Why page 32?

Showing off with the spoon trick

I have cookbooks—hundreds of them, bookcases of them. I read them like novels. Today, there are 10 cookbooks and food magazines lying on the floor beside my bed. Another 10 are on the kitchen bench, and still more are stacked on a chair in the dining room. A little while ago, I tripped over a few propped up against a cupboard in the hall.

Do I cook out of them? Sure! But not nearly as much as I should.

So I’ve set myself a challenge, a plan to get me—and you—into my cookbooks.

To get me started, I ran a pick-a-number competition in February. Emma Bickley won—oven mitts down—with her choice of the number 32 (in conjunction with 33). See why!

So that’s where I’ll be cooking—on page 32 of my many cookbooks and magazines.

Cookbooks in the bedroom

But, I hear you ask, what if there is no recipe on page 32? Sometimes there are pictures, or explanations of ingredients or background on a country’s cuisine.

Not to worry. I’ll move on to page 132, 232, 332 or beyond.

If all those pages have no recipes, or if a cookbook doesn’t go up to page 32 or 132, I’ll try page 16 (half of 32) or page 64 (32 doubled and also Poor John’s age). I might also try other pages because I’ve already made too many recipes of the same type, such as appetizers (a common dish in the front of cookbooks).

Fortunately, I like almost all foods, so I don’t plan to back out of making a recipe simply because of the ingredients.

That said, there will be ingredients I simply cannot find. For example, I bought a 48-page cookbook in Kyrgyzstan. The recipe on page 32 calls for airan (a beverage that I’m unlikely to find). The recipe on page 16 calls for grease from a fat-tail sheep!

Cookbooks in the hall

Plenty of American recipes will have me struggling. I can’t get refrigerated biscuits, concentrated orange juice, Bisquick, Cool Whip, instant pudding, monterey jack cheese and so much more.

When, after all attempts, there is no recipe to make, I’ll write about what I find on the relevant page or pages. Heck, it may be too good not to share.

An entry will include the name of the cookbook/magazine and publication details. I’ll transcribe the recipe as it appears in the book (but will remove any errors I detect), and will explain what, if anything, I did differently. I’ll also add a verdict—namely, what we thought of the end result.

I plan to include a photo of the book/magazine cover and of the completed recipe (unless the quality is sub-standard). I’ll add interesting notes too.

So I hope you will have fun getting to know my cookbooks. I think I will.

Cookbooks in the family room

Feel free to add comments and questions. You can even ask me to try my hand on certain cuisines or ingredients. I’ll do my best to accommodate.

And if I ever run out of cookbooks, I can always go to the library or get you to submit recipes from your page 32s.

Happy cooking
Peggy Bright

P.S. Please check out Where to next?—my blog on our overland travels.

72 Responses to Why page 32?

  1. Gary Walker says:

    Love the new blog, Peggy!

    • leggypeggy says:

      So glad you like it Pots. I’m sitting here with JustJanS, enjoying our second glass of wine and talking about how wonderful you are. We expect similar compliments coming from you back to us. xo

      • Gary Walker says:

        Hi Jan! I haven’t seen you around in a long while… glad you are enjoying some vino with my favorite person!

  2. Miriyummy says:

    Yo Leggy! Very interesting concept, can’t wait to see what crops up!

    (BTW, this is Mirj from Zaar).

  3. Miriyummy says:

    So where’s your Subscribe button!!!

  4. leggypeggy says:

    I guess I’ll have to find it.

  5. nancycg56 says:

    Great idea for a blog! I have over 1,000 cookbooks so if you run out, let me know, LOL!!! I am trying to cook out of mine more often but I need to stay off the computer and cooking blogs, websites, yada, yada, yada!

  6. Gary Walker says:

    Don’t think I didn’t notice the ‘Provence’ cookbook upside down. I did.
    But you crazy Aussies live upside down on the bottom of the planet. These type of things are to be expected.

    • leggypeggy says:

      I’m so glad you noticed that. I did too. But it’s not ‘filed’ upside down. That cookbook was a gift from someone in France and I suppose the French don’t follow the same rules. In case anyone is wondering what we’re talking about, according to publishing convention, you should be able to lay a book on its back and be able to read the title right-side up. I can do that with every other book shown in the banner pic.

