My wife’s office is near an incredible farmers’ market. She likes to go and mooch around on her lunch hour, and often brings home goodies she found irresistible, fresh fruit and vegetables, odd cuts of meat, fish I’ve never seen before, and hand them over to me to deal with. This usually leads to a lot of frantic hunts through the indexes of my cookbooks, or, if it’s really exotic stuff, on-line searches. It’s sometimes exasperating, but it keeps me on my toes (that’s what she says, anyway). Now, though, I’ve got a new kitchen tool that puts me ahead of the game—Eat Your Books.
Eat Your Books is not a website of recipes, but rather a tool for finding
recipes in your cookbooks, easily. The site has indexed over 1,100 major cookbooks, which so far comes to 277,227 recipes listed. More are being indexed all the time.
Here’s how it works: You create an online listing of your cookbooks, called My Bookshelf, by selecting your cookbooks from the EYB Library of over 79,000 books (much of it’s automated, so it’s easy to set up. I checked off two dozen of my favorites in a few minutes). Then you can search through all the indexed books for recipes—I was amazed at how many turned up, and how quickly. (If you find that some of your favorite books haven't been indexed yet, you can make a request to have it done; that’s how more are added, very democratic.) You can search for recipes by the ingredients, the recipe name, the book it's from, or the author. Recipes are also categorized by ethnicity, recipe type, meal type, special diet and occasion. It can also help you to plan menus, create shopping lists, tag favorite recipes and organize your recipes in a way that makes sense to you--all from your own cookbook library.
It’s a blessing, one of the most useful things in my kitchen now. No more standing there scratching my head trying to remember where I saw that recipe for sea bass and yellow peppers and capers, or whatever. There’s a 30-day free trial, then it’s $25 a year or $50 for a lifetime membership. That’s a bargain: http://www.eatyourbooks.com/