Breakfast Tacos?

cover-lg2aThat’s right.  Breakfast tacos.  Also Huevos Rancheros Especial, enchiladas, Banana Dream Cake, and the Best Danged Buttermilk Pie you’ve ever tasted.  Also Chorizo, “THAT” BLT (sort of a BLT on steroids), and the mythical Double Trouble Dog, so dangerous it’s shortened to DTD.

What does this have to do with cookbooks?  These are just a few of the recipes in The Mossback Cafe Cookbook, a companion book to my Traces of Treasure novel series.

I first wrote about “The Mossback Cafe” in my novel, The Fever.  It’s a small cafe in the crossroads ranching town of Van Horn TX.  Van Horn is real.  The Mossback is not.

“Mossback” has a lot of meanings, including an old Elk or Moose, or an old “lunker” fish, or an ancient tortoise or turtle.  But there’s another “old-west” meaning … an old wild (and wily) Texas longhorn.  Hence the longhorn on the cover.  In the novel, owner Smidgeon Toll serves up good food with friendly banter.  It keeps her place popular with both locals and people passing through.  Although it was an invention, I fell in love with the place I created and based most of the sequel, A Curse That Bites Deep, in and around The Mossback.  The third book in the series will be based there too.

The cookbook is crafted to read as though owner Smidgeon Toll has put it together as a promotional piece for the cafe, and I’ve added a little more biographical info on her and her family and the restaurant.  Her homespun humor is a lot of fun and she gives insight into some of the workings of the cafe with the sections divided into practical restaurant divisions.  “Basics” starts off with items such as biscuits and chili and a few other things that are used as components in other recipes.  There are popular and unique “On The Side” dishes, recipes for dishes served up as specials are in “Y’all Wanted Something Special?”, a few of the standards are in “Standard Bearers”, a small helping of wonderful desserts are in “Just Desserts”, and it ends up with a couple of recipes for items she calls “Weekenders.”  Not to be outdone, be sure to read the afterword … there are a couple of more surprises there.

A lot of the recipes serve double duty (some even more) and she even gives some insight into innovations they use.  For instance, she mentions that the sauce for their version of Arroz con Pollo (a Mexican chicken and rice) can, with a few minor alterations, also serve as a base for Chicken Cacciatore.

In short, if The Mossback Cafe actually existed, these are a few of the offerings that might have made it famous. In reality, they are some of my favorite recipes.  So, here you go, your Crazy Cookbook Guy created his own cookbook.  How about that.

What I was going for was the “look” of a small self-produced cookbook of a type that a small-town cafe might make for themselves in the mid-1980s.  I think I hit the nail on the head.  Even better:  IT’S FREE.  Well, it’s a free ebook anyway.  It’s also a lot of fun.

The ebook is available in formats compatible with Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iPad and most other e-readers. There is also a PDF version, in case you just want to browse it at work. I won’t tell.
The link below will take you to Smashwords, the world’s largest distributor of ebooks.  They have help files if you need a hand, but generally, if you can browse there in your reader you should be able to download the ebook right into your reader or tablet.
In short, epub works with Nook-iBooks-Kobo, and mobi works with Kindle.

For your free download >>> — >> click here

I am hoping this little cookbook will get hungry readers interested in the books that inspired it.  So feel free to browse for my books too… they’re on Smashwords as well as on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks.  No paperback of the cookbook yet, but there are paperbacks of the novel.  There are links for everything are on my website, click my name below. Enjoy!

Thomas Fenske, writer and cookbook collector currently lives in central North Carolina.

Coming Soon!

It’s slowly coming together.

What?

mossbackcove

Why, THE MOSSBACK INN COOKBOOK!  

What is it?

Well, what I’ve tried to do is create a 1980s look in a cookbook, based on a fictional eatery that figures largely in my Traces of Treasure novel series.  Hey, I collect cookbooks I know what it’s supposed to look like.
The Mossback Inn is a recurrent setting in both books, a local sort of greasy spoon, a throwback to the fifties and sixties, trying to hang on in the eighties.  The owner, Smidgeon Toll, is a feisty businesswoman, a romantic foil to the hero of the books but she, in fact, carries a good bit of that load herself in the second book of the series.

It’s not going to be huge, but it will look like the type of cookbook a place like I’ve created in the book might publish privately, just as a sort of tourist keepsake.
Except — for now — it will only be an ebook and a pdf one at that.

