Why do we collect cookbooks? 6,567 and Counting!

Music – “What’s Cooking” from What’s Cooking by The Wolfe Gang. Released: 2010


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


“The Vintage Cookbookery” website is up and a work in progress! Please visit it at http://www.vintagecookbookery.com. I will be posting a series of articles about cookbooks as time capsules, why we collect them, and how they reflect cultures, trends, technology and food history. Please join in and add your comments! On October 23rd, 2015, I  surpassed the 5,000 mark.  What’s left?  Just keep collecting! (As of January, 2019, the collection has grown to 6,533)

My EatYourBooks cookbook collection

From Cindy Renfrow’s “Take a Thousand Eggs”, to Gil Partington’s “The Punk Vegan Cookbook”, cookbooks run the gamut and are packed with social history. Forget ‘Social Studies”….just read cookbooks if you really want some history!

For more about the collection, click on this link to a May 24th, 2018 interview with Sho Spaeth of http://www.seriouseats.com:


2013 Guinness World Record title for Largest Collection of Cookbooks

2013 Guinness World Record title for Largest Collection of Cookbooks

Posted in Cookbooks, Cooking, Cooking and Social History, Cooking Technology, Eating, Food Fads, Food Trends, Menu Planning, Recipes, Vintage Cookbooks | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Excuse Me, But There’s a Chihuahua in my Turkey !


Music – “What’s Cooking” from What’s Cooking by The Wolfe Gang. Released: 2010

In honour of Thanksgiving approaching, I’m running this earlier 2014 post about the questions posed to the Butterball Turkey Hot Line over the years.  Read it and laugh (or weep!)

We’ve all heard experts, teachers and the like say There’s no such thing as a dumb question. I’ve said it myself, while teaching a course in Forensic Anthropology to non-science students. One evening, following a brief discussion of how to determine the sex of an individual from the bones of the skeleton, one of my students quipped “It’s easy. All you do is count the number of ribs. If it’s a man, he’ll be missing a rib as he had to give it up to God to create Eve”. Well, I really didn’t know how to respond.

In the world of food and cooking, I find it amusing and sometimes bewildering to read the questions folks write in to various sites for cooking advice. Butterball Turkey has had it’s share of doozies over the year, and other websites geared around cooking usually feature a “Q & A” section, which are tremendously enlightening.

Here is a sampling of some of the questions posed to various websites. I have taken the liberty of addressing the questions with my OWN responses:

Can you microwave a box of wine? (Probably not a good idea, but why would you want 5 litres of hot boxed wine?)

After eating rancid butter, what should one do? (Serve up some moldy bread to go with it?)

Just the thing to go with the rancid butter you ate (Photo Credit: www.huffington.post.ca)

Just the thing to go with the rancid butter you ate (Photo Credit: http://www.huffington.post.ca)

Can you be harmed if you eat wax paper? (It depends. Is it a name brand wax paper or the cheap generic stuff?)

Check to see if your wax paper is name brand or generic before consuming. (Photo Credit: www.theartofdoingstuff.com)

Check to see if your wax paper is name brand or generic before consuming. (Photo Credit: http://www.theartofdoingstuff.com)

How long does it take for a poison hemlock to kill a person? (Ask Socrates)

How old is the oldest Twinkie? (See photo below)

Apparently, "Twinkies" have been around since the Druids built Stonehenge. (Photo Credit: www.sodahead.com)

Apparently, “Twinkies” have been around since the Druids built Stonehenge. (Photo Credit: http://www.sodahead.com)

On Easter Sunday is Chuck E Cheese Open? (Is this a food question?)

Does fudge taste less good if it’s shaped like poop?
(This must be a question for the psychologists in the room)

A query to www.foodista.com asks which fudge you'd prefer. This one, or..... (Photo Credit: www.tampa.about.com)

A query to http://www.foodista.com asks which fudge you’d prefer. This one, or….. (Photo Credit: http://www.tampa.about.com)

....this one? (Photo Credit: www.elanaspantry.com)

….this one? (Photo Credit: http://www.elanaspantry.com)







Can you cook on both oven racks?
(Yes…even simultaneously!)

How do I unbake a cake?
(Don’t start in the first place)

"Marge, I think it's too late to ask the Food Channel about how to unbake a cake" (Photo Credit: www.dmdehaven.wordpress.com)

“Marge, I think it’s too late to ask the Food Channel about how to unbake a cake” (Photo Credit: http://www.dmdehaven.wordpress.com)

And, the inevitable turkey questions that surface at Thanksgiving. The folks at the Butterball Turkey Hotline have heard them all, I‘m sure!:

Can I brine my turkey in the washing machine? (Only if you wash your clothes regularly at a Laundromat)

Can I take my frozen turkey into my sauna to thaw it faster? (How many people are in the sauna at the same time as the turkey?)

If it’s not brown enough, how long should I leave it in my tanning bed? (When it starts peeling, I’d take it out)

Is it OK to thaw my turkey in the bathtub while bathing my kids? (How dirty are your kids?)

If you're going to use this method to defrost your turkey, don't add kids and soap. (Photo Credit: www.twoguyseatlunch.blogspot.com)

If you’re going to use this method to defrost your turkey, don’t add kids and soap. (Photo Credit: http://www.twoguyseatlunch.blogspot.com)

What does ‘remove from heat’ mean? (Really?)



Can I use my oven’s self cleaning cycle to speed up the cooking process? (If you prefer incinerated turkey, why not?)

Cooking a turkey using your oven's self-cleaning cycle is not recommended (Photo Credit: www.somethingnewfor dinner.com)

Cooking a turkey using your oven’s self-cleaning cycle is not recommended (Photo Credit: http://www.somethingnewfor dinner.com)

If I cut my turkey with a chainsaw will the oil affect the taste? (Only if you lick the chainsaw)

Can popcorn be popped in the turkey’s cavity during the roasting process? (Is this microwave popcorn or Jiffy Pop stovetop popcorn?)

