Gift Guide, Day 3


They open a window into long-gone worlds, offering an unselfconscious portrait of another time. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than spend a long morning browsing through a great old bookshop. And if there’s a better way to honor friendship than by offering a specially chosen old cookbook, I’ve never found it.

My most recent find was a seed catalog from World War II, filled with great drawings of long-gone vegetables (and including an exhortation to grow the magic vegetable, kudzu). The seed company has the same name as one of my closest friends, and it will make a fine Christmas treat.

You never know what you will find, but there is always something for everyone. In the past I’ve found first editions of MFK Fisher books, a whole trove of volumes from Alan Davidson’s library, a book written in the fifties for supermarket executives on the future of the grocery store – even copies of my own first cookbook, MMMMM: A Feastiary – which I ran out of years ago.

My favorite old cookbook stores? Bonnie Slotnick in New York, and Omnivore Books in San Francisco.

Happy browsing!

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Hi- Rabelais Books in Portland, ME also has a nice collection. They're here

Regine: I wish I could tell you, but they're very scarce. (The book was published in 1972.) Oddly, someone wrote last week, asking me to sign one he had found at an antiquarian bookstore. It was already signed - in 1972 - to my mother's best friend, who passed away a few years ago. It gave me chills to think about the book finding its way back to me.

Where oh where could I find a copy of mmmmm: a feastiary? I have made most of the recipes from the book listed on this blog but crave more.

Yes for old cookbooks as gifts! Several people on my list are getting oldies but goodies. They are lovely, special, and still useful.

About this journal
Where am I eating? What's for dinner tonight? And what books have I been reading? For a look at what's going on in my life lately, take a look at this journal, which I try to update on a regular basis.