  7. Gary Walker says:

    That’s very interesting! I did not know that.
    Those clever Frenchies! It’s quite logical if you think about it.

  8. mickeydownunder1 says:

    What a GREAT idea and cannot wait to take this food journey with you, through your cookbook and thought unique eyes!
    You now have me curious what is on Page 32 of some of my cookbooks too! WHOO HOO! 🙂

  9. mickeydownunder1 says:

    HOW extraordinary interesting to me!
    Can HARDLY wait to see the next What’s cooking on page 32 re the recipe!
    MAKES me want to start checking some of my cookbooks What’s on page 32!
    Thanks as always for inspiring to do! WHOO HOO!

  10. leggypeggy says:

    Glad you are enjoying it. It’s fun to look at a cookbook and focus on a single page. Kind of scary too.

  11. Joy Morris says:

    Love the idea Peggy!

  12. We are glad to follow you in this thread!

  13. What a fantastic idea! I too have a million cookbooks but only ever seem to try the same twenty recipes…

    • leggypeggy says:

      Hi FromageHomage. Thanks for stopping by and enjoying my blog. I have enough cookbooks to keep me going for a couple of years. Plus, I can borrow from the library and urge people to make guest contributions. Interested? 🙂

  14. Caroline from Khiva says:

    Hi Peggy,
    I love both your blogs !! Food and travels, fantastic hobbies. I haven t come around yet to try out your recipes but they are definetely on top of my list. Enjoy the rest of your travels !

    • leggypeggy says:

      Oh Caroline, thanks so much. It’s wonderful to have you stop by both my blogs. We had such great chats in Khiva. I’m looking forward to more conversations with you.

  15. Schnippelboy says:

    Dieser Blog gefällt mir. Mal ganz neue Rezepte. Hier werde ich öfter schauen
    Gruß Schnippelbpy

  16. Rachna says:

    There is so much effort you have put into making this a delicious and interesting space 🙂 Loved scrolling thru – followed you and will be back periodically to look thru your blog 🙂

    • leggypeggy says:

      Thanks you Rachna, and especially thanks for commenting on the effort that goes into this blog. It does take a lot of time and organisation, but I have been rewarded with lots of wonderful recipes that I wouldn’t have made otherwise. I can live with the few disappointing ones I’ve encountered. 🙂

  17. spiceodc says:

    Where did I go before this! Your travel and food blogs are amazing! It gives new bloggers like me some creative ideas on how to be unique. Haven’t tried any of your recipes yet, but your bacon cookies recipe is in my bookmark now. Enjoy and good day.

  18. Jamie Dedes says:

    What a wonderful idea! I too read cookbooks like they’re novels. I sympathize. And I had an enormous collection of cookbooks until I had to painfully choose just a few when I moved into a small place to accommodate this aging body.

    As far as the American food you do not have access to: We have a lot of wonderful fresh fruits and veggies here and I’m sure you do there as well. You’re not missing anything – and probably maintaining good health – by having to do without all those horrid prefabricated foods … and they’re just not as tasty as you might think.

    • leggypeggy says:

      So sorry you had to give up so many cookbooks. That would have been hugely painful. I can’t imagine and hope I never have to.
      We have wonderful produce in Australia. I feel so blessed and find that I never miss any ingredients from the USA. I’m much more likely to pine for some of the quirky ingredients I’ve encountered on my travels.

  19. Sheryl says:

    I’m so glad I discovered this blog. I really like the concept behind it–and think that it’s lots of fun to see what recipes are on p. 32 of various cookbooks.

  20. What a fun idea! I too have stacks of cooking magazines- I was so upset when Gourmet shut its doors. 😢 Am also guilty of having shelves of cookbooks waiting to be read like novels. My favorites are the ones that are splattered with evidence of meals from the past and notes scribbled in the margins.

    • leggypeggy says:

      Oh Jean, I, too, was upset when Gourmet shut down. How could they? I have copies going back to 1985. Have finally decided to release them into the wild via a secondhand book sale for charity. Should I save any for you? And yes, the splattered pages of any cookbook are always the best. You’re most welcome to contribute a guest page-32 offering. Let me know if you could be tempted.

