One of the nicest surprises about the Amazon Kindle project has been the steady release of titles priced at $0.00. Yep, that is FREE. In the past few months I have downloaded novels, sneak preview excerpts, nonfiction, and now a cookbook!
Anyone who loves family history probably spends considerable holiday time at the family table. And from the interest in family cookbooks, heirloom recipes, and geneablogger cookbooks, I am probably not alone in looking for simple ways to get delicious meals on the table, especially during the holidays.
Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker, Recipes for Entertaining by Julie Kaufman and Beth Hensberger was published in hardback and paperback in 2007, but it remains a popular 4-star reviewed slow cooker book. It is now available in Kindle format, which means that anyone with the Kindle for PC or Kindle for iPod Touch or iPhone app can read the book without additional hardware investment.
I wondered how useful a cookbook would be in digital format and downloaded the book last night. Typically, these FREE titles don’t last long. I can only imagine that Amazon is testing the market publishing more cookbooks in Kindle format, or just trying to promote their e-reader device to the cooking market.
As you might imagine, a cookbook doesn’t read exactly like a novel, even though they are one of my favorite bedtime genres. If a recipe is well-written I find that I can pretty well guess what it might taste like, and whether or not I want to make it. Of course, chocolate mousse on the page isn’t quite the same as the real thing, but it does save a lot of calories to stick to reading recipes rather than making them.
Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker differs from many cookbooks because it has an extensive section on choosing and using a slow cooker, especially for entertaining. Because it is written in prose format (rather than recipe format), this section is easy to read on the Kindle. I have used a Crock Pot since its early days in the 70s, but still found some good ideas in this section. I especially liked the charts giving cooking times to convert conventional recipes to slow cooking. I think this section would be especially helpful for cooks just learning to use a slow cooker.
Following this section, the book moves to more typical cookbook chapters on appetizers, hot drinks, vegetables and other sides, main dishes, and desserts. I found several dishes I would like to try soon, but realized I didn’t want to hand-copy the entire recipe to paper or use my Kindle reader in the kitchen.
Here is my workaround – I opened the book in the Kindle for PC application, used Jing screen capture application to capture and save each page to my computer, then opened Word and pasted the images into a Word Doc. In Word, I could print the page to use for a grocery list and cooking. Granted, it isn’t as easy as flipping open a cookbook, but it works pretty well.
I discovered that viewing the pages was even better on the Kindle for PC application than on the actual Kindle because the recipe displayed more like the actual book. This may change when my Kindle device receives the Amazon firmware update which will add features for adjustable margins.
Easy cooking during the holidays is a Good Thing in my house. More time for research and for blogging!
You can access the cookbook and application with these links --
Kindle for PC Application (free) (Mac Version “coming soon”)