Win + Win = Sarah Passes Out

Book CoverHere at the NJ outpost of Smart Bitch HQ, we are big fans of America’s Test Kitchen. Though there are times when Christopher Kimball is a sanctimonious snotbag, and we wish his harem of excellent chefs would smack the smirk off his mug with a cast iron skillet, there is no denying that the recipes are so great, they bring new meaning to the words “never fail.” From the Best Recipe cookbooks to the America’s Test Kitchen show on public television—and the enormous and wonderful Cook’s Country magazine, we are acolytes at the altar of Cook’s Illustrated.

So imagine my joy when I read on Joe Wikert’s twitter that The Cook’s Illustrated How-to-Cook Library is free for the Kindle with scheduled delivery on 23 February—the day before Kindle II: Electric Bugaloo ships out.

The whole idea of a cookbook on Kindle raises interesting questions for me.

From the description:

This very special Kindle collection covers all the culinary ground, from barbecue, grilling, garden vegetables, holiday roasts, potatoes, soups, stews, stir-fries, pasta sauces, pizza, appetizers, salads, shrimp and shellfish, to pies, layer cakes, cookies and brownies, holiday desserts, ice cream, simple fruit desserts, and lots more. It’s all you really need in the kitchen and it all sits nice and handy on a Kindle as well. Now your own definitive recipe collection is portable and easy to access, the perfect helper in the kitchen. Please note: Due to the large amount of content in this file, wireless download time is likely to exceed 60 seconds.

I presume this is a big honking file. I’ve already grumbled that Amazon has offered me twice this weekend a chance to subscribe to magazines for $1 but not offered me any that were Kindle-available. I’d very much like to try the newspaper/magazine feature but I’ve never thought of using the Kindle as a cookbook. But with the search feature and the illustrations, this could be a very interesting option.

Interestingly enough, as a sidenote, I was offered the option of sending the book to Kindle I, or the recently-ordered Kindle II—so I wonder, do I have to specify which device receives any purchase? Will I be able to move books from one device to the other? And am I more likely to cook with Kindle I or with Kindle II: Electric Bugaloo? This may be one step closer to my burning question: with all the money needed to purchase ebook readers, can the damn things make me some eggs?!

Categorized:

General Bitching...

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  1. 1
    GHN says:

    I suppose you can take for granted that the files addressed to one device won’t work on the other. But that’s DRM for you.

  2. 2
    Diane/Anonym2857 says:

    And how safe is it to have your Kindle that close to the cooking area?  Can it withstand heat and splashes, etc?

    Diane :o)

  3. 3
    Heather says:

    I absolutely adore America’s Test Kitchen and thought I’d share my favorite quote (who ever thought a cooking show could produce a favorite quote???) with all of you:

    Chris and the chef who does the main feature item were doing some sort of bread recipe, and as she’s giving instructions on leaving it to rise, this is what she says (in a completely normal tone):

    “Store it for an hour in a cold, dark place…like your soul.” and then just went on with the recipe. No one batted an eye.

    I can’t tell whether producers and such didn’t notice, or no one thought it was strange, but still…

    Sharing that might be a complete fail on my part because of a “had to be there” complex, but the whole college student thing makes it difficult for me to find people who appreciate PBS cooking shows…

  4. 4
    mw says:

    One word:

    Whispersync

    The answer to all Kindle One/Kindle Two syncing issues.

  5. 5
    Alpha Lyra says:

    I love Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country. I’m so hooked on their recipes that ACTUALLY WORK that I rarely bother with recipes from anywhere else. But I wish they didn’t use obnoxious high-pressure sales techniques. Sigh.

  6. 6
    rebyj says:

    Diane , I guess you put it in a ziplock bag like you would if you read in the tub to protect it from splashes. Dunno what would protect it from heat! YIKES at setting a hot pan on the flat surface accidently! Just write the recipe down and keep the Kindle safe in a room far away from the kitchen LOL.

  7. 7
    Brandi says:

    I bet a modified version of this cookbook stand would do—props the Kindle up and provides a splash shield. I have no idea how temperature-sensitive it is, though.

  8. 8
    Brandi says:

    And by “temperature-sensitive” I meant the Kindle. Duh.

    I don’t think anyone’s done an ebook “torture test” yet (seeing how various ebooks deal with temperature extremes, spills or submersions, drops, etc.).

  9. 9
    Samantha says:

    I actually use my ipod touch for cooking all the time. I use evernote to save all the recipes I happen to come across (pioneer woman has her own folder). I just make sure to pay attention to where I set it down, my kitchen is kinda small so I almost always set it on the one counter that isn’t big enough to do anything on but is right behind the working counter.

    I think the text reading feature of electric bugaloo may come in handy for recipes depending on how the feature works, pause playback what have you.

  10. 10
    Larnsturt says:

    @ Samantha

    There’s also some really great recipe apps out there.  There’s one called BigOven that’s free, for the Touch, and has over one hundred thousand recipes in its data base. 

    WARNING! The following contains not-very-Kindle-friendly information.  It also might have been brought up before and I just missed it.

    If the idea of a cookbook on a Kindle intreagues you, why NOT an iPod Touch or iPhone?  If going the way of an ebook and wanting to have something a little more cost-effective than the Kindle, try the Stanza app.  While I don’t believe it has an audio text reader, and the screen is smaller, (I think,  I’ve never actually seen a Kindle in person) I think it’s a good step for anyone considering moving to ebooks.  It’s a free application, and you can’t beat free.  The program reads several different formats, PDF included, and has over 50,000 books free for download through the app.  And you can’t beat free! 

    If you do like it, then maybe a Kindle might be worth investing in.  And if you don’t like reading electronically,  you’ve got a versatile little mini laptop/walkman/tv/scrabble game in your pocket.  And you can check your email on it, too.  There’s hundreds of apps out there and thousands more in development.  It’s so ridiculously versatile, it’s almost scary.

    As I mentioned, I’ve never actually held a Kindle in my hand.  But the price seems way too high when I can get aforementioned iWhatever and still get internet, music, and ridiculously fun games to boot.  Touches start at $229.  The price for ANY electronic book reader I’m looking at is at least $350.  Plus they don’t seem to come with any service or support.  And you can’t play Monopoly on a Kindle.

    And that’s my two cents.

  11. 11
    Teddypig says:

    If the idea of a cookbook on a Kindle intreagues you, why NOT an iPod Touch or iPhone?

    Because it is like reading the back of a candy wrapper. You can do it but I don’t find it very comfortable in the long run. But it is the best cell phone ever.

  12. 12
    Barb says:

    But can you scribble notes all over an e-cookbook?

  13. 13
    Julie Leto says:

    Barb, on a Kindle, you can put notes on a page, yes.  But you type, not scribble!

    I love cooking!  I just pre-ordered…thanks for the heads up!

  14. 14
    Marla says:

    Kimball is SUCH a sanctimonious snotbag! Thanks for the apt description.

    Although I do enjoy the show.

  15. 15
    Karen says:

    Magazine and newspaper subscriptions are limited to one Kindle (and can be put on their own credit cards, rather than the main account CC), but all books can be shared by up to 6 kindles on the same account (and an account can have an infinite number of kindles – each book can be on a total of 6 kindles, then you buy a second copy for the next six, etc).

    And you can sync your place on the two Kindles (not that big a deal, but this is a step made in the software for when they start letting you read Kindle content on your phone as well).

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