Back in April, I wrote about my book-version of retail therapy. As I mentioned in that post, most of my cookbooks are slightly used and were bought at garage sales. A week or two ago, I found a rack of $2 books at an antique store downtown, and spent all the boy’s cash to buy four of them. And then that weekend, I went to a garage sale with my mother and found cooking magazines for ¢25! While I still only have two new cookbooks, I love my collection. All told, they almost (not really) fit into two medium-sized boxes. Once I move to my new apartment I absolutely cannot wait to buy a few bookshelves so I can display them all in my kitchen!

Themed cookbooks

General Cookbooks

Along with the general and themed books I own, I have three special treasures. These books belonged to my grandmother, who received them from her mother. The Metropolitan Cookbook is a small book, more like a 20-page pamphlet than a true book. The book is also from 1922! Common Sense In the Household: A Manual of Practical Housewifery (the green book, whose title you can’t read) is the oldest book I own, and is a second-edition print from 1882. As implied by the title, it is not the most P.C. book ever and has weird measurements and ingredients you can’t find today, but it is a total blast to read. It also has a large selection of recipes I plan on finding modern versions recipes for.

Cookbook, 1922

Cookbook, 1882

My favorite cookbook, however, is The Household Searchlight Recipe Book. This was considered the cookbook bible in my grandmother’s house, and as you can see is stuffed full of recipes she tore out of magazines, newspapers and food labels. Between the cookbook itself and the additional recipes, this one book has most anything I could ever hope to make. In addition, it has several recipes she wrote out by hand; my grandmother died when I was 13, and seeing her handwriting after all these years was something really special.

Cookbook, 1936

Grandma's recipe

Food and books are two things I’ve always associated with good memories and people. The day I bought the books with the boy we went to the park and sat in the sun reading them, and had a perfect day. My grandmother’s books are full of memories and happier times, because the weekends I stayed at her house growing up were always centered around spending time in the kitchen together. Do you have any special books or dishes that bring back memories?

*As always, these pictures were taken by me and are my property*