Kids, don't try this at home! (Photo Credit: www.eetimes.com)

Kids, don’t try this at home! (Photo Credit: http://www.eetimes.com)

How do I get the bleach I used off the bird? (Drop it in the tub when you’re bathing the kids)

How do I get my Chihuahua out of the turkey?
(Is this before or after roasting?)

"Don't worry Pepe...I'll try to get you out before she puts the turkey in the oven!" (Photo Credit: www.harry.enzoverder.be/cats)

“Don’t worry Pepe…I’ll try to get you out before she puts the turkey in the oven!” (Photo Credit: http://www.harry.enzoverder.be/cats)

My 5 pound turkey has been in the oven 24 hours. Do you think it’s done? (Probably. I suspect that anything that was hazardous to your health is long dead)

Can you thaw a turkey by wrapping it in an electric blanket? (Why not go the extra mile and just cook it in there too?)

The turkey in my freezer is 23 years old. Is it safe to eat? (It depends. How old are you?)

Can I baste my turkey with suntan lotion? (Are you cooking it in a solar oven??)

Here's what happens it you put suntan lotion on your turkey (Photo Credit: www.crazyshenanigans.com)

Here’s what happens it you put suntan lotion on your turkey (Photo Credit: http://www.crazyshenanigans.com)

How long does it take to thaw a fresh turkey? (Not long)

How do I prepare a turkey for vegetarians?
(Carve it in the shape of a cauliflower and stuff it with a lot of vegetables)

Proper vegetarian turkey (Photo Credit: www.blog.nativefoods.com)

Proper vegetarian turkey (Photo Credit: http://www.blog.nativefoods.com)

How long does it take to cook a turkey if I leave the oven door open the whole time? (Are you trying to heat your apartment or cook a turkey?)

How long will it take to cook a frozen 34 pound turkey?
(How much vacation time to you have?)

Better ask your boss for extra time off at Thanksgiving to cook this bird! (Photo Credit: www.severedisability kid.blogspot.com)

Better ask your boss for extra time off at Thanksgiving to cook this bird! (Photo Credit: http://www.severedisability kid.blogspot.com)











The above questions were compiled from the following websites:


(the tongue-in-cheek responses are my own!)

Posted in Collecting, Collections, Comfort Food, Cookbooks, Cooking, Cooking and Social History, Cooking Technology, Eating, Guinness World Records, Menu Planning, New Mexico, Recipes, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized, Vintage Cookbooks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Almost Here – National Cookbook Month !


Music – “Happy Cooking” from Happy Cooking by Eiji Kitamura. Released: 1986

(partial re-posting of September 30, 2018)

 For those not in the know, October features many “national” events,  however, my favourite October event is:

National Cookbook Month !

Pick one up and read it today!

                                                 What’s on YOUR cookbook shelf?

Cookbook collecting has even rubbed off on my cats! (Photo of Tux by Sue Jimenez)

Tux and Shadow picking a recipe for dinner (Photo by Sue Jimenez)

“Cooking with Poo” (Photo Credit: http://www.lolriot.com) (Not on my cookbook shelf, yet!)

I hope your cookbook shelf doesn’t look like this! (Photo Credit: http://www.bobvila.com)

“Alright. Time to browse “Joy of Cooking”. I wonder how this thing is CATegorized?” (Photo of Shadow by Sue Jimenez)


Some of the other cookbooks in my collection….

Why is it that the cookbook you want the most is always out of reach? (Photo Credit by the author of the author)

“Cooking with two fat ladies”

“The Dead Celebrity Cookbook” (Photo Credit: http://www.abebooks.com)

“You’ve Had Worse Things in Your Mouth”, by Billi Gordon.  Not on my shelf yet!  (Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com)

Some of the books in my collection for cooking hot and spicy

One of many wartime canning guides.

“The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey””

Some of the “leftover” cookbooks in my collection.

“141 and One-Half Chinese Style Chicken Recipes” by Lonnie Mock, in my collection. I’m still looking for the 1/2 recipe.

“The Great Hall” of cookbooks in my residence.

“Blondie’s Cook Book”, published in 1947 (Photo by Sue Jimenez)

There’s a cookbook for everyone! “The Axis of Evil Cookbook” by Gill Partington

My EatYourBooks cookbook collection

Posted in Cats, Collecting, Collections, Cookbooks, Cooking, Guinness World Records, New Mexico, Uncategorized, Vintage Cookbooks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Firehouse Cooking – Some Like it Hot!


Music – “Fighting 17th” from Backdraft [Silver Screen Edition] by Hans Zimmer. Released: 2005

In honor of September 11th, I am re-posting this post from 2014…

Every so often I come across a cookbook featuring recipes from firefighters around the nation. It seems like firehouse cooking (and firehouse chefs) are imbued with an aura of mystery around their food. After all, it is a select enclave of men and women, who enjoy the fruits of the chef. It seems natural that these dedicated individuals, who go to bat for the rest of us and keep us safe should have camaraderie among them, and why shouldn’t this extend to that most basic of human needs, eating and sharing food?

Photo Credit: ilovelasvegasmagazine.blogspot.com

Photo Credit: ilovelasvegasmagazine.blogspot.com

Meandering around the internet lately, I have looked at one of the most FAQ asked about firefighters: does the city/county pay for the food they cook at their stations, while on their shifts? In just a random sample of information from about two dozen firefighting stations across the US, the answer was a resounding “no”. It appears that the common theme is that each of the firefighters assigned to a station contributes a fixed amount out of his or her own funds for food, determined by mutual agreement.

Photo Credit: www.nj.com

Photo Credit: http://www.nj.com

Most firefighter kitchens have several rotating chefs and many have their own specialties. Some stations have essential appliances paid for them, for example a refrigerator and a stove, but the firefighters must pay to equip it with pots, pans, and the like, not to mention the food.

