Posts tagged ‘cookbook’

April 10, 2013

Sage and Thrift Cookbook Swap.

On Sunday 21st April, Sage and Thrift  (a project that I dreamed up with my lovely friend Jo) will be holding its first Cookbook Swap!

Sharing is at the heart of all our plans for Sage and Thrift. We want to build a community of like-minded people to come together to share – whether that is food, skills, resources or time. Food is central to that thought, purely because nothing brings people together like filling our stomachs.

The idea for the Cookbook Swap stemmed from my enormous and ever-growing collection of cookbooks. Regular readers of this blog will know that I cannot resist them. The sheer beauty of them together with the promise of perfection lying within each one draws me in like no other kind of book. Even though I know that I don’t have the room for them, it’s only a matter of days since I bought my last one – Simon Hopkinson’s The Vegetarian Option, which is excellent – and I cannot be the only person with this kind of habit, yet without either the money to fund nor the space to house such a collection.

I’ve done Cookbook Challenges, and culled a few from my collection to the local charity shop, but most of them I can’t bear to part with forever. Having said that, I am always happy to lend them out, and know that I would love to try new books for a while in return. Hopefully, other folk will feel the same way.

Too many cookbooks ...

Too many cookbooks …

So, here it is the premise:

Come along to the Cookbook Swap – bring a book with you! One that you either love but have tired of, or one that you’ve never got on with. It doesn’t matter, as long as it’s a cookbook!

We’ll have a spreadsheet set up on the day, so we can take your details and the details of the book you’re leaving to swap. You need to be happy to lend the book out and know that it might come back a bit more spattered with cooking oil than it went out. If it’s too precious to you, leave it at home.

Then have a browse of the books available. Once you hopefully find one you like the look of, bring it back to us with our fancy spreadsheet and we’ll log that you’ve borrowed it. Take it home, cook up a storm, and bring it back to the next one. If you want to bring us some fabulous food you’ve cooked, so much the better …

One of the things we’re going to do is give out a little ‘passport’ with each cookbook. We’re hoping that people will write a little bit in them, just to say what they cooked and how things went. This will help us to build a record of how each book has been used and a bit of history of the swap.  Plus, we’re getting a stamp made with our logo on, so it’s rather a good excuse for us to get stamping crazy. The passport will stay with each book for as long as that book is part of the Cookbook Swap and then go home with the original owner as a memento of the project.

So, if you’re in Leeds on Sunday 21st April, between 2-3pm-ish and you’re interested, do come along. We’re very fortunate that the lovely folk at Brewbar Espresso (located just underneath Leeds Art Gallery) are letting us host the event there, so bring some pennies to buy yourself a cup of their fabulous coffee, and we hope to see you on the day!

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November 28, 2012

A ‘Sage and Thrift’ Supper.

I’ve always envied the Americans for Thanksgiving. Not for the origins or history surrounding it (which I remain largely ignorant of, but suspect, like most history, it is a mixed bag of truths) but the fact that it’s a great excuse to get together with people you love, to eat, drink and share a bit of gratitude for the good things in your life.

So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving and having been inspired by the wonderful Kinfolk magazine, this weekend my dear friend Jo and I held the first of what we hope to be a regular small gathering of people, sharing food, music and thoughts in the comfortable and relaxed surrounding of home. Snuggled on sofas and with the laid-back eclectic sounds of Fip (French online radio) in the background, we happily worked our way through a communally produced supper of the best French Onion soup I think I’ve ever eaten, Triple Chocolate Cheesecake, which was healthy, yet utterly decadent (from the amazing  Veggie Runners. You need to visit their website, they’ll be adding the recipe soon!), various cakes and several pots of tea.

And it worked really, really well. With no standing on ceremony allowed, I am hoping that these gatherings will help deepen friendships and create new ones, develop ideas and plans, share projects and enable us to spend a bit of ‘slow’ time in good company. Saturday’s subjects included natural skin-care, producing smartphone Apps, knitting patterns, running and plans for a 2013 surfing trip, which for someone with an almost endless list of interests, was a great way of spending time!

The supper also gave us the chance to trial our  first Cookbook Club. Many people, like me, have an irresistible urge to buy beautiful cookbooks and as a result, and despite best efforts, have an enormous collection gathering dust. Our solution; a monthly swap. Anyone wanting to join in brings a cookbook that for some reason they’ve not been using and swap. At the end of the month they have the option to continue with another swap or withdraw themselves and their book until next time. It’s a great way to try out lovely new recipes without spending any money or having to find more space on your bookshelf. Each cookbook will be given a logbook as a swap diary for people to write about what they chose to cook and their experiences, which will be returned to the cook book owner, alongside the books themselves.

We’ve decided that we want to develop a little creative, collaborative community, and we’re calling it ‘Sage & Thrift‘. It’s not remotely set in stone and we reserve the absolute right to change our ideas at will. But I definitely think that these suppers will remain a part of what we do. I’m already looking forward to the next one…