Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I've hung up my dress-for-success clothes, and pulled my domestic "genes" out of storage.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

If These Cookbooks Could Talk: Sprucing Up My Bookcase

Sprucing Up a Bookcase --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

When you look at your To-Do list, do you tend to tackle the harder projects first, or the easiest?

I usually like to get the tougher ones out of the way, but honestly? I've been having a hard time getting motivated. I decided to start with an easy one -- sprucing up my bookcase -- to see if that would jump-start my motivational engine. 

The bookcase in my kitchen was really bugging me. For 10 years, I pretty much just kept shoving stuff in...

Sprucing Up a Bookcase --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Before
...and I truly had no idea what was on the shelves anymore.

Plus, the book case is practically in my family room, so it's right there for everyone to see.

Sprucing Up a Bookcase --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Before


Over the years, the bookcase has become part reference library and part art gallery...

...displaying some of Junior Goo Shoes' early artistic endeavors...a gigantic conch shell I found on the beach in the Caribbean...a stack of old magazines...and lots of other stuff. It wasn't awful...just sloppy, and unattractive.

It was time to toss, straighten, and style.  

Sprucing Up a Bookcase --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I got rid of a bunch of stuff that seemed obsolete, found another spot for the magazines, put Junior Goo Shoe's artwork in a keepsake box, and stowed the giant shell till summer. 

Sprucing Up a Bookcase --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The books were re-arranged in a more attractive way, and I was able to fit in some cookbooks that I do use frequently, that were previously living on my kitchen counter. 

Sprucing Up a Bookcase --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I like the pottery, so that stayed. The tin on the bottom shelf was Mr. Goo Shoe's grandmother's. He remembers taking cookies out of it when he was a little boy, so how is that for a tie-in to my baking cookbooks?

Sprucing Up a Bookcase --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I found the black and white "Recipe" tin at Home Goods, and added that to the mix, along with our little "Happiness" Jar.

Sprucing Up a Bookcase --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


Sprucing Up a Bookcase --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

So, this was not what I'd call a huge makeover, just a little sprucing up. But that turned out to be a bigger deal than I had imagined, because...

Who knew that cleaning out my kitchen bookcase would turn out to be an episode of...

 "Ms. Toody's Life in Cookbooks."

Sprucing Up a Bookcase --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Decades of food phases and trends were sitting there on the shelves. 

Some of the cookbooks took me way back  -- to my childhood. The original Settlement Cookbook was my mom's bible as a new bride. I remember her teaching me to bake, using recipes from this cookbook. It promised to be...

 "The Way To A Man's Heart." 

Funny how they left that off the updated version. I guess they got a few too many letters over the years from women wanting a refund! 

Sprucing Up a Bookcase --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

My cookbook collection began when my cousin gave me The Joy Of Cooking, after I moved to my first apartment. It was much more than just a cookbook to me.  It was...

Living On My Own. 
Cooking My Own Meals. 
Being a Grownup.

Sprucing Up a Bookcase --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

That started my cookbook crush. I couldn't resist them. You'd have thought it was my destiny to become an awesome cook.

You'd be wrong.

Sprucing Up a Bookcase --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Just ask my family how awesome a cook I am, and they will surely snort milk out of their noses from laughing so hard.  

If my cookbooks could talk, they'd tell you that in the '90's, I was big into the Fat Free craze. I churned out some of the most awful, tasteless, rubbery dishes you've ever seen.  

And I ate them. I made Mr. Goo Shoes eat them. He was a sport about it. Usually. What was I thinking?  Fat Free Baking? Blechhh!! 

After a few years of fat deprivation, I did a complete reversal and bought Rosie's All-Butter, Cream-Filled, Sugar-Packed Baking Books. I wanted to swim in a bowl of real butter and egg yolks. They are still my favorite baking cookbooks. 

Sprucing Up a Bookcase --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

My Silver Palatte and New York Times cookbooks would clue you in that while I was living in New York City, I only wanted to cook like a "New Yawkah..."