Photo Credit: uncyclopedia.wikia.com

Photo Credit: uncyclopedia.wikia.com









A search of news items across the country has also raised another FAQ: why do I see the firefighters parking their fire engine in the grocery store parking lot and going in to shop? Well, think about it. These men and women are on duty, ready at a moment’s notice to assist you. Would you rather they drive in a private vehicle, start shopping, get a 911 fire call and drive back to the station to get the fire truck? Not! “Be prepared” is a good motto. As a matter of fact, in my grade school, Kipling Grove Elementary School, our motto was from Elmer, the Safety Elephant, whose placque in the main hall admonished us daily to “be prepared”.

Photo Credit: www.nola.com

Photo Credit: http://www.nola.com

According to the Internet, there were 48,800 registered fire departments in the US as of 2012. These fire departments employed 1,129,250 firefighters, which include career professionals, volunteers and those paid per call. Also in 2012, according to NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) there were 1,375,000 fire calls placed to these departments, however, these departments also responded to numerous other calls: 21,705,500 calls for medical aid, 2,238,000 false alarms, 360,000 hazardous materials, 1,326,500 “mutual aid” and 694,000 “other hazardous conditions”. “Other” calls accounted for another 4,155,000 calls for a grand total of 31,854,000 calls made to US fire departments in 2012! It’s a wonder they ever get time to eat, let alone cook!

Photo Credit: howtobecomeafirefighterusa.com

Photo Credit: howtobecomeafirefighterusa.com

In my collection, I have several cookbooks featuring firefighters: “San Francisco Firehouse Favorites” by Calvello, Harlow, Sackett and Sarvis; “Firehouse Food” by Dolese and Siegelman; “The Firehouse Cookbook” by Kite, and “Fire House Cook Book” by Kipp Rix.

"Firehouse Food" by George Dolese and Steve Siegelman

“Firehouse Food” by George Dolese and Steve Siegelman

Dorothy Kite, in her book “The Firehouse Cookbook” says, “One of the first things a rookie learns is that in order to eat at the firehouse, he must learn to cook”. And, George Dolese and Steve Siegelman in “Firehouse Food” note that, when firefighters eat together, they’re “…creating a moment of happiness in a tough, stressful world. No wonder their food is so satisfying”.

"The Firehouse Cookbook" by Dorothy J. Kite

“The Firehouse Cookbook” by Dorothy J. Kite








Smoke and Fire Black Beans”, “Blackened Red Snapper”, “Smoked Turkey Club”, “Night Watch Snack” and “Kamikaze Gumbo” are just a few of the recipes from these cookbooks. No one ever said that firefighters don’t have a sense of humour!

"Fire House Cook Book" by Kipp Rix

“Fire House Cook Book” by Kipp Rix

In “San Francisco Firehouse Favorites”, the authors relate some of the culinary comments from firehouse chefs: “Never cook a turkey more than two hours; just adjust the heat”, or “Never blow your own smoke” (don’t brag!). They also note that one of the San Francisco firefighters insisted that his cigar ashes improved the flavour of his Burgundy pot roast.

"San Francisco Firehouse Favorites" by Calvello, Harlow, Sackett and Sarvis

“San Francisco Firehouse Favorites” by Calvello, Harlow, Sackett and Sarvis

Below is the recipe for “Smoke and Fire Black Beans”, courtesy of Steve Feiner, Truck No. 16, San Francisco Fire Department, from “Firehouse Food” by George Dolese and Steve Siegelman. The “smoky” flavour comes from both the ham hocks and the chipotle chile.

1 pound (2.5 cups dried black beans)
8 cups water
1 pound smoked ham hocks
1 medium white onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 canned chipotle chile en adobo
1 to 2 teaspoons salt

Pour the beans onto a rimmed baking sheet and pick through them, discarding any small stones or foreign matter. Rinse them in a colander under cold water and place the beans into a large pot with the water, ham hocks, onion, garlic, bay leaf, oregano and chipotle. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a very low simmer. Partially cover the pot and cook until the beans are tender, about 2 hours.

Remove the ham hocks, and once cool enough to handle, pull the meat away from the bones, discarding bones, skin and fat. Shred the meat and add to the beans. Season to taste with salt and continue to cook for 15 to 30 minutes until the beans are very soft and creamy. Discard the bay leaf and ladle the beans into individual bowls, or serve family style.

The next time you see a fire engine parked at your local grocery store, remember: they’re not shopping for dinner on your dime, or on your time!

Photo Credit: entertainment.desktopnexus.com

Photo Credit: entertainment.desktopnexus.com

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My EatYourBooks cookbook collection

Posted in Cookbooks, Cooking, Eating, Menu Planning, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vintage Cookbooks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Naked Lady with A Snake in the Pants !


Music – “Have a Drink On Me” from Lonnie Donegan Classics by Lonnie Donegan. Released: 2013.

Now that I have your attention

It is hard to imagine a naked lady having a snake in her pants, especially since she would look like Lady Godiva and be unclothed.  However, there is always a “Naked Lady” around somewhere…..

Film poster for “Lady Godiva” (hopefully, she doesn’t have a snake in her pants!) (Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com)




….and possibly, some other poor soul with a “Snake in the Pants“.

Welcome to the wonderful, wacky world of cocktails!

Might this young lady be a victim of “Snake in the Pants”? (Photo Credit: http://www.freddy.com)









Have you ever sipped a “Cobra Venom“?

I’d be wary of a drink called “Cobra Venom”! (Photo Credit: http://www.youtube.com)







Or, perhaps a “Nuclear Slush“?  or a “Toxic Refuse“?

Is this the basis for the cocktail “Nuclear Slush”, or perhaps “Toxic Waste”? (Photo Credit: http://www.123rf.com)







Imagine drinking a “Tidy Bowl” (remember the man in the dinghy being flushed down the toilet in the retro commercials?)

Remember Mr. “Ty.D. Bowl”? There is a cocktail named after him (Tidy Bowl). If you don’t like it, just flush it. (Photo Credit: http://www.lesterandcharlie.com)

How would you know what a  “Green Scorpion” looked like, if you’d already imbibed a “Color Blind“?

