The alphabet

October 14, 2009

171009 002

So, now I have a few posts up, perhaps it’s time for an explanation.

The alphabet of alphabet soup represents, clearly, the A-Z, the things of which words are made out of. The soup represents the food, the nourishment, of which the meals that pass the days that make a life worth living are made out of. And here, that means recipe books. I don’t know when my obsession with recipe books began, but it shows no signs of abating. And being a Person Who Likes Order, I needed a way to feel like I was in control of the recipes, that they weren’t just sitting there multiplying and brooding over their neglected un-cookedness. Because it was a bit like what I imagine living in London would be like – whatever you’re doing, you suspect there might be something better and more exciting you could be doing somewhere else (you don’t have that problem in Oxford): whatever I was cooking, I suspected there was a more delicious, more sophisticated recipe I could have been cooking from something else. I needed method! I needed a system, goddamnit!

So, I alphabetised my recipe book collection. The system is thus: one week, one book, from Alexander to Worrall Thompson (the alphabetical limits as they stand). I know, what’s that I said about Oxford? That’s right, it’s just not big enough to cope with the hedonistic debauched lifestyle I lead.

There are a few books of recipe collections which refuse irritatingly to fit into the alphabetised system: a Leith’s Vegetarian Bible, a couple of Good Housekeeping volumes, the Covent Garden soup book (mmm, looking forward to that week) so they sit on the end and we’ll get to those when we come to them. I also do allow myself to cook ‘off-system’ occasionally if I have ingredients to use up and no recipes in the current book with said ingredients. Because if there’s one thing worse than deviating from a well-ordered system, it’s waste.

So far I’m on G, but the implementation of the Alphabet System seems to have done nothing to halt my craven book buying, so the end of the project becomes ever further away. Either that, or I buy things I won’t get to cook from for, potentially, years, because they are pre-G. Minor flaws though, merely.


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