Comments: We know someone (a very good cook) who is meticulous with her mise en place. Before she begins to cook, she measures out all her ingredients, sets out all the utensils she is likely to need, and then places everything that will fit on the open cookbook she has lovingly placed on the counter. She moves things around so she can read bits of the recipe, adds her ingredients, puts used measuring cups and spoons back on the cookbook, and cooks up a storm. At the end of the process, she generally has a delicious finished dish – and the cookbook looks like it has been in a war zone.
Needless to say, we do not lend her our cookbooks.
That's why we like Prepara's cookbook holder. It holds the book upright, adjusts to hold books of almost unlimited thickness, has a splashguard to protect the greater part of your pages, has a rubberized platform to keep the book from slipping, and a lazy Susan base so that you can swivel the book to view it from various directions. It folds flat for storage. Obviously, if your recipe spills over onto multiple pages, you'll have to take the book out of the holder, turn the page and put it back in place, but that is a small price to pay for keeping the book open and neat.
Our criticisms are modest. Very wide cookbooks are a bit tippy, and the splatter shield is 11-inches wide by 8-1/2-inches tall, meaning you may have to aim your splatters somewhat narrowly, but that still offers a lot of protection for your pages. And while we love, love, love the pull-out measurement conversion chart built into the base of the holder, its handle is too small for our fingers to grasp securely – let alone when wet or slippery. A small piece of double-stick tape or something else tacky on the handle will make the chart really useful.
Cookbooks are expensive. We're giving one of these cookbook holders to our friend – but we're not 100% convinced she will use it. Some people seem determined to hold on to their little kitchen rituals….