This might be a “Color Blind” cocktail…it’s a test! (Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com)









Doesn’t a “Dead Grasshopper” cocktail just whet your whistle?

This is a dead grasshopper. No telling what the cocktail, “Dead Grasshopper” really looks like. (Photo Credit: http://www.dreamstime.com)








Or, perhaps for the really adventurous, how about sampling an “Anus on Fire“,

Wow…hard to explain this photo, but perhaps it was the idea for the “Anus on Fire” cocktail? (Photo Credit: http://www.motherjones.com)







…..or a “Jet Fuel“…just a few of the colourful cocktails, which abound in bar books these days.

“A bar down the street asked us to save the extra for his cocktail menu”. (Photo Credit: http://www.en.wikipedia.org)







Years ago, my Dad had a few “bar” books, among them “A Guide to Pink Elephants“, published in 1952,  which came in its’ own little pink box (I still have it).

“A Guide to Pink Elephants”, published in 1952, which my Dad used for years. (Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com)



The names of the cocktails were pretty tame:  “Florida Punch“, “Bobby Burns Cocktail“, “Frozen Daiquiri” and the like.

Many of the cocktail books from the 1940’s through 1970’s, went the extra mile:  in addition to recipes for imbibing, many had sections on drinking songs such as “Cigarettes and Whiskey“, which is a long way from the old “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall“.

Also common in these cocktail bibles were suggested party games (“Tricks and Funnies“) including drawing with a mirror, the five coin problem, and in one guide “College Humor and Party Games” (charades, eye spy, talkathon) and more.

Cute drinking games… (Photo Credit: http://www.etsy.com)




Many books provided information on how to properly stock your home bar and earlier books usually featured a nice selection of toasts for your event, for example, “To-Morrow Can Wait”…”Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter, Sermons and soda water the day after”.

There is even a toast to lawyers:  “Here is to the lawyer – a learned gentleman, who rescues your estate from your enemies, and keeps it himself“. Those pithy remarks are from the 1904 “Grein and Pahls Drink Mixer’s Manual“, which I also have in my collection (Price:  One Dollar in 1904).

“And now…a toast to lawyers”. (Photo Credit: http://www.thegentlemansjournal.com)







Over the years the names of cocktails have evolved from the very tame “Milk Punch“, to the outlandish “Martian Urine Sample” (ick!)

“What? You want me to pee in a cocktail glass?” (Photo Credit: http://www.all-free-download.com)







Bartending has become an art, with “flair” bartenders juggling a myriad of bottles of alcohol with flourish and pizazz, much to the thrill of their audience.


Alcoholic beverages have been around for a very long time. Early Babylonians and Egyptians were brewing beer, mead and wine for thousands of years (long before prohibition reared its’ ugly head in the USA and was ultimately, a dismal failure – happily!)

“Better drink this fast, before Prohibition becomes law!” (Photo Credit: http://www.ancientpages.com)






So, in the words of an unknown author, but taken from “Grein and Pahls Drink Mixer’s Manual“, edited by Paul E. Lowe,

Drink to-day and drown all sorrow,                                                                                                      You shall perhaps not do’t to-morrow;                                                                                                Best while you have it use your breath,                                                                                                There is no drinking after death



“A Guide to Pink Elephants”  (Richards Rosen Assoc, Inc., New York, 1952)                             “10,000 Drinks”  (Paul Knorr, Sterling Publishing, New York, 2007)                                         “Playboy’s Host & Bar Book”  (Thomas Mario, Playboy Publishing, Chicago, 1971)                 “Bar & Party Guide”  (Sirkay Publishing, Los Angeles, 1972)                                                         “Grien and Pahls Drink Mixer’s Manual”  (Joe Grein & J. Pahls, Inc., Chicago, 1904)



My EatYourBooks cookbook collection

Posted in Collections, Cookbooks, Fermentation, Food Fads, Food Trends, Guinness World Records, New Mexico, Uncategorized, Vintage Cookbooks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

6,648 – It’s a gene! It’s a wedding gown! It’s a ???

Music -“Big Numbers” from I’ve Got Music in Me by Jack Hartmann. Released: 1995


What does the number 6,648 signify?  Well, I really wish 6,648 was the $$$ my insurance company had paid me after a (presumed) drunk driver plowed through my front yard around 9:00 pm, on Tuesday, May 28th, tearing up shrubs and cactus, moving huge landscape rocks, and destroying about 1/3rd of my beautiful pinon tree before coming to a crashing stop….against the side of my 1995 Saturn, which was parked in the driveway, minding its’ own business.

May 28th, 2019

(for more on my beloved Saturn, see my post: The Sad Saga of the Stolen Saturn (aka “The Cookbookmobile”) https://kalesijablog.wordpress.com/2016/08/25/the-sad-saga-of-…e-cookbookmobile/

However, it didn’t happen like that (no surprise there!)  The owner of the vehicle (and presumed driver) fled the carnage and, as is so common here in New Mexico, was uninsured, despite the fact that it is illegal to be without vehicle insurance.  So, what else is new?  New Mexico is an amazing state:  it nearly always places 1st or 2nd  in things that are bad: no insurance, drunk drivers, car thefts, homicides, worst child welfare, etc.

So, then, what does the number “6648” represent here?  According to NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) “6648” is the ID for a gene, which “…is a member of the iron/manganese superoxide dismutase family. It encodes a mitochondrial protein that forms a homotetramer and …”, etc.,etc., etc.

SOD2 superoxide dismutase 2 [ Homo sapiens (human) ] Gene ID: 6648, updated on 26-Jun-2019 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)


H.R. 6648 is also the number of a bill from the United States 115th Congress (2017-2018),”Rewarding American Investments to Support Employees Act of 2018 or the RAISE Act of 2018” (huh?)

