I don’t own a Kindle, but I read Kindle books using the free Kindle software for PCs on my laptop. Though I prefer real books, and visit the library most every week, I sometimes get a hankering for something to read when the library is closed, …
I don’t own a Kindle, but I read Kindle books using the free Kindle software for PCs on my laptop. Though I prefer real books, and visit the library most every week, I sometimes get a hankering for something to read when the library is closed, or when I want to read something I can’t get through inter-library loan. Enter Kindle, and its vast selection of free books available from Amazon and other websites. The software is supported on numerous platforms, and now via cloud reading in your favorite web browser. Of course reading on a real Kindle would be great, but now anyone with a computer can read Kindle, sans Kindle. Even better, later this year, Kindle will launch Kindle Library Lending from more than 11,000 libraries in the United States through the new Kindle Library Lending feature. I can’t wait for that.
One of the largest categories of free books available for Kindle are cookbooks. I now have 24 in my collection out of at least 100 available, and that’s only from the selections available through Amazon. Gutenberg Project and other publishers of digital book libraries host many more than that.
Kindle allows you to establish collections for books which is essentially a category making it easier to locate a particular book. I have all of my cookbooks in my Cooking Collection. Kindle also allows you to bookmark a recipe in a cookbook, and the bookmarked recipe shows in the notes column on the right. Whenever you open the book, your bookmarked recipes will appear on the right making it uber easy to keep up with favorite recipes. In the image below I bookmarked a simple recipe for Chicken Corn Soup. When I click the note, the book immediately goes to that page.
One of the best things I found about these old cookbooks is that they call for simple ingredients, usually when the ingredients are coming out of the garden at the same time, and few store bought ingredients. They come closer to matching the way I prepare meals, eat and live. Many recipes, such as the one pictured above for dandelion salad are for dishes rarely served now, but that sound delicious!
You won’t find free cookbooks from the bestseller lists for Kindle, unless they are part of a promotional giveaway, which is how I got the 4 Gooseberry Patch cookbooks pictured in the image above for free (no longer available for free, sorry). So it’s worth your while to occasionally check the promotional listing on Amazon as it’s updated regularly with the newest giveaways.
Most of the free cookbooks (and other free books) are in the public domain which mean they are old, some going back to the mid 1800s. They make for interesting reading with some cooking processes no longer recommended for safe sanitary eating, but still with lots of helpful tips.
One of the more highly rated cookbooks is The Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking. It has almost 200 recipes for many Pennsylvania Dutch classics such as Shoofly Pie and many simple basics that had my mouth watering. It even gave a hint for making double-pastry pies. While the top crust is being rolled out, put the bottom crust into the oven to bake about 5 minutes before being filled and topped with the other crust. This helps prevent a soggy bottom crust. I’d never thought of that!
Now I’m off to make that Chicken Corn Soup, and I might even try the Carrot Marmalade!
Liz Pike blogs at Horseshoe Gardens.
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