Saturday, May 31, 2008

Collecting Cookbooks

It seems everywhere I look in our home I see a pile of cookbooks waiting to be read for an interesting and new recipe to try.  I pull a few off the shelves and bring to the couch where I sit with my MacBook most nights.  In between emails to CookbooksEtCetera, a group of cookbook collecting friends at yahoogroups, I like to read a little of what makes a particular cookbook unique and different to all others and maybe find a recipe or two to try the next week while doing so.  

They pile so high on the couch beside me that I have to kind of wiggle backwards as I sit down, being careful not to topple any over.  They sit there for a few days and then I'll take them back to the cookbook shelves in the spare bedroom and bring out more.  Usually they are ones that have been mentioned by one of the other collectors and I'll want to reacquaint myself with those cookbooks and see what prompted someone to mention them.  It feels like they are new again to me or that it is Christmas time and I have new presents, even though I've had many of them for years.

One of my favorites is a similar copy of a cookbook my Mother used to cook from called, "Woman's Home Companion Cookbook".  Her cookbook was black and my oldest sister inherited it from her, but when I found eBay, I also found a few copies of it for me and my other sisters.  There were 7 of us girls (and 2 boys), so it was fun to shop and hunt for more of Mama's cookbook so that all of us could have one.  The copy below is a popular one in a cream colored front with bullteted words of the recipes inside it.

Some of the recipes I tried when I first started cooking were fudge, biscuits, and yellow cake. I used to make a jelly cake that was just too easy and everyone loved it!  Even though I don't have my Mama's copy, the one I found on eBay is probably my most special cookbook in my collection of 2000 cookbooks.

Do you have a favorite cookbook too?


Joan said...

Mo, you put into words how I feel about my books as well. My stack of the ones I'm looking through is on the fireplace hearth beside my lazy boy recliner. There sure isn't a better way to relax after a hard day's work than kicking back in my chair with my cat on my lap and a cookbook in my hands. Like you I have a copy of the cookbook my Mom used when I was growing up. It's a Lilly Wallace Cookbook and Mom found each of us a copy of our own.

dorie said...

I have a favorite space for reading my books too. It's on the sofa and of course I put my legs up. Ahh! From where I sit I can see the flowers out in our side yard and it gives me such a feeling of contentment. I recall my mom having a copy of Joy of Cooking, but I'm not sure how much she used it. She also had some Betty Crocker books. The books I remember her using most were the series that came out from Woman's Day, Encyclopedia of Cooking. I remember many wonderful meals she made from those books...and of course I had to have my own set as well. In fact, now I have two full sets, her original set and mine. Thanks for the trip down memory lane Mo, and Joan too!

Prudy said...

I can't resist a cookbook, but I'm definitely partial to my Joy of cooking and Vegetarian Planet.

Kate said...

I have the Woman's Home Companion Cookbook as well, the same version as you. What a funny thing to see -- it was my mother's and I still adore it.

I also love a cookbook from my youth, Margaret Rudkin's Pepperidge Farm Cookbook, with the stories and charming illustrations.

LIke you, my cookbooks are piled everywhere. I read them like novels, especially in the bathtub. I have a shelf next to the tub. Next to the couch. My bed. My kitchen. At work. Near my computer. They are everywhere.

Recently I decided to swap cookbooks on my own blog, but I didn't get any takers, but a reader did refer me to, where I've posted many cookbooks, and unfortunately, obtained even more for my collection, instead of weeding it out. It's a pretty simple system -- send one book to someone, get one in return from someone else on the list. No fees are involved except postage.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane with the Woman's Home Companion.

Juliadus said...

I like books and I do like cooking. What can be better then a good cookbook. I also have one special cookbook that my great-grandmother was using. It is very valuable for me and I have special feeling to it, when I imagine how my great-grandmother read it and cooked. It is in Russian and direct translation of it's name is "Book of tasty and healthy food".
As for the newer books, the last one I enjoyed was "The Cook's Encyclopedia of Chocolate" - so many delicious recipes.