H.R. 6648 (Photo Credit: https://www.govtrack.us/ congress/bills/115/hr6648)



6648 is also a design pattern by Stella York, “Simple and Sleek Wedding Gown“…

Gown by Stella York. Photo Credit: https://www.essensedesigns. com/stella-york/            wedding-dresses/6648/











Or, you can purchase a #6648, “Turkey  Breast & Cheese Hoagie Sandwich” from http://www.bakemasters.com,

Item # 6648. Photo Credit: http://www.bakemasters.com




…or you can buy a toy for your kids, Item number 6648, “Orangutan Family”, from http://www.playmobil.us.

Item # 6648, “Orangutan Family” (Photo Credit: http://www.playmobil.us)







You could also take a cruise on the “Allure of the Seas”, and book Cabin # 6648, a “Junior Balcony Suite” (nice!)

Cabin #6648 on “Allure of the Seas”. (Photo Credit: http://www.icruise.com)







…or if you don’t like cruising, how about taking MNE Train #6648 to New York Penn Station?

6648” is also a flight with Virgin Australia.  Lastly, if someone came up to you and asked you to divide 46,539 by 7, your answer would be “6648” (people often stop me on the street and ask me this question)

However, none of these “6648“s are the ones I’m referring to in this post.  As many of you will have already surmised, “6,648” is the current number of cookbooks in my collection.  You just had to know that was coming, right?

My EatYourBooks cookbook collection

Posted in Collections, Cookbooks, Cooking, Cooking and Social History, Guinness World Records, New Mexico, Uncategorized, Vintage Cookbooks | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What’s Cooking in Kodiak? Avocado Pineapple Mold Salad!


Music – “Recipe Hoe Down” from Big Bad Bantam Rooster by Tasha Platt. Released: 2009.

I have often found it amusing to pull some of the “community” and “regional” cookbooks from my collection to find common themes in terms of recipes, and there are many.

A “community” cookbook is a collection of recipes submitted by members of a particular local group, usually intended to be sold as a fund-raiser or as memorabilia, for example, a PTA, church, sports organization, etc.  So, then, what is a “regional” cookbook?  “Regional” describes things, which relate to a particular area of a country (bigger than local but smaller than national).  A few samples from my collection include:  “What’s Cooking in Kodiak“, “Utah Dining Car Cookbook“, “San Antonio Sizzles“, “The Great Minnesota Hot Dish“, “River Road Recipes“, and “Best of the Best from the Great Plains“.

However, does “Avocado Pineapple Mold” really reflect the regional cuisine of Kodiak, Alaska?

Hard to imagine a popular regional recipe in Kodiak, Alaska is “Avocado Pineapple Mold Salad” (Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com)






Can “Seafood Supreme”  be all that common in landlocked Utah?

Is this Utah…..landlocked state with “Seafood Supreme” in some cookbooks? (Photo Credit: http://www.bigstockphoto.com)



Landlocked Utah (the land of “Seafood Supreme”) (Photo Credit: http://www.wikivoyage.org)







I didn’t expect to find recipes for “Breakfast Burritos” or “Chilaquile Hot Dish” in a regional cookbook from Minnesota,

Burritos from Minnesota? (Photo Credit: http://www.delish.com)








…or “Louisiana Gumbo” in “San Antonio Sizzles“.  Conversely, in “River Road Recipes“, published by the Junior League of Baton Rouge, LA,  I came across a recipe for the traditional British “Toad in the Hole” and one for “Chow Mein” (always a Southern staple!)

“Toad in the Hole”, the popular British dish. Also popular in Baton Rouge? (Photo Credit: http://www.ocado.com)





Another southern staple, if community cookbooks are correct: chow mein.






You might expect this to be in a recipe from a Baton Rouge cookbook, but “Toad in the Hole”? (Photo Credit: http://www.allposters.com)





Spaghetti Pizza“, “Taco Pizza” and “Seafood Salad in Mini Cream Puffs“, were hiding inside “Best of the Best from the Great Plains Cookbook“, which features recipes from North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.

The ever popular (?!) “Spaghetti Pizza” (Photo Credit: http://www.foodbeast.com)




“Taco Pizza” is featured in a cookbook from the Great Plains. Who would have thought? (Photo Credit: http://www.avericooks.com)





Both my own father and my husband’s father were born in Nebraska, but neither ever mentioned scarfing down a Taco Pizza.





But, no matter what “community” cookbook or “regional” cookbook you might come across, one thing is certain:  they will almost always have a recipe for “Cheese Ball” and “Frozen Congealed Salad“!

The everlasting and ever-present “Cheese Ball”, sure to be found in any community or regional cookbook. (Photo Credit: http://www.the kitchn.com)


The delightful “Frozen Congealed Salad”, found in many cookbooks. (Photo Credit: http://www.thespruceeats.com)







And, if you ever make it to Kodiak, Alaska,  be on the lookout for those locally raised bananas to make “Banana Cream Pie“.

Locally grown bananas in Kodiak, Alaska (not!) (Photo Credit: http://www.natureandgarden.com)

Banana Cream Pie, a recipe featured in “What’s Cooking in Kodiak”. (Photo Credit: http://www.foodandwine.com)









On the other hand, “regional” also reflects not only the available resources for human consumption, but the people, who live in that area.  If you look at “regional” cookbooks in that light, every region is packed with a diverse population representing numerous cultures and the recipes they bring are reflected in these cookbooks.  Not so strange after all!

Diversity in food is reflected in many community and regional cookbooks, thanks to a cornucopia of food traditions from many countries. (Photo Credit: http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com)

My EatYourBooks cookbook collection

Posted in Collecting, Collections, Comfort Food, Cookbooks, Cooking, Cooking and Social History, Eating, Food Trends, Guinness World Records, New Mexico, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vintage Cookbooks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Tell the Family You Dropped Dinner on the Floor!


Music – “Don’t Eat Food That Has Fallen on the Floor” from Hey Kids, It’s Birthday Party Time! by The Family Party Song Singers. Released: 2010

Most of us, who have ever hung out in the kitchen for any length of time, or who have read cookbooks, knows how critical sanitation is in food preparation.  I looked through some of the cookbooks in my collection, to see how this issue has been addressed over the years.

