Having had a cold that has lasted over 3 weeks, during the worst of it I checked out the entire stack of CI at our local library. (I was only going to take one, but the librarian encouraged me to take all 14.) I had never read it before having heard it mentioned so many times here on Chowhound, I wanted to see what it was like. I fell in love with it. If half of their tips and tricks are true, I should be a better cook in no time--once I feel like returning to the kitchen.
So I've been thinking of photocopying or just making a notebook of favorite tips, recipes to try, etc.--and then I saw an insert card for their yearly hardcover version. Wondering if I should do that even though I'm not interested in the more difficult/exotic dishes. Wondered too if I should subscribe, but when I checked online, the first question was whether I'd like an online OR print subscription. I had hoped that having a print subscription would give me access to online recipes. It doesn't?
Any suggestions on the best way to access CI? And by "best" I"m also thinking "least expensive". Buy the hardcover versions each year?
But perhaps I should ask this first: can I trust these guys? They write as though they've found the best ways in the world to make everything. Can I really toss all my old recipes and start over with CI's recipes?
Somewhat related: I was in a kitchen store over the weekend and since I mentioned Cook's Illustrated, the clerk showed me a pepper mill that had just been rated as the best by CI. She let me try it out so I dialed it (awkwardly) to the finest grind--and big ol' chunks of pepper came out! She didn't seem to notice but went on about how it's so good. Sorry, but I'll stick with my Unicorn key-top. So that puts a little doubt in my mind about CI's trustworthiness--at least as far as best brands.
Thanks for your help!