      • I saved my copies, too! Have given away loads of other magazines, but can’t seem to part with those Gourmet issues. I’d definitely consider a guest post- thank you so much for asking!

      • leggypeggy says:

        Finally, just this year, I can release the Gourmets, but I need to hang on to the Australian Delicious magazines. The recipes are the kinds of things I cook now.
        Would love it if you did a guest page-32 post. Let me know when you super tempted.

  21. Hi, Peggy, I just wanted to say hi, a friend of Lynn’s is a friend of mine. Your blog looks amazing and I am looking forward in venturing through it. 🙂

  22. Blogging, cooking, collecting and sharing food recipes is a lot of ‘leg’ work… LeggyPeggy. I enjoy the follow because I enjoy exciting meals!

  23. voulaah says:

    I really like your idea
    Hello,
    I just found your blog and I think it’s really nice : the decorations and especially the contents
    I adore your way with your images and write
    I subscribed to your feed to your not to miss No Latest News
    Thank you for visiting my blog and you subscribe there too
    What do you think of recent publications
    https://femmeetinfos.wordpress.com/2016/02/22/my-fashion-ete-multicolore-episode-1/
    https://femmeetinfos.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/adopter-un-look-femme-malgache-avec-accessoires-mode-en-raphia/
    https://femmeetinfos.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/je-porte-un-ensemble-short-noir-look-smile/
    https://femmeetinfos.wordpress.com/2016/02/15/mes-reponses-sur-le-concept-whats-in-my-bag/
    kisses waiting to read you
    Anita

  24. Hi Peggy, hope you are well. I will be doing that corn salad soon 🙂 I have nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award, I would love it if you accepted. Please check out the details on my blog. https://lynnesrecipetrails.com/2016/04/01/the-infinity-dreams-award-and-blogger-recognition-award/
    Thanks a ton, and have a great weekend. x

    • leggypeggy says:

      Oh Lynne, that is such a thoughtful gesture, but I will have to decline.
      Because of the way we travel, I often go without internet connections for days at a time. Sometimes I only just manage to do a blog post. For example, I’ve been completely off-line for 20 of the last 40 days. So I’ve had to keep my blog award-free. But thanks again for thinking of me. And I hope you enjoyed the corn salad.

  25. Cezane & Michelle says:

    My kinda blog. I am bound to enjoy my time here since it dwells on my passion. Cheers! to new friendship. – Cezane

  26. jollof says:

    Hi Peggy! The concept is genius. Caught my curiosity and now I know ‘why page 32’. Will be watching this blog closely (with an appetite).

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  29. Dear Peggy, I have nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award. Here is the link https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/10/19/a-new-award-and-a-mother-in-law/ You are not in any way obligated to accept, and I fully understand that not everyone has the time and inclination to participate in these self-and-others-promoting exercises. Therefore, I will truly appreciate if you accept the nomination, as I sincerely think you deserve it, but I won’t get offended if you don’t. Nominating each one of you is my way of giving credit to some exceptional bloggers and perhaps attracting attention to your work.
    All the best in cooking, traveling, writing, and having a great time whatever you do,
    Dolly

    • leggypeggy says:

      Thanks so much, Dolly, for thinking of me. Very much appreciated. Unfortunately I will have to decline. We travel so much, and often remotely, that I can never be sure of having a connection. Tonight I am online for the first time in seven days. Thanks so much for the nomination and for understanding why I can’t accept.

  30. Pingback: Das Rezept auf Seite 32: Gefüllte Gemüsebrötchen | Rambutan, Granatapfel & Orangenblüte

  31. Ilze says:

    Hi. What is in the yellow cookbook named Balti!? Is it something related the Baltic states? That is where I live.

    • leggypeggy says:

      Hi Ilze, thanks so much for stopping by. My Balti cookbook covers a type of Indian curry recipes. But I’m glad you mentioned that you are in the Baltic states. We hope to travel there later this year. I look forward to trying your style of food and buying a few cookbooks. 🙂

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