...And my souvenir cookbooks would tell you where in the world I traveled to. 

You'd understand my work/life balance struggles by my stack of Great Meals in Minutes series: Rush home from work and get meals on the table quickly

 Sprucing Up a Bookcase --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

My cookbooks would tell you that I've been through a few health kicks - Juicing, Fit For Life, and my faves for the past few years - The Flat Belly Diet (any diet that encourages chocolate is a friend of mine). 

Sprucing Up a Bookcase --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Finally, if my cookbooks could talk, they'd tell you my latest obsession is with Slow-Cooking, which is the best thing to happen to cooking since take-out. 

Sprucing Up a Bookcase --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

But there is one thing my cookbooks would not tell you. 


Somewhere along the way, it occurred to me that I didn't really like cooking at all. 

Baking? LOVE IT!!!! 
Cooking? Not so much. 

But still, when it came to cleaning up my bookcase, I wasn't prepared to part with my cookbooks, even though many of them don't get used anymore.  With Pinterest and the like, I'm afraid cookbooks may soon become extinct.

Sprucing up my bookcase may not have motivated me to tackle my next project, but it did inspire to revisit some of those old cookbooks.

I think I'll go whip up something fat-free...

...in my slow-cooker.

Sprucing Up a Bookcase --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes






Linking With:
Be Inspired
Simple and Sweet Fridays 
Home Sweet Home 
Feathered Nest Friday
Be Inspired
Fabulously Creative Friday 
Tickled Pink Times Two
Weekend Bloggy Reading 
Best Of The Weekend 
Bouquet of Talent 

37 comments:

  1. I love all of the stories that each book and item have to tell. I am also cookbook obsessed but need a place to display more that the 10 I have on my counter. Your shelf looks great! And haha - love the comment about "women wanting a refund".

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    1. It was one of the little things in this house that made me happy when we moved in. I can't remember where I kept them all when we were in an apartment!

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  2. How nice to have a spot like that to hold your cook books. I need to get a book on juicing. So far I am not loving this stuff.

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    1. The bookshelf is very handy - or I should say, now that I can find everything, it's handy! The juicing book I have is really old, but it has some good recipes (The Juiceman's Power of Juicing by Jay Kordich). It also tells you what the different combinations are good for (eg, reducing stress, helping a cold, etc.). I pretty much just stick to the fruit ones, except for celery and beets. I like them with apples.

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  3. It's always so fun to see what you've done. When I moved, I got rid of a lot of Cookbooks for various reasons. Still won't have a special place for the ones I saved. Your 'redo' looks great.

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  4. I just gave two full boxes of cookbooks to a friend -after my daughters had picked out what they wanted. I have the old Settlement Cookbook, too!;>) I kept that one.
    Looking good, Amy, looking good! xo Diana

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    1. The true test will see how long I can keep it neat! It's so tempting to just stick things on the shelf, but I will be good :) I think that old Settlement cookbook is a classic!

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  5. Amy, I hear you loud and clear about the various cookbook phases! For over 25 years, I've been buying different cookbooks, depending on my obsession at the time. Two thirds are about baking, and the other third, a combination of easy/fast/tasty meals in minutes, diet oriented, or ethnic. The ones I use over and over again are the same and mostly geared towards muffins, my specialty.

    Your bookcase looks very neat and inviting; great job!

    Poppy

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    1. Thanks, Poppy! I use the same ones over and over, too. So muffins are your specialty? Share some with us! I love muffins!

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    1. Thanks, Vicki! It was a Home Goods purchase, as was the rooster piece.

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  7. I haven't been very motivated lately either Amy. And I do have a long list of things to do. Each day I've been trying to cross at least one thing off of my list. Today it was making homemade caramel sauce - lol! Seems quite important doesn't it :) I have a gazillion cookbooks that I love to scour through from time to time. I notice the other day my bookcase shelves need dusting. Oh well, maybe after I sample the caramel sauce...

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    1. I think you've got your priorities straight, Eileen! Caramel sauce before dusting -- YES!