Sure, the place is fictional, and the characters are fictional, but the recipes you’ll find inside are real.  The setting is in the southwest, so the focus is on recipes one would find in the southwest.  All are good, and some are surprising.  Best of all, this will be a freebie.

Here’s a preview from my web site.  While you’re there click on the “subscribe” tab and subscribe to my maiing list.  Subscribers will get first notice when it is ready.
Don’t worry, I think I’ve sent ONE mailing in the last several months, so I won’t be slamming your inbox.  But the next mailing will be about the book release.  Trust me, you don’t want to miss this.

http://thefensk.com/cook.html

You might also want to click around and see what the books are about.  You’ll be glad you did and I’ll be happy if you buy them.

Sad to Report …

I’ve talked a lot about my favorite used book store and their fabulous twenty-five cent sales one weekend a month. We just went to this month’s sale this past weekend only to find out that, sadly, the twenty-five cent sale is no more.  ☹️

The price on sale weekends is now THIRTY-FIVE cents.  Oh, well. I’ll just have to somehow accept the change. 

In other news. 

Merry Christmas to you and yours. I hope you get some nice cookbooks this year! 

That Crazy CookBook Guy also lurks as author Thomas Fenske.  To find out what he is up to:  http://thefensk.com

Chance Encounters

A while back, I was wandering through a gourmet food store in Chapel Hill, NC.  My lovely bride and I were on a quest for candy … and Southern Season has an awesome candy department.  We had decided to spend a small fortune on candy for a “candy bar” at our daughter’s upcoming wedding.  Ah, that’s a different story.  On our way to the candy, we passed by a book signing table.  Let me rephrase … a COOKBOOK signing table.

Now from past posts, we all know your Crazy Cookbook Guy can’t resist a signed book … no matter who signed it or when.  On the used cookbook circuit that could be anybody at any time, usually a nobody from years ago.  I am not a big fan of “celebrity” cookbooks but thumb through them looking for signed copies.

img_7223That “I am not a fan” thing might change.  This signing table was populated by an engaging young woman named Fanny Slater.  The cookbook?  ORANGE, LAVENDER & FIGS.  A couple of years ago, Fanny was the winner of Rachel Ray’s Great American Cookbook Competition.

Book signings can be a lonely thing.  Well, I was there close to the end, but she and her dad were just sitting there looking bored when the half-blind Crazy Cookbook Guy walked up.  We had quite an enjoyable conversation, me hawking my book and her hawking her book.  I guess she won.  I think she was teaching a cooking class just after that. 

Fanny is quite the entrepreneur, catering, book signings, cooking shows, appearances, cooking classes … just reading the schedule on her website tired me out.

The cookbook is very dynamic, full of personal stories and interesting recipes.  I know I usually copy recipes into my reviews but given the cookbook’s status (i.e. currently published … we all know I usually pull recipes from vintage cookbooks) I’ll do nothing more than mention a few that caught my eye.  The personal stories are what drew me in.  I love a cookbook with personal stories.

The recipes are modern but she has a unique take on modernizing  old favorites.  For instance, Spicy Pulled Chicken And Roasted Garlic Soup is a take-off on a classic tortilla soup.  And there are a few eye-catching newbies, like what she calls FAN Sauce.  I guess “FAN” refers to her … I couldn’t quite figure it out but I won’t be surprised to see FAN SAUCE on the shelf one of these days.   I don’t care, it looks delicious.   I can’t wait to try it.

Her Herby Buttermilk Dill Dressing is a healthier reboot of a ranch dressing.  That’s another one I’m going to have to try.  Her Creamy Pulled Chicken Salad and Bacon Wraps is another one … well, I could go on and on.  If I lived next door to her I know I’d weigh 1000 pounds!

img_7224I bought this cookbook several months ago, but I had a problem with cataracts at the time … I kept putting off reading the cookbook simply because I couldn’t read.  For a collector of vintage cookbooks, buying a new one is always an interesting opportunity.  Okay, she was funny and cute and we talked about a lot more than just cooking … like book marketing.  All authors struggle with that.  And it was an opportunity to get a really nice cookbook signed … to ME!  That is actually a unique addition to my collection.  Looks good, right?

Now it is even more special  … Fanny has just announced a new endeavor.  Food Network TV Star.  In January she’ll be part of a new show … The Kitchen Sink!  And to think, I met her when she was just … well, she’s been on TV a lot already, guest shots on Rachel Ray and other shows and she has her own segments on local TV in Wilmington NC … so in my book,  she’s already a star.  More info on Fanny Slater can be found at her website … http://fannyslater.com/

I give this cookbook two thumbs up … if you are looking for a last minute gift idea this year, this might be a good option for you.