Why can’t a slice of bread ever land on the floor clean side down? (Photo Credit: http://www.123rf.com)



In “Principles of Food Preparation” by Freeland-Graves, published in 1979 and written for culinary professionals, the author indicates that one should not put wet items such as peelings, leftovers or scrapings in the wastepaper basket.  It not only encourages rodent infestation, but also “irritable janitors“.


H.L. Nichols, Jr., in “Cooking with Understanding” (1971), after discussing the issues of food, which has been dropped on the floor, he suggests that if the floor was freshly washed and “spotlessly clean”, you can salvage the food for serving.  However, he also notes that “It is not necessary to tell your family that part of their dinner was processed on the floor.  If  you feel like chatting about it, it is tactful to wait until after eating”.  Nice touch.

“Just scrape it off the floor and serve it to Table Four. They’ll never know” (Photo Credit: http://www.usatoday.com)





Then, there’s the infamous “five-second rule“, which suggests that if food dropped on the ground has been there five seconds or less, the food is still safe from nasty germs and other assorted disgusting things.  I wonder if the germs know they have to wait five seconds before launching an all-out attack?

“I’ve only got 5 seconds to pick up this food….which do I want the most?” (Photo Credit: http://www.time.com)


“Fido ate the stuff after five seconds. Why shouldn’t I?” (Photo Credit: http://www.hindustantimes.com)

There are a lot of ideas about food safety, some right, some wrong and some ridiculous.  Some folks seem to think leftovers are safe to eat until they smell bad, according to http://www.foodsafety.org.  How offensive does the odor have to be before one might eschew the food?  I never throw good food away that can be re-purposed into another meal.  Take it from me:  the freezer is your friend.  Germ infested food is not.  Now, go out there and mop your floor!

I think this plate of spaghetti makes the five-second rule out of the question. (Photo Credit: http://www.masterfile.com)


The cookies are probably safe within the five-second rule. It’s the glass shards you have to worry about! (Photo Credit: http://www.istockphoto.com)

Is she really going to scrape up all of this and serve it to her family? (Photo Credit: http://www.shutterstock.com)







My EatYourBooks cookbook collection

Posted in Collections, Cookbooks, Cooking, Cooking and Social History, Eating, Food Trends, Guinness World Records, New Mexico, Uncategorized, Vintage Cookbooks | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Are Cookbooks Sexist?


“Stereotypes” from Hyrrs – Festive Hymns Made Feminist by Goldstein. Released: 2017

Sexism is generally described as “prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex“.  Synonyms include chauvinism and bias.  So, of all the venues to find incidences of sexism, cookbooks would not generally come to mind for most people. However, in my cookbook collection I have several cookbooks, which I would deem “sexist” in one fashion or another.  The earliest one dates to 1925 and features some interesting observations about the male sex!

“Feed the Brute!” by Marjorie Swift, 1925

In previous posts, I have often referred to my favourite cookbook in my collection:  “Feed the Brute!“, written by Marjorie Swift in 1925 and published in London.  In her introduction, the author acknowledges that”the brute” works very hard to support his family, and “…in connection with culinary affairs at least, the most important member of the household“.


Concerning the poor housewife, who slaves over a meal to serve “the brute”, Swift comments on the notion of appreciation.  According to her, the “average” man “…disapproves and leaves one in no doubt as to the depth of his disapproval, he appreciates – and says nothing“. Ain’t it the truth.  (Is that a sexist comment?)

“I’m not cooking….I’m managing you!” (Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com)

One of her most eloquent comments once again concerns the male sex.  She notes that “The well-fed man is a happy man – and a very easily “managed” one too.  And since we women know that to maintain harmony every man however clever, however efficient, however charming, must be “managed,” let us feed him well first and manage him afterwards.”

Does this typify the”brute” that Marjorie Swift writes about? (Photo Credit: http://www.bigstockphoto.com)








Concluding her introduction to the book, Swift tells women to “Feed the Brute!” in order to create and maintain happiness of home…” Geez.  What a woman has to do to pacify the brute.

In the book, “Pre-Hispanic Cooking” (Cocina Prehispanica), by Ana M. de Benitez, first published in 1974 and translated into English by Mary Williams de Varela, there is a brief paragraph in the introduction, titled “Cooks” (Guisanderas).  At the end of the paragraph is a quote:

A woman who is not good at her duties is tiresome and annoying for she cooks badly, is dirty and swinish, greedy and sweet-toothed and cooks tortillas badly, and her dishes are burnt or salty or sour, and she is completely vulgar and coarse”(Tlaloc (Cod. Vaticano, A)


This burned tortilla was likely the work of a dirty, swinish, greedy and sweet-toothed woman. (Photo Credit: http://www.nivens.me.com)

“Pre-Hispanic Cooking”, by Ana M. De Benitez, 1974




Is this an example of being “sweet-toothed”? (Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com) (edited by the author)

“….dirty and swinish…” (Photo Credit: http://www.american minipig association.com)









Fast forward to the 60’s and the 70’s.  Jinx Kragen and Judy Perry penned “The How to Keep Him (After You’ve Caught Him) Cookbook“, noted as “An irreverent and affectionate guide to the well-stuffed spouse”.  In their introduction, the authors note that “It’s true that men are much maligned, and at times rightfully so, as thoughtless, feckless creatures“.

“You’re nothing but a feckless creature” (Photo Credit: http://www.timescolonist.com)

“The How To Keep Him (After You’ve Caught Him) Cookbook, by Jinx Kragen and Judy Perry, 1968











Further, they comment that “Honestly.  What he does care about is what goes into his stomach, that you still look like the girl for whom he gave up his precious bachelor days and that you don’t greet him at the gate with an inventory of domestic difficulties”  No sexism here.  Just truth, right?