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  8. I have a cookbook fetish for sure and my shelves could use a good "redoing" as well. There may be a few I could live without - maybe???? Yours look great - I love the pottery and the old tin (I have a tin just like that one).

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    1. I did part with a few, but it was hard! I'm thinking now that I should also toss those fat-free books. I'm never going to use those! I have a feeling that cookie tin is pretty common, but my husband loves it!

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  9. You have a wonderful collection of cook books, and I love how you've displayed them in your beautiful home.

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    1. Thanks so much, Dayle! They do look good, even if I don't use most of them!

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  10. If my cookbook book case could talk, it would say, "Dust me!!" With the internet and my own skills from doing it so long, I rarely crack those puppies open. But they look pretty because the are organized by color. We have a few of the same, I noticed. Good for you for checking the box on that to-do list!

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    1. Oh, yes, Beth, mine were mighty dusty, too! Even if we don't use them that often, they still are serving us well by looking good!

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  11. Good Morning Amy, I'm actually making a pasta frittata tonight from the cookbook I mentioned, but I'm really trying to see if I have remedied the issue with my Google account.

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    1. Hi Barb, you got it to work! I'm so glad! I think I will probably get that cookbook you have. How did the frittata work out?

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  12. Your bookcase looks great now! I love the graphics on that black and white tin you found at Home Goods. It fits in perfectly with your cookbooks too. You've got a nice cookbook collection. I haven't bought any new ones in a very long time. I usually refer to the internet or the ones I have written down on a piece of paper. Those are my faves.

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    1. Thanks, Kelly! Not a huge change, but at least it is neater, and a little more attractive. I really like that b & w tin, too. I'm not usually that lucky at Home Goods, meaning that when I am looking for something for a specific place, I usually don't find it, but this time, I did!

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  13. How lucky you are to have a bookcase in the kitchen! I love that colourful teapot on your books! I've many books as well, mostly gifted by friends... BUt truth be told, I always use the same old stained by sticky fingers one!

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    1. I tend to gravitate to the same ones, too! Some of them are so stained, I couldn't show close-ups of them!

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  14. I love bookshelves/cases anywhere - kitchen cookbook ones, too! I have one from Louisville, KY at the turn of the 1900s written in German and Alexander Dumas' Dictionary of Cuisine - which, of course, has all the boys giggling that there's a Dumas in the kitchen - and cooking with Whiskey - because what KY girl doesn't? Love. love. cookbooks! Your bookcase looks delightful!

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    1. That must be an awesome cookbook! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  15. Hi Amy! I loved this post and your bookshelf looks awesome! I am a huge cookbook collector, too, and no matter what, I will never part with them! :) Thank you so much for joining us and sharing at Best of the Weekend - pinned! Hope you have a happy Saturday and enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Thank you, Cindy! I love collecting them and pouring over them, but I always go to my favorite standby's. I am trying out a lot of recipes in that slow cooker book, though. Thanks for pinning!

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  16. Your cookbooks look great. How wonderful that they are all right there! So convenient!

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne! It is convenient, and I was so happy to have a great spot for them when I moved here!

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  17. Dear Amy, I loved your walk through memory lane with your cookbooks. I think I have visited as many fad cooking styles as you! and am back to basics too.
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

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    1. Thanks, Catherine! I always gravitate back to my few favorites!

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  18. You have such a great sense of humor. I have to tell ya; when I first married my mom gave me a cookbook: "How To Boil Water". LOL Thanks for bringing back that memory for me. :)

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    1. I could still use a cookbook on how to boil water, lol! Thanks for your sweet comments, Sally.

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  19. Somehow I ended up here in March of 2016! That Silver Spoon cookbook, I finally bought it at an estate sale in DC. My poor friend had to take it to Vienna for me, an account of the ton it weighs. I discovered I don't like it. I was spoiled by Marcella Hazan, she's the best Italian cookbook writer in English. ;-)

    "I'd rather do anything but cook" had me laugh out loud! I say the same, no one believes me, though.

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