Sorry to have been so tardy with my next post. I’ve been taking a few days off to work around the house. Like I said before, sometimes life intervenes. This isn’t even the post I had planned on doing next, but Facebook reminded me today of an anniversary of sorts. Two years ago yesterday, I found today’s cookbook and I posted it on FB two years ago today. I find myself simply compelled to honor the anniversary.
At first glance, Cooking Around The World – And At Home, seems fairly ho-hum. It does have a rather drab and uninteresting cover and the cover has only one redeeming feature: “$1.00” … cheap. Of course I got it for a quarter, but in context, a buck for a cookbook immediately tells me it is OLD. I knew it was going in the basket. There was no way I was leaving it. As I recall I had some pretty stiff competition that day. As you can imagine, I am not the only collector who haunts these quarter sales. There was one woman nearby who had muscled past me and was grabbing a lot of precious goodies.
Still, I couldn’t help but glance inside before I totally claimed my find. There it was, the magic word “Roswell” then I saw the dates … “1947-1948” … and well, for one thing, a 1940’s community fundraiser is a must-buy. But as the date sank in, I returned to the “Roswell” bit and immediately everything clicked into place.
I have to tell you, I giggled like a little girl. I knew this was an unusually rare find that had historical interest.
Obviously, this Junior Women’s Club had a lot of members who had some worldly associations — back then the Air Force base at Roswell was basically the home to the US nuclear strike force. It was an important base so they must have had people from all over. Why else would a tiny place like Roswell even try to publish a cookbook with culturally diverse recipes? There is another irony at work here. When they put this together, they had no idea of the unlikely fame fate would foist upon their desert community. They strove, as a gimmick, to add some depth of purpose in their attempt to raise money for the Roswell community.
And they do, even if they sort of miss the mark on some of the spelling.
“Jambalayah” is a case in point. Yet it seems a passable attempt and given that it was 1947, I give them a B+ for effort.
I’d make this. It looks good! Perhaps not 100% authentic but, well, it was post-war and I assume adjustments had to be made, especially in tiny Roswell.
The same can be said for “Raviola.”
It’s a solid recipe, perhaps from a war bride straight from Italy. That is hard to tell, but with the stature of the air base and the fact that the war had only been over less that two years, I’d say it is a good bet.
This one looks pretty authentic to me.
Now, given the proximity to Mexico and the close Hispanic cultural ties that have long existed in New Mexico, we can’t be surprised to see a good Mexican food section, can we?
Fresh Masa Dough, from scratch?
I repeat: from scratch? I’d have bought the book just for that. Seriously.
These look good as well … and authentic.
We also have lots of ads … what is a good community cookbook without links to the community? I miss this in most recent fundraisers. Involve your community, folks! I always enjoy looking at the ads. I saw a number of auto dealerships … two on this page alone. Who knew?
This is a tiny cookbook, but it packs quite a punch. Just the date alone made it a must-buy for me. The Masa recipe? Must-buy. The ads? Always welcome. The quaint phonetic spelling of some cultural favorites? Great stuff.
Any of those items would give this unassuming little book a place of honor on my shelf.
But … IT’S FROM FREAKING 1947 ROSWELL!!!!! I mean OMG, OMG, OMG!!!!
I still can’t believe that snooty, grabby woman missed it. And she DID miss it.
I could see the look on her face when I showed it to her. She knew what it was. I still imagine she’s creeping like Gollum out in the bushes, conspiring ways to reclaim her precious.