Making my cookbooks work for their place on the shelf (Tana Ramsay’s Home Made)

My cookbooks take up three shelves, I also have an extra shelf of baking books, now as I use my two and a half * bookshelves to store more than just books and as, um . . . I currently have no more shelf space, I have decided to slowly work my way through my old recipe books to see if I really do need to keep them. So for the next few months I’m menu planning from old recipe books and if I can’t see myself using lots of recipes out of them or the recipes are just too unreliable, the book’s gotta go (and this is considering I already got rid of a fair few when we moved).

First up was Tana Ramsay’s Home Made, now I adored and still adore her first book, Family Kitchen and on that alone I bought several of her later books when they came out but none ever really matched the first book and I already had a feeling as I opened this book to do the food order, what the outcome of this week of ‘testing’ would be.

First problem and to be honest the only problem was that when looking for recipes to cook this week, there really wasn’t many I wanted to either revisit or try for the first time, I ended up picking five dishes but only cooked two, the ingredients for the other three recipes being used elsewhere in dishes I was much more eager to cook. So what did I cook?

Old fashioned lasagne


Sigh how come lasagne is now considered ‘old fashioned’, I still remember when it was a novel dish (#old), anyway, unsurprisingly considering one of my all time favourite bolognese recipes is in Tana Ramsay’s Family Kitchen, she obviously knows what she’s doing with her Italian mince dishes, as this was gorgeous (completely polished off before I could take a photo, but you know what lasagne looks like).

Sweet potato and carrot soup with a drizzle of chilli oil


Tana also seems to know what she’s doing with soups, my favourite ever butternut squash soup recipe is in one of her other books, this one was very similar, gorgeously thick and tasty and the chilli oil which had been infused with thyme was just perfect with it. I will be making this again and again.

So two recipes, two successes but a book is not worth keeping for two recipes alone, so I’ve copied out the recipes, changing them to include my adaptations because I can never cook a recipe without fiddling with something and I’m afraid the book’s going down the charity shop.

* We have two full size Billy Bookcases plus a half width one which was a recent purchase


5 thoughts on “Making my cookbooks work for their place on the shelf (Tana Ramsay’s Home Made)

  1. I’ve been trying that too, there are so many books that were nice to read but I just can’t see myself ever making anything from them…partly due to fussy families… wish I could master menu planning, I just never manage to get round to it…I think the problem is that I don’t do the food shopping.

    I look forward to reading your next installment

    1. Fussy families are a problem here to, I think that’s one of the reasons I prefer Tana Ramsay’s earlier books to her later ones, as her kids grew older so her food was getting too ‘adventurous’. So many of my cook books are leaning more to dinner party food than every day food, sigh.

      I don’t properly menu plan, I did try that but I am rubbish at working out that I want to eat x on Tuesday etc. because I’ll either absolutely not fancy it on Tuesday or something will happen that means I run out of time to cook it and it’s sandwiches again. What I do is I pick 5 dishes, get the ingredients for those and plan to cook those in the week, obviously cooking the ones with the ingredients that go off soonest first but otherwise in no particular order.

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