cookbooks. Busted and used like they are.