==========

That Crazy Cookbook Guy’s alter ego is Author Thomas Fenske … his latest novel, A CURSE THAT BITES DEEP, is currently available too … another fine gift idea.  More info at http://thefensk.com

 

 

Caramel Knowledge

Yeah, that’s the title, Caramel Knowledge.   Published in 1988, it’s a little newer (28 years ago?) a book than I like to collect but as we all know, I’m a sucker for a catchy title.  Author Al Sicherman was a long time Food Writer/Food Editor for the Minneapolis Star & Tribune and this book pulls from his work on the newspaper.

I’ve got a collection of old food section cutouts, mostly saved from my dad, and I can tell you from experience that the recipes in this book are from the heyday of food sections.  You see, children, in them olden daze we didn’t have no new-fangled corn-pewters, or the world-wide-webernet to read about food or recipes or cooking.  We had the food section of the newspaper.  It WAS our internet.

Today the food section is a tiny vestigial part of the already diminished entity we know as a newspaper, but in the 60s/70s/80s, it was a big deal.  You looked forward to the food section, especially as holidays like Thanksgiving approached.  It was a selling point of subscriptions, it was informative, entertaining, and, as we see from Sicherman’s work here, a lot of fun.  This is not just a cookbook, it is a collection of the accompanying articles and it is a fun read.

He’s got standards, like Impossible Pumpkin Pie and Sauerkraut Fudge Cake, but he’s also got a lot of fun and interesting recipes highlighted in this book, like Choclava, Bostess Bupcakes, Herring in a Cloud, Chuck & Chick, Orange You Glad We Have Turkey?, and Mockaguole.  I often take pictures of recipes I mention but the format, embedded as part of the various articles, makes that impractical.  You’ll just have to take my word for it.

I wish I could have experienced the world of Al in his heyday but I found him on Facebook, I think I might drop him a message.  Fun, fun stuff.

Blog Hop – Holiday Cookbooks?

Welcome to my Holiday Blog Hop contribution.
Christmas and Cookbooks.  It’s quite a combination, isn’t it?
For this Christmas season, I thought I’d give away a cookbook!  Info at the end of this post. 
But first, I need to finish up this blog entry.  This is, after all, a blog about cookbooks, right?
I just pulled out the first Christmas Themed cookbook I came across on one of my random shelves.  It didn’t take long because there are a lot of them.
imageHoliday Flavors and Favors was a publication of  the Greensboro, NC Junior League.  This copy is a 1985 reprint of a 1975 publication.  It is unusual in that it is such a small informal Junior League offering.  I’m not sure I have another Junior League cookbook quite like it.
Small as it is, it has a quite a number of recipes, most with a holiday flair.
imageAnd we mustn’t forget “and Favors” in the title.  They have gift ideas.  If you lived in the 60s and 70s, who can forget the gift of “Russian” Tea?   It isn’t really Russian … it’s more like Astronaut Tea because the main ingredient is Tang.  But it was easy to mix up, is actually quite refreshing, and when packed in a hinged jar with a rubber seal it makes an attractive gift.  There was a similar “gift” Hot Chocolate Mix recipe on the same page so I just left it in there as a bonus.  Hmmm, a hot chocolate mix with hot chocolate mix as an ingredient.  Sort of like Hamburger Helper Helper I guess.
image
For appetizers, I selected Curry Dip and Chili Cheese Log.  Both were just a little different so i thought they’d be fun inclusions.
image
The Strawberry Congealed Salad was a surprise for me.  It is almost identical to a recipe my wife’s family has made for many decades.  In fact, the only difference I see is the addition of unflavored gelatin and I can tell you, this is a great idea.  The salad is very festive, Christmasy they call it on the page.   The way I’ve always made it, the first few spoonfuls maintain structural integrity, but it starts to loosen up a bit after you get about halfway into it.  A little more gelatin would just about do it.
image
The Chicken Broccoli  Casserole is pretty much a buck basic quick fix casserole with a cream soup.  Well, except for the inclusion of mayonnaise.  A nice flavor touch that probably goes nicely with the curry powder.  I’ve seen chicken casseroles with either ingredient but not both.  And I’ve seen similar recipes topped with bread crumbs or even potato chips but not with dressing crumbs.  I think I’ll make this one myself during the holidays when I need something with little fuss for people to nosh on.
image
Okay, we’re down to cookies … and I’ve included two.  Cathedral Windows are a mainstay in our house.  Sadly, I can’t find really good colored marshmallows around here … usually have to let pastel colors suffice.  But they are quite impressive and very good.  I’ve never made Kris Kringles but … they look great and, hey, you can’t get much more Christmas than that.
To help us all celebrate the season, I’m hosting a cookbook giveaway!
imageI know some of you prefer celebrity cookbooks but I’m all about unusual collectible cookbooks so I found a mint condition copy of Don’t Fill Up On The Anitpasto  by everybody’s favorite — Tony Danza!
Okay, sure, it is a little off the wall but what do you expect from That Crazy Cookbook Guy?  It is a delightful book.
Leave a reply below.  (Facebook users please go to the wordpress site to leave your comment) … one entry per person, please.  I will select one lucky person at noon Wednesday December 9 and I’ll post the winner’s name tomorrow.
Please go to the blog hop central link and find other giveaways, including one for a copy of my novel The Fever … that’s a different hop.