In 1974, Cory Kilvert wrote “The Male Chauvinist’s Cookbook” and gets right at it in his introduction.  “When you step into the kitchen to compliment the chef, whom do you find yourself addressing?  A woman?  Certainly not.  You find a man, a chef.  These two words are synonymous.  Cooks, on the other hand, are women, and this title never had – nor will ever have – the prestige or “panache” as chef“.  Tell that to Cat Cora or Alex Guarnaschelli!  Chapters include “Appetizers Guaranteed to Appetize Her“, “A Loaf of Bread, a Jug of Wine, and Pow!”and “The Morning After“.

“The Male Chauvinist’s Cookbook”, by Cory Kilvert, 1974






Check out the cover of vintage 1972 “How to Boil Water”, by Betty Jane Donahoe.  Note the position of the woman’s left pinky stuck in the gentleman’s ear.  Ick.

“Well, dear.  You did it.  You learned how to boil water!” (Photo Credit: http://www.lib.msu.edu)



More recently, there has been a lot of flack on the internet for cover photos on some of the “Instant Pot” series of cookbooks.  Judge for yourself.

“Look, dear…here is how to slice a pepper!”








Geez. This poor, wimpy, weak female can’t even open a bottle of ketchup? (Photo Credit: http://www.businessinsider.com)

“I’ll do this myself.  Women shouldn’t handle knives”








And, finally, two pithy quotes:

The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” (Pat Robertson)

If a man is talking in the forest, and there is no woman there to hear him, is he still wrong?” ( Jenny Weber)

No comment (Photo Credit: http://www.amazon.com)

My EatYourBooks cookbook collection


Posted in Collections, Cookbooks, Cooking, Cooking and Social History, Food Trends, Guinness World Records, New Mexico, Uncategorized, Vintage Cookbooks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tantalizing Tomato Taste? NOT!


Music – “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”. Released: 2009.

Green tomatoes before and after being sent to the gas chamber! (Photo Credit: http://www.newserv.com)

Once upon a time, tomatoes tasted good…..really good.  Now, unless you lovingly plant them in your backyard yourself and nurture them to fruition with care, the tomatoes you purchase in your local supermarket will have about as much taste and texture as a wad of cotton balls in your mouth.  You know…what you taste and choke on, when you’re sitting, helpless in the dentist’s chair.  Yecch!



One of my recent acquisitions was “The Good Cook’s Book of Tomatoes“, by Michele Anna Jordan, published in 1995, but updated in 2015.

“The Good Cook’s Book of Tomatoes” by Michele Anna Jordan.

Talking about tomatoes, the author notes that “Nearly every supermarket in the country features mounds of these pale, mushy tomatoes whose taste bears not even a shadowy resemblance to what we seek”.  She goes on to ask, “How did this happen?”


This is typical of the “supermarket” tomato. A bare touch of red color, pasty in texture and with virtually no taste. (Photo Credit: http://www.sciencemag.org)








More tasteless tomatoes wrapped in plastic (Photo Credit: http://www.veggies-only.blogspot.com)

Barry Estabrook, in his book, “Tomatoland“, talks about the commercial production of “supermarket” tomatoes.  As most of us already know, ethylene gas is sprayed on unripe green tomatoes, which causes them to turn red.

As the author notes:  “Ethylene is a gaseous plant hormone that regulates plant growth. When applied to fruits, it initiates the ripening process and causes the fruit to turn red. The chemical also affects the flavor by increasing sugar compounds and decreasing acidity within the fruit. This chemical is emitted naturally by plants in fields, but only when the plants naturally want to ripen”  The key here is “…only when the plants naturally want to ripen”.

More “supermarket” tomatoes. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Global Warming Images/REX/Shutterstock (2005361a)(www.thedailymash.co.uk)

Green, unripe tomatoes awaiting their turn in the gas chamber. (Photo Credit: http://www.frontlineservices.com.au)


The problem is that although the tomatoes turn a pleasant red color (sometimes), after being sprayed with ethylene, the fruit does not actually ripen.  Estabrook also points out that exposing immature fruit to the ethylene results in fruit with “poor eating quality“. No kidding!


Some of my regular readers might remember my post, “The Terrible Tale of the Tomato Tragedy” (May 6, 2016) in which I recanted the horror of losing almost all of my carefully planted tomato seeds in a portable greenhouse, indoors.  For weeks, watering, fertilizing, thinning, moving them for optimum sun, etc. until the fateful day came to put them outside to begin “hardening off”.

Alas, in the wee hours of the morning, without any warning, the formidable, but unpredictable canyon winds came roaring through our property, relentless and endless.  The sound of the crash of the toppled greenhouse outside my bedroom window at 3:00 am was my first clue that my precious seedlings were in trouble.  Of more than a hundred seedlings, I managed to save about 20.  Heartbreaking.

This year, I have ordered transplants for my garden.  The variety of tomatoes available is astounding!  Much research has been conducted over the years to not only bring back that luscious tomato flavor we all crave, but also to breed them to be disease and pest resistant.  A tough call, but great strides have been made.

From  Territorial Seed Company out of Cottage Grove, Oregon, I ordered 4 transplants, primarily for containers, which I have in my courtyard.  I have ordered from them previously, with good results.  In a few months I’ll be receiving the likes of “Lizzano Transplant Tomato“, “Ruby Crush Transplant Tomato“, “Red Racer Transplant Tomato“, and “Artemis Transplant Tomato“.

Lizzano Transplant Tomato (Photo Credit: http://www.territorialseed.com)

Ruby Crush Transplant Tomato (Photo Credit: http://www.terrritorialseed.com)





Red Racer Transplant Tomato (Photo Credit: http://www.territorialseed.com)

Artemis Transplant Tomato (Photo Credit: http://www.territorialseed.com)


I can hardly wait!  You can order directly from them online for immediate and delayed (according to your climate zone) purchases:  http://www.territorialseed.com.




Also this year, I ordered some additional transplants from a company I was unfamiliar with until I received their catalogue:  Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Company, located in Greendale, Indiana.  From their collection I will be receiving “Early Girl Tomato“, “Iron Lady Tomato” (I wonder if this is named after Margaret Thatcher?!), “Celebration Tomato“, “Gurney’s Ruby Monster Tomato” (I just love it when the word “monster” is used to describe vegetables!) and “Sweet Million Hybrid Tomato“.

