THE PROBLEM WITH COOKING BOOKS
Inspired by our parents' overflowing, stained and yellowed cookbooks, we have started cutting out the important recipes from our cookbooks and collecting them in a separate book.
At first, this hurts.
In the next step, it liberates the mind and creates relevance.
That's how the idea for our first book project came about, and we are very happy about how beautiful it turned out:
A recipe collection book.
A high-quality handcrafted book for collecting, documenting and sharing recipes, inspirations and kitchen secrets - for families, stages of life or special themed collections.
Cut-out recipe pages from other cookbooks are allowed to gradually bulge the book, sauce stains & grease splatters are explicitly welcome and ultimately add to the personality of the book.
NOW AVAILABLE IN THE SHOP
OUR MOTHER'S COOKBOOK
We fondly remember our mother's recipe book - some Italian cookbook she chose, for some unknown reason, to collect her other recipes too.
Yellowed, stained and above all overflowing with inserted notes, handwritten notes, pictures, pages from magazines, dried flowers and photocopies from other cook books, which she sometimes more, sometimes less consistently compiled and collected.
What at first glance appears chaotic and confusing to the outsider was in fact a strictly organised reference work, filled to the brim with content relevant to her and accessible at all times.
We often find that the beautiful recipes and pictures from new cookbooks get lost quite quickly as soon as they land on the shelf.
When we first browse through the books, we bookmark them or take photos with our phones, but when we need a specific recipe, our order system implodes and we capitulate to the diffuse "order" of our beloved cookbook collection and prefer to quickly look things up online.
(On bad days, we only manage with effort not to end up on the very first search result, while behind us on the shelf are perfectly elaborated recipes by highly decorated chefs. Quite absurd, actually.)
For us as children, by the way, this book has an incredibly high emotional and also culinary value - all the favourite (and also most hated) foods of our childhood, birthday cakes, casseroles, stews etc are collected in this book.
We can now recreate them for our own children, eat our mother's food once again and remember them together - her, our childhood and our youth.
THE IDEA FOR THE BOOK
And so the idea was born - a recipe collection book, inspired by our mother's cookbook. A family cookbook, a culinary diary, a personal kitchen compendium containing everything that is important.
However, we go one step further, because it is usually only a handful of recipes that make up the value of a cookbook - and with scissors and tape, this value can be transferred perfectly well from one book to another.
Even if it hurts at first and feels quite awful to destroy the beloved cookbooks, especially since it is then, of course, the pages with the favourite recipes that have so far made up the value of the books for us.
(With cookery magazines, by the way, it feels the other way round - being included in a Kulinarium is the best thing that can happen to any magazine recipe).
The pain and doubt only subsides the moment the first 20 pages in the Kulinarium are filled with content:
What made the cookbooks so valuable to us has really been completely preserved - the recipes along with pictures and texts can be found intact in the book, only our relationship has changed slightly: The process of cutting and pasting into our own book is a process of appropriation, of incorporation, the recipes are now "our" recipes. A thoroughly enriching feeling.
So what is missing?
That which was not important anyway and will also not be lost - the cookbooks are still on the shelf (waiting not to be used :)
However, all of a sudden this new book is in front of us, enriched with the essence of our cookbook collection, an extract of our own culinary passion and thus an immediately valuable object, personal & close.
Almost obtrusively relevant.
And that frees the mind - isn't relevance the most important parameter in life?
What value do things have without the meaning and significance we ascribe to them?
OBJECTS OF VALUE
In the design, we have deliberately sought a relationship to old song books, Bibles, compendiums and encyclopaedias - all those books that are intended for more than one lifetime and which always have an elusive flavour of essentiality and reverence, and whose contents always seem valuable by their very design.
The recycled leather or linen cover is pleasing to the hand; the many bookbinding details such as the gold edges, embossing and graphic finesse are there to be explored and make the book pleasantly complex; the light order of the book invites you to explore your own way of thinking and find a specific order for it.
And last but not least, we have tried to make the handling of the book as intuitive and fun as possible with the pragmatic details (such as the enclosed sheet of custom-made strips of double-sided luxury adhesive tape (you don't understand it until you use it), the rubber band on both sides to keep the pages open, the collection pocket, the index at the end and the numbered pages).
DO´S & DONT`S
1 - Always glue pages on one side only: This saves tape and you can fold up the pages and use the space underneath for notes.
2 - When cutting from cookbooks, always check the back - if there are good recipes on both sides: Take a photo, print it out and then glue it in.
3 - Polaroid pictures are expensive but look great in the book.
4 - Prescribe texts and messages on separate pieces of paper and only glue them in when you are happy. It's worth it. (See our supplementary KRITZELKRITZEL blocks).
5 - Consistently cut out failed pages and start again: Only great pages that are a joy to read are allowed in the Culinarium.
6 - Use the numbered index at the end of the book right from the start. It can be helpful to define sections in advance, (e.g. PASTA, SALADS, SUNDAY ON THE SOFA etc.) and mark them with one of the 4 ribbons.
7 - MAKE AN EFFORT. This is the only way to create something special in the end. As always in life.