http://sweetbloghops.blogspot.com

Happy Holidays!

blog hop

Is it a Magazine or a Book? 1000 Recipe Cook Book

imageThis was a rare find.  I’ve been collecting for years and had never heard of the 1000 Recipe Cook Book before, but when I saw two of these on my recent trip to Virginia I knew they were something special.  The pictured version was published in 1953.  Information was scarce on these publications, but apparently they extended back to the mid-forties.  These were Dell publications and I assume they were likely sold at grocery stores, perhaps early examples of checkout line display publications.  Given the magazine format, it is not surprising that they are so rare — they were cheaply printed on low-quality paper.   However, I found that they were surprisingly comprehensive cookbooks.  I don’t know if they actually have 1000 recipes, but they certainly are pretty close to the mark.  They also have short articles on cooking and the recipes range from very interesting to pretty strange.  They were a perfect fit for me and my collection.

image

The 1953 version simply oozes fifties-style sensibilities.  Look at the June Cleaver-esque mother figure!

The person who had this magazine/book took good care of it.  Well, sort of.  They punched holes in it, I guess, so they could put them in a binder.  It is surprising that this particular one ended up in such good condition.

imageAnd there are a few wonderful ads, like this one from the back cover.  “Banana Scallops?”   Gotta love the fifties.

imageHere’s a zoom of the trademark “Chiquita” — I had no idea she dated back that far.  I remember her dancing across the TV screen in the sixties, but early fifties?  Interesting.

There are so many recipes it was hard to choose, so I just picked a couple to highlight some of the extremes and trends they tried to represent.  Like I said, there are hundreds and hundreds of recipes.  Hopefully a thousand!

image

These are on the offbeat end of the scale, yet, although offbeat they do actually sound pretty refreshing.  The apricot drink is more akin to a shake and the orange drink seems like the grandfather of your average smoothie.

image

I chose Cantonese Stew because it represented an entire class of recipes in this book … international recipes but in this case, more like foreign sounding recipes.  I think this is Cantonese simply because it has soy sauce, the way you can predict with 97 percent certainty if  a recipe has Hawaiian in the title, it contains pineapple.

image

Now we proceed into the bizarre.  I had to think, Baked Deviled Eggs?  I don’t have a set process for these blog entries.  Each one is an adventure.  I shot the picture for this based on the title alone.  “That’s interesting,” I thought to myself.  All I could say when I started to read this recipe so I could comment here was “Ewwwwwww.”  I read it again.  Then again to make sure I was reading it okay.  Now, I’ve never in fact tried to bake a hard cooked egg before, but … well, 20-25 minutes?

I have used recipes that actually tasted delicious that looked awful.  I’m not sure I want to even try this one.  But hey, it was the fifties.  Most of the people lived, right?

Still, the book is a fascinating read.  It is a perfect example of why I love publications from this era.  We think we live in an age of sophisticated cooking.  It had been primitive and uninteresting for years, decades, centuries.  Of so we think  But these people were at least trying.  They made the mistakes so Martha Stewart and Bobby Flay didn’t have to.  And there are good recipes from that era, believe me.

That Crazy Cookbook Guy Takes a Field Trip

imageI keep mentioning the twenty-five cent sale where I get a lot of my cookbooks.  This past weekend was a sale weekend so I took a few photos of the place to just show you what I am talking about.  As you can see from the sign, everything about the place is low budget. I guess you would call it a warehouse store.

