I have to confess that I’ve always been a little gunshy of the term meme and the meme-fests that periodically infest the blogging world. I’m not sure why this is and some might say I’m being hypocritical because of the paper Chef, but I would argue that the Paper Chef is NOT a meme – it is an event. It has periodicity and it doesn’t spread around like an idea-virus.

Anyway – i finally got ‘tagged’ (aka infected by the idea-virus) for the cookbook meme that is floating around and I will do my part to spread the infection albeit reluctantly.

Culinary Fool who is no fool but very culinary, passed this on to me and so here goes…

Number of cookbooks I have owned – absolutely no idea – I periodically purge ALL my books by running the ones I don’t intend to keep to two different second-hand bookstores and then donating what’s left to the library. I’d say I currently own about 80 and have owned about 200.

Last cookbook I bought – easy one – Not your mother’s slow cooker. Best crockpot cookbook out there.

Last Food book I read – also easy – Digital Dish: Five Seasons of the Freshest Recipes and Writing from Food Blogs Around the World – you ALL should go buy this right NOW!

Five cookbooks that mean a lot to me.

1) Digital Dish: Five Seasons of the Freshest Recipes and Writing from Food Blogs Around the World. Far and away number one. Why? I published it and am one of the authors and it represents 8 months of my life – plus a lot of energy from 23 other food bloggers.

2) Future Food by Colin Tudge – this was one of the books that changed the way I think about food – it isn’t easy to find any more and the recipes seem a bit dated but the philosophy of eating for a small and whole planet shines through.

3) Savory Way by Deborah Madison – down-to-earth thinking about vegetarian cooking that is really honest and straightforward and lovely to read

4) New Classics by Gary Rhodes – I grew up in England just as it was changing from the end of Empire to the Common Market. I remember the rag-and-bone man with his horse and I remember the nine linked hands around the fifty P piece when the Common Market started up. I also remember going to six different small shops to buy groceries with my Mum and seeing pheasants hanging in the window and the smell of the baker at five in the morning and old wheels of stilton laid on marble slabs and locally grown carrots and potatoes in bunches and piles with the moist dirt still clinging to them. Then came the seventies and eighties and Thatcherism and ice cream made from pig fat and other such horrors. Gary Rhodes takes us forward into the future and back before those days of horror to update classic British food – food that is good and that matters.

5) Silver Palate – the cookbook that Jan and I share that best represents the two of us.

Who else should fill this out?

I don’t know. If you read this and feel the urge, identify yourself in the comments and consider yourself infected…