I've been looking through my cookbooks here lately. Whenever I open one it's like visiting an old friend; usually when people think of curling up on a couch or favorite chair, with hot cup of coffee and diving into a wonderful book - for me, that 'book' would likely be a cookbook. My mind wanders over the pages, absorbs the pictures. I study how the food was plated for the picture; how the recipe was structured. Treasured books with spattered pages make my mind drift back to holidays and celebrations, smells and laughter; I close my eyes and try to remember the taste and texture. Build a taste memory a teacher used to tell me.
I'm very picky about cookbooks however. While I have a wide assortment in my shelves, when it comes to buying new ones it has to pass a rigorous testing process! The pages have to be a particular texture. I DO want pictures - I am a visual person! How is the cookbook laid out? Are the recipes organized by 'months?' Types of meals? All these factors affect how I will use the book and whether I would recommend it to others.
But, if you will excuse me I need to get back to work --- I have a lovely illustrated cookbook waiting to be opened during lunch.