The Square Peg – The Cookbook Conundrum
© S. Bradley Stoner
I ran into Colonel Duffer Sunday afternoon. I’d only seen him long enough to exchange a wave with him on about five occasions since the debacle on the golf course… and that was a long time ago. The Colonel has been busy. Doing what, I have no idea, but he’s gone a lot.
“Howdy, Colonel, how are things going for you?”
“Okay, I guess. I got roped into being on a couple of committees. One for the American Legion and one for the VFW. I’ve been busier that a grunt digging a foxhole with a teaspoon.”
“That’s pretty busy,” I agreed. “How’s the wife?”
“She’s enjoying my retirement a lot more than I am… she’s got her cooking club, her card club, and her reading circle. In between those, she spends her time on the computer or yakking with the kids. I thought I’d get a nice weekend to myself, but no… the Home Six tells me I have to build her more bookshelves.”
(For non-military folks, an O6 is a full bird colonel and the Home Six refers to the commanding officer at home… the wife… for obvious reasons).
“Geez, she already has a whole room full of shelves. How many books does she have?”
“More than I can count,” Duffer said miserably. “She even made me box my military books and took over those shelves. Said that, since I was retired, I shouldn’t need to refer to them any more.”
“My wife has quite a collection of books too,” I noted, “but she wouldn’t dream of touching my library. Although I must admit that I need to build her a couple of more books cases, but between her office and the bedroom, she doesn’t need to encroach on my space.”
“Yeah, well mine just added a bunch of cookbooks she picked up at a garage sale.”
“Holy cow, how many does that make?” I asked, having seen the three bookcases in the breakfast nook and three more in the living room full of cookbooks.
“No idea, but it’s a lot. I wouldn’t mind if she made something from one of those books, but she doesn’t. She just likes to look at them once in a while.”
“Never?!” I gasped.
“Nope. When she does cook, she just hauls out that old notebook of hers or shoots from the hip. I’m not complaining about her cooking mind you, it’s good solid meat and potatoes food… except for that time she decided we needed to be vegetarians. I’m glad that didn’t last.”
When I got to thinking about it, I realized that my lovely collects cook books she doesn’t use either, but she gets e-books. She told me today that she probably has 3,000 of them in her Kindle archive. And then I have quite a few on grilling and barbequing that I don’t really use. I think a lot of us just get in a rut, but on the other hand some of the ingredients they list in those cookbooks strike me as a little strange. Oh well, maybe I’ll haul out one of those we have on the shelf and see if I can find something different one of these nights… maybe.