Early Girl Tomato (Photo Credit: http://www.gurneys.com)

Iron Lady Tomato (Photo Credit: http://www.gurneys.com)

Celebration Tomato (Photo Credit: http://www.gurneys.com)













Gurney’s Ruby Monster Tomato (Photo Credit: http://www.gurneys.com)



They also have online purchasing for all of their products, including seeds, transplants and much more:  http://www.gurneys.com.

Sweet Million Hybrid Tomato (Photo Credit: http://www.gurneys.com)



So, here’s to the re-birth of the good ol’ tomato of our bygone childhoods.  Long live tomatoes with flavor!

My EatYourBooks cookbook collection

Posted in Collections, Comfort Food, Cookbooks, Cooking, Eating, Food Trends, Guinness World Records, New Mexico, Uncategorized, Vintage Cookbooks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pop and Puff: Tomorrow is National Popcorn Day!


Music – “The Popcorn Song” from Fun Songs for Happy Kids – Favorite Lullabies, Rhymes, Stories & More by The Fontane Sisters & Howdy Doody. Released: 2012.

Well,  here we are.  Saturday, January 19th, 2019 is NATIONAL POPCORN DAY!  What are YOU doing to celebrate this annual event?  It comes but once a year, so be prepared.

W.C. Fields once said, “The laziest man I ever met put popcorn in his pancakes so they would turn over by themselves“.  Now, that’s lazy!  There is an unproven theory that an Indian named Quadequina brought a deerskin bag of popped corn for the first Thanksgiving feast on October 15, 1621. In 1948 and 1950, anthropologist Herbert Dick and botanist Earle Smith discovered ears of popcorn in the Bat Cave of west-central New Mexico.  So the story goes.

Bat Cave, located in west-central New Mexico (Photo Credit: National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers)

Americans eat a lot of popcorn per year and there are hundreds of flavours out there.  I remember going to the movies as a kid and getting a small cardboard container with some slippery yellow fluid drizzled over the popcorn.  I’m not certain what it was, but it was probably not butter!  So, tomorrow, get out your popcorn poppers or Jiffy Pop bags (do they still make those?) and pop away!

Harry Kalenberg creates his own version of “pop” art, using magic markers! (Photo Credit: starlocalmedia.com)

Great idea! (Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com)

Art is in the eye of the beholder (Sculpture by Aden Hynes) (Photo Credit: http://www.sculpturestudios.co.uk)

I would discourage anyone from eating this kind of popcorn (and the Tide pods!) (Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com)

(Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com)

So, what faces do you see in YOUR popcorn? (Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com)

Clearly, I am NOT doing my part in popcorn consumption! (Photo Credit: http://www.popcorn.org)

“It’s a tad dry. Can I have some soda to wash it down?” (Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com)

This fellow takes his popcorn eating seriously! (Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.co.uk)

Largest popcorn ball (Indiana State Fair) (Photo Credit: http://www.empirepopcorn.co.uk)

Photo of one of the stores of “Popcorn World” (Photo Credit: http://www.yelp.com)

According to their website, “Popcorn World” carries a HUGE variety of popcorn flavours:  Caramel Almond, Caramel Cashew, Caramel Extra Butter, Caramel Peanut, Caramel Pecan, Caramel Sea-Salt, Cheese & Caramel Mix, Cheese Coated Caramel, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Kettle Corn, Movie Theater Butter, Bacon & Cheddar, BBQ, BBQ Bacon, BBQ Pizza, Bold Chipotle, Cheese, Cheese & Caramel Mix, Cheese Coated Caramel, Crab Legs,Dill Pickle, Dirty Dill Pickle, Gumbo, Hawaiian Pizza, Hot Cheddar, Hot White Cheddar, Hot Wings, Hot Wings W/ Blue Cheese, Hot Wings W/ Ranch, Jalapeno Spinach, Loaded Baked Potato, Mesquite BBQ, Parmesan & Garlic, Pizza, Roasted Garlic & Herb, Salt & Vinegar, Sea-Salt & Cracked Pepper, Southwest Jalapeno, Spicy Dill, Sriracha & Garlic, White Cheddar, Banana Nut Bread, Banana Pudding, Birthday Cake, Blackberry Cream Cheese Cobbler, Blueberry Cheesecake, Blueberry Muffin, Butterfinger, CAP’N Crunch,Cherry Cheesecake, Coconut Cream Pie, Cookies & Cream, Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Coconut Almond, Dark Chocolate Peppermint, Dark Chocolate Pomegranate, Dark Chocolate Pretzel, Egg Nog Spiked, Ginger Bread, Key-Lime Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, M&M’s Peanut, M&M’s Plain, Milk Chocolate Bavarian Cream, Milk Chocolate Coconut Almond, Mint Chocolate Chip, Mint Chocolate Oreo, Orange Dreamsicle, Oreo Cheesecake, Oreo Cherry Cheesecake, Oreo Strawberry Cheesecake, PB&J Grape, PB&J Strawberry, Peanut Butter Banana, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake, Rice Krispies Treats, Root Beer Float, Snickers, Strawberry Cheesecake, Twix, Wedding Cake, White Chocolate, White Chocolate Bavarian Cream, White Chocolate Drizzle, White Chocolate Peppermint, White Chocolate Pretzel, Blue Raspberry, Bubble Gum, Cotton Candy, Pineapple, Rainbow Mix, Strawberry Lemonade, Watermelon, and that’s not the entire list!

These are the states producing the majority of popcorn (Photo Credit: http://www.popcorn.org)

Here’s one way to enjoy popcorn! (Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com)

So, tomorrow, get up and get popping!

My EatYourBooks cookbook collection


Posted in Collections, Comfort Food, Cookbooks, Cooking and Social History, Eating, Food Trends, Guinness World Records, New Mexico, Uncategorized, Vintage Cookbooks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment