Yesterday I was flipping through The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight's Dinner (gorgeous book!) and it occurred to me that my relationship with cookbooks has come to a stalemate. Just as I feel that there is nothing more that I can glean from diet books and budgeting tomes, I think I'm deluding myself when it comes to what I am going to get out of cookbooks. There is only a certain amount of money that we are willing to spend on food and we rarely go over that, so none of the fancy ingredients I see in new recipes are going to make it into my shopping cart. Since there are only so many ways to cook chicken breasts and frozen vegetables, reading cookbooks is window shopping for me.
Even when I am willing to splurge a little and try something new, I can't find it at my local market. It took two different trips for me to find a box of barley, and finding quinoa is a lost cause. Again, we are in a routine that my husband and I are loathe to stray from. Food Lion is the grocery store closest to the house, so that is where ABM goes. If I ask him while he is in a good mood, he may venture down the road to Bi-Lo, but as the main grocery shopper he won't make that a regular stop. Using mail-order and paying shipping to get groceries goes against my miserly ways, so that's out.
As frustrated as I am at the moment, I don't think I will give up on cookbooks totally. I noticed that Food Lion has gotten in some small bottles of hoisin sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, and a few other things. At $2.50/bottle they are affordable enough for me to try out a new recipe. So I may be able to branch out . . . at least a little.