It used to be in a storefront on 5th Street, so I guess they just kept the name when they moved.  Now it is on US Highway 70 between the small towns of Mebane and Haw River in NC.  If you’re speeding by you might just miss it.

I think the owner buys in such quantity he found himself warehousing his overstock and moving books took so much time it made more sense to warehouse and shelve the books in one place.

imageWhen I say “warehouse,” I mean it.  It is just a big dusty old warehouse (well it isn’t really dusty).  As you can see, there is nothing special out front – it is a budget operation.  That helps keep the prices low.

All the books are 99 cents, except on the sale weekends (I think small children’s books might have cheaper regular prices).  They sell all kinds of books and  have CDs and DVDs too, but, of course, we all  know what I shop for.

imageInside, what you see is a bookstore.  Since it is a warehouse, it is hot in the summer and cold in the winter.  For some of the lighting, the store depends on skylights and if it is bright outside sometimes it is tough to see the top shelf.  They are ‘way-up-there’ top shelves.

Cookbooks are one of the biggest categories after general fiction.  They have tons of fiction, both hardbacks and paperbacks.  The three shelf units of cookbooks are where I spend most of my time:

imageimageimage

The cookbooks are pretty much shelved where they find empty space.  That means, your humble crazy cookbook guy has to pretty much go through every unit every time he comes there.  Some of the books never sell — I see them time and time again.

There is one problem — although there is a general organization scheme, within categories there is almost no organization.  They are constantly shelving books and just don’t have time to break them down. In paperbacks, they try to alphabetize by author but it is impossible to keep it up.   In short, if you don’t like to browse, it is not the place for you.

For me, a trip to this bookstore is a commitment of several hours.  These are tall shelves.  In some of the photos, you can see people standing next to them.  I think they just use stock eight-foot sections of lumber.  .  They have two step-stools in this place and if you are lucky you can snag one for a while to give the high places more scrutiny.  Luckily they often put things like Southern Living annual editions on sections of the cookbook top shelves. That helps me at least — been there done that.  If I can, I flip through books one at a time.  That is how you find the really good ones.  It is not unusual to see me on my hands and knees looking at the bottom shelves.

imageIn a few spots, they have huge bins of books.  I think the owner found that people like to dig.  The first thing you see when you come in is a section of children’s books in bins and there are always people digging in those.  The bins in the picture of in front of the counter … those are paperback shelves behind them.  Exclusively paperback shelves are made out of two-by-fours, and the other shelves are made from two-by-sixes.  That’s lumber talk.  They are sturdy.   Some have backs, but most are just open back-to-back shelves so sometimes books fall through to the other side.

The sales run Thursday to Saturday on weekends after the third Thursday of the month.  This was an early month because the first of October fell on a Thursday.  Whew, I almost forgot to check.  I think other people missed it too because it was not as busy as it usually is.

imageBeyond the counter space, is what I call their triage area, where they unload the huge packing crates of books.  Those are sometimes somewhat categorized but are often just marked paperbacks or trade books, something like that.  That’s Ron — he is usually in charge on the weekends.  He and the owner sometimes let me come back and go through the cookbooks before they are shelved.  Each one of those stacks of books are  waiting to be shelved.  In the background, you can see cartons of books stacked up that haven’t been processed yet.

Being a regular has perks.  Ron brought me a book he found he thought I’d like.  He was right.  It went right into my basket.

Like I said, the place is already a bargain.  Everything is 99 cents all the time — except on sale weekends.  These sales are truly incredible.  I think I got like 16 cookbooks this weekend.  Four bucks.  Find me ONE cookbook for four bucks.  I had the stack of books in my last short post.  In fact, I think I forgot one.

Pictures don’t do the place justice, but here are a few more:

imageimageimageimage

Next sale weekend is November 17 — if you are looking for bargains, this is the place!  It is on the south side of US Highway 70, about midway between Mebane and Haw River in North Carolina.  I’ll apologize now, in case I shove you out of my way.

Quaint or Disgusting?

It’s a lazy rainy weekend.  In fact, it has been a lazy rainy weekend for about the last two weeks.  I’m ready for some sunshine again.  All my “solar” landscape lights last about ten minutes every night now due to lack of a recharge.

Today I finally got back to working on my latest novel and ran short of time, so I just pulled a book off the shelf.  I bought this a couple of years ago at, yes, you guessed it, some long forgotten quarter book sale.  On the surface, it looks really interesting but there may be a darker layer underneath.

image

In 1971 women’s liberation was in full swing, but not every woman had quite gotten on the bandwagon.  Take Beatrice Vaughn.  She put together The Lady’s Aid Cookbook that year and from the look of it, she thought it was still 1950.

