A few “new” books to add to my out of control collection.
#1. Lovely and unexpected gift from a friend; a book that I’ve wanted for a long time but have been unable to find, Ogilvie’s Book for a Cook, from the flour company of the same name, pub. in 1905. I love the preface in this book, ” A selection of recipes and other things adapted to the needs of the average housekeeper, some entirely new, and all have been thoroughly tested.” There is also a disclaimer in the book, “Note-We cannot be responsible for recipes, if other flour than Ogilvie’s Royal Household is used.”
#2. The Robin Hood Canadian Flour Book, no date. Another book that I have been searching for. I found it at a local Sally Ann for $1.50. This book has a “versatile wipe off cover,” and pockets for recipe cards. The very best thing about this book is the beautiful late 1960’s illustrations. And when I figure out how to post more pictures I will post some. (I am a cook born in entirely the wrong century, so computers and technology in general are painful)
#3. Canadian Country Preserves & Wines, by Blanche Pownall Garrett, pub. 1974. She writes about the tradition of canning in Canada, it’s lyrical and makes want to spend more time in my kitchen preserving. This book deserves a reprint now that canning is all the rage. And as I’ve been thinking about gooseberries, I can’t wait to try the recipe for gooseberry jam.
#4. In absolutely pristine condition, and for the low price of $1.00, Graham Kerr’s Television Cookbook, from the CBC Volume 1. How happy was I? This guy was one of my idols when I was a very young child, I loved watching him on TV and even in black and white, the food was exciting. I became obsessed with wanting to try leeks and cherries jubilee. Without a doubt, I was an odd child. I can’t wait to cook from this.
#5 Not a cookbook, but a spiral notebook, without the cover, full of hand written recipes, delicate, splattered, probably dating to the 1940’s as many of the recipes include substitutions for rationing. There are recipes for “Mother’s fruitcake, candied citron, Glady’s peanut butter cookies, Mrs Aitkins shortbread, yeast buns from Miss Harris, and newspaper clippings with helpful hints such as how to deal with “rusty clothes line.” I bought this one at a antique mall, it was the most expensive, $15.00. I had to, I don’t have any cookbooks of my grandmother’s and only two handwritten recipe cards from my Mom. So I rescued this little collection, but how it left a family and ended up in an antique mall baffles me. If cookbooks tell stories of place and time, then handwritten cookbooks are the first hand account of place and time, voices long gone who can still be heard through their food.