I like cookbooks but in the digital age they seem to be taking up space and not really being used any longer. Most of the time, when I think of something I want to make I find a recipe online. It’s fast. It may not be the best way to get a really good, reliable recipe, but they usually work out.
Anyway, I’m not a rule abiding, strict recipe follower. I tend to add and subtract to my own tastes and depending on what I have available. This is another reason I like finding recipes online, I can look through a lot of similar recipes and find one which works for the ingredients I have on hand and my food style (I really don’t like mushrooms and onions make me sick).
A cookbook can’t compete against finding a recipe online in that way. But, I still have several cookbooks around. Some are vintage and I can’t quite part with Aunt Emma’s Ukranian cookbook, which includes her personal notes. I’ve also got the old cookbook which may have been my Great-Grandmother’s. All the family cookbooks come with notes from past women (and the odd man too) in our family.
Still, I have a dozen or so cookbooks which I bought many years ago and have not looked at in several years now. I don’t have a really good reason to keep them.
Why Keep or Collect a Vintage Cookbook?
As I mentioned, family history, is a big reason for keeping an old cookbook.
An old cookbook also gives us a taste (literally, if you follow the recipe) of what people made and what they ate in another time. As long as you can understand the language and measurements, anyone can get the old ingredients and try making a dish from hundreds of years ago. By cooking an old recipe you can have a real taste of history. (Or as near as we can get to it with modern ingredients which are chemically infiltrated/ enhanced).
People may collect cookbooks in a specific genre as well. If you grew up in an area or knew your family originally came from another country you would be curious to know what they ate and how they ate it. Cookbook collectors keep books with cooking from regional and ethnic time periods. Or, you may have heard about southern deep fried cooking for years and never tried anything, except in a restaurant. An old cookbook lets you do-it-yourself.
Collecting Old Cookbooks
- Collecting Cookbooks – Martha Stewart Living Radio: The Radio Blog
- Flickr: Vintage Cookbooks
- Flickr: Addicted to Vintage Cookbooks
- Vintage Cookbooks – Collector Information | Collectors Weekly
- Vintage Cookbooks on Pinterest
- How to Collect Vintage Cookbooks: WikiHow
- eBay Guides – How We Ate- Collecting Vintage American Cookbooks
- Cookbook Collecting and Reviews – Cookbook Village
- AbeBooks: A Recipe for Collecting Cookbooks
- Huffington Post: Wacky Vintage Cookbooks
- Boulder Weekly: The new kitchen ingredient: old cookbooks
- Old Cookbooks
- Top 10 Collectible Canadian Cookbooks
Could you eat Like Your Ancestors?