Sunday, February 3, 2013

Stinky Cookbook

I am one of those people, and I actually may be the only one, who doesn't mind musty smelling old stuff. It reminds me of my grandmother's house and that's a good childhood association. It's like when I eat raspberries and the taste immediately transports me back to when we used to go to a lake cabin in northern Wisconsin and pick and eat wild raspberries. We (alright, me) would inevitably eat too much and then spend a vacation day in bed with a nasty stomach ache. However, my food association with raspberries is still pleasant, as long-ago memories tend to be.

Anyway, I spied a big book at the flea market yesterday and when I saw it was a Life (as in Life magazine) Picture Cookbook from 1958 of course I had to have it. For 5 bucks! And it smelled musty, or as the vendor said, "Oh, but its so stinky! You need to mist it with Febreeze for a few days." Ha ha, but no.

It is just full of great photos of food and instructions on how to stock a $25 wine cellar (at an average of $2 a bottle!) and there's even a section on famous fancy restaurants like the Tour d'Argent in Paris where in 1958 the book grandly pronounced that "Tour d'Argent is as expensive as any restaurant in Europe. A meal with duck specialty and wines costs about $16." I can only imagine what that same meal would set you back today!

By the way, although my dear Dad grilled many a steak and many an extremely well-done (ok, charred) burger for me, I do not remember him doing so dressed in a suit and tie. Perhaps that only occurred in homes with gravel lawns and gas firepits, though.


  1. Hi Christine! Good to see you! I can the attraction for that cook much history. LOVE the photo above....I see the ladies get the night off! Check out how perfect everything looks! Was it really that way in '58? lol I would have been 10.
    Have a great Sunday!

  2. Oh how much fun to look at this book! NO my Dad never grilled in slacks and a tie either!


  3. That book looks amazing! "I like the smell of old books too"
    I find it odd that alot of old books have the same smell.... even though they came from completely different places. =D