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Cookbooks

A recent discussion with my twins club got me thinking about cookbooks. Every year, someone from the club decides that creating a club cookbook would be a great idea (I was one of those people about 2 years ago…and then last year, VP, WAC, and I even got together to discuss it.) Life happened and we never actually got around to publishing one, but it was a good conversation.

But what did this recent discussion get me thinking about? Two things.

First: Would people actually purchase a cookbook? In this day and age where millions of recipes are at your fingertips online, would you purchase a cookbook? Perhaps if it were billed as a fundraiser for something I’d support anyway… Don’t get me wrong. I have a ton of cookbooks. There are even a few I crack open from time to time. My favorite one though? A Levenger Circa Junior notebook that I’ve written all of my favorites in. Some from cookbooks I own, some from online, some passed down from my grandmother and Mike’s mom.

Second: Where do these recipes come from? I know…members submit their favorites. But…what about people like me who mostly just use OTHER people’s recipes? Isn’t that, like, copyright infringement or something? I’ve found a few recipes online that I’ve changed around a bit to meet my tastes…does this mean that it’s now my recipe? And what about those that have been passed down from family members..? For all I know, they did the same thing that I did…found their favorites and just wrote ’em all down in one spot.

So…would you purchase a cookbook? Would you contribute to one? And would it be your “own” recipe?

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7 Responses

  1. well, you can’t copyright a recipe so technically its lawbreaking, alhtough it might be kind of a less than moral thing to do. I think if you make a significant change to the recipe, then you’re fine. I mean, the Joy of Cooking is teh best cookbook (IMO) but obv. all those recipes are not theirs.

    I would like a cookbook that offered something different, not sure what that would be, though. I guess it would have to have a new angle. Most cookbooks come from “famous” chefs – not sure if we could compete with the Rachel Rays of the world..

  2. *not* lawbreaking

  3. We talked about this in my other moms group a few days ago. The consensus among those in attendance was that none of us would buy the cookbook, so people we didn’t know wouldn’t buy it either. Maybe a few family members would, but only out of obligation, so it didn’t seem like a great fundraising idea.

    A searchable blog or website with good use of tagging seems much more practical if people just want to share recipes and get inspired by other club members. If people really wanted it in book format, then maybe something from Blurb that could be printed on demand. Apparently, the Manchester Mother’s Club is still trying to get rid of the cookbooks from a fundraiser a few years back.

  4. As Nicole stated, you can’t copyright ingredients/quantities or basic instructions (i.e., preheat oven to 350 degrees isn’t protected by copyright!). The more personalized/unique the instructions are, the more likely they are to be protected under copyright law. And morally, I think you’re right…it just wouldn’t be nice to copy a recipe word for word from somewhere without giving credit.

    That said, how many people make a recipe exactly as stated? I almost never do…I always tweak or substitute or change it in some way!

    And as we talked about last year, I think ultimately, it’s not a great fundraiser as relatively few people cook from cookbooks anymore. But I love Rhonda’s idea of a group blog…neat! I think I may try to get that going! (Like I need another recipe blog! I’ll admit, I’m addicted!)

  5. I love recipe books – I actually read them in bed. But they have to look really great and yummy.

  6. I kind of agree with what everyone else has said. It’s a great idea, but there really is so much that you can get off the internet that I don’t know if I would buy a cookbook. I was actually just talking about this today. I do love the idea of a recipe blog. I seem to have gotten addicted to reading other’s blogs.

  7. I am hoping people will buy if it’s a fundraiser since I am doing one for the Tuesday Foundation 🙂

    PS I buy cookbooks all the time. It’s an addiction 🙂

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