It claims to be honoring the women of Lady’s Aid … as if that is an organization.  I think that was a term used in the Civil War.  By 1971, there were any number of women’s groups, and a lot of them put out their own cookbooks.  So, it appears dear Beatrice is honoring the generic concept of women getting together to help their community.  That’s fine, but this is a commercial cookbook, what we would call when I worked in publishing a TRADE cookbook.  It just pretends to be a little, sorta, kinda,  like a community cookbook.

It is dedicated to ” … every woman who has ever peeled a bushel of potatoes for a public supper, baked half a dozen pies for  a food sale, then stood on tired feet through a hot August afternoon to sell them …”

See what I mean?  What contrite hogwash … even for 1971.  I was there, things were moving slowly, but even then I thought things were progressing beyond this level.  She took her fifties mentality and found a publisher with fifties mentality and got this cookbook published.  Granted, she was maybe behind the times in New England, and she had apparently written a weekly food column in some unspecified publication for a long time, so maybe she was just a little out of touch.  Do you think?  And although I think the cover is actually pretty cool, the picture exudes the very thing I am talking about.  And that “300” overlay on top of the wordy blurb at the bottom, well that’s just irritating.

Okay, I’m probably being contextually hard on her.  There are some interesting recipes in the book, and the book does have a certain charm with anecdotes taken, I assume, from reader reports.

Still, she claims to be honoring women by collecting their many recipes she’s encountered over the years going to these many “ladies aid” events, yet she gives few, if any, credit for the recipes.  And there is really strange artwork too …

image

For instance, above some pork recipes … I mean, what is that supposed to mean?    Is that pig in heaven? Is that Arnold? … or is it Babe’s great-great-great-great grandfather?   Really strange stuff like that is peppered throughout the book.  1970s publisher clip art I guess.

image

For a sample recipe, I’ve chosen a “French Pork Pie” … not sure what makes it French. Couldn’t be the catsup, … the Tabasco sauce maybe?  Ah, Louisiana French …   N‘est-ce pas?

We’ll give old Beatrice a B+ for effort and a C- for cultural awareness.  It would be a failing grade in today’s world but in 1971 I make it a C-.

I’ve been writing these for a little over two weeks now, every day.  Because of the impact on my “other” writing, namely the sequel to my recently published novel, The Fever, I am thinking of dropping to three days a week.  What do you think?  Is that okay?  I’m having fun and my readership, small as it is, is steadily growing.  Leave a comment and let me know.

Unexpected Treasure!

Sometimes when I am in quarter-a-book-mode I make a split-second decision, yay or nay, because believe it or not there are some other people in the aisles just waiting to snatch up my pretties.

image

At first glance, Recipes From Madison’s Kitchens is a fairly nondescript fundraiser cookbook.  No date, no location immediately evident, just that it is the product of the fine women of the First Congregational Church.  Luckily, they managed to sell one ad.  If you are going to sell an ad, this is the kind of ad I want.

image

I remember seeing the ad, and the phone number.  On this ad, I saw “Madison 717” and that prompted me to drop the book in the basket.  Old-style phone numbers can mean any time period from the 30s to the 60s.  For me, that just screams vintage, an automatic buy.

It wasn’t until I started looking at the book to write this piece that I noticed the final piece of the puzzle.  The ad proudly announces the 1948 Oldsmobiles.  The ad also has the location … Madison Connecticut.  Thank you, East River Sales and Service!

A 1940s cookbook is a rare find.  There were fundraiser cookbooks in the 40s, but they are few and far between.  This one is in excellent condition, just a little wear around the edges.  It is also a very nicely printed book.  There is no indication of who printed it but for a church cookbook it is very nicely typeset and has a very professional look.  Credit is mentioned in the introduction for a particular editor, expressing thanks, so I am wondering if someone in the publishing industry provided a free service to the church.  The professional printing itself is not unusual for cookbooks in the forties.  The cookbook is very nicely organized, has a great index.

imageHere is one page of recipes … as one would expect from a town right on the coast of Long Island Sound, there are a lot of seafood recipes.  Here are some recipes for clams.  I couldn’t decide between all of these so I just included the entire page.

As I said, this was an unexpected treasure.  I always plan on taking a deeper look at the books I pick up, but that examination often gets delayed.  I pulled this book out at random and after finding that ad, I am so glad I did.

1948, wow.