Cookbooks

cookbook shelf 1

It’s Foodie Fun Friday for which I am grateful.  I’m going to give the deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah a few days before I write about them, mostly because I have so many thoughts.  Today, we’ll do our usual Friday thing and talk about food a bit, trying to keep it on the light side, if that’s OK with you.

We own lots of cookbooks.  I did a rough count this morning and stopped at 200.  We’ve probably given away another 50 that we didn’t use much.   I know what you’re wondering – why would a guy who fancies himself a decent cook and often cooks without recipes own so many?

Well kids, it’s like this. Putting together a meal is often like doing a business plan. You research first. “What do you want for dinner?” usually begins the process, along with “who is going to be here” and “what time do you want to eat?” That’s pretty analogous to what you’d do in business.   “What are the undeserved desires of the market?  How big is the market?  How long do I have to research, design, and produce my product?”

I generally pull down a bunch of books and find some recipes that are similar to what I want to make.  I take note of the often subtle differences each writer brings to the dish and use my own judgment as to how I’m going to attack it, taking into account whether the diners like food spicy or not, the time I have to prepare, and what else I’m making.

You need to do the same in business.  Most people go through the thought process but they don’t use the cookbooks.  Obviously I’m speaking figuratively here.  I’m always surprised how few folks can talk intelligently about business books they’ve read and how few use RSS and other tools to stay current on current business thinking.  Those are the business cookbooks, and just as one can prepare a meal successfully without using one, I know it’s possible to be quite successful in business depending only on one’s innate thinking.  Personally, I find that seeking out others’ thinking is really helpful.  If you look at 5 recipes for a dish, you generally can figure out what works and what won’t.

What cookbooks are you using, both in the kitchen and in business?  Any recommendations?

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1 Comment

Filed under food, Helpful Hints, Thinking Aloud

One response to “Cookbooks

  1. kd

    This food for my business part is easy. I consistently use the Culinary Institute of America’s Breakfasts and Brunches cookbook. The recipes are phenomenal and, for the most part, easy to make. I’m also a fan of Epicurious.com, because they feature the best recipes from all the gourmet-style magazines.

    As for a business “cookbook,” I just may have to write one!!

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