Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

Are Cook Books Obsolete?

My wife called me from her office. "What do you want for dinner? I'll stop at the store on the way home." I thought a moment and replied, "Steelhead Trout is on sale at Safeway."

Instead of looking in any of our cookbooks, I went online and googled "steelhead trout," scanned the options, and chose a recipe .

That's how it's been lately. I've been bypassing our (large) collection of cookbooks, built up over many years. Increasingly I'm using the web. It's just too easy, and it leads to a lot of experimentation (i.e., I usually don't save the link, even if I'm doing "beer can chicken" for the umpteenth time).

Does this mean that cook books are extinct? I'm beginning to think so, but I'm not into cooking the way I was when I was younger. Back then, Before Kids, we experimented regularly with a lot of cuisines, went out often, and had a lot of dinner parties. As our kids have grown that's changed, and sometimes, I just treasure the thought of a "home cooked meal."

One of the implications of this behavior is that I am exposed to more ads when I cook than I would be otherwise. Web pages  with recipes are crawling with ads, but that's a fair trade-off. Meanwhile most of our old (and specialized) cookbooks are gathering dust.

By the way, the grilling recipe I've linked to above for Steelhead Trout is excellent. There's not much to it -- olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon, and fresh fish on the grill -- but it is perfect with bow tie pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, and a side of cold green beans drizzled with peanut oil and toasted sesame seads.

My Matrix Re-Wired