My entry for the HOBBY HUB CHALLENGE #4 (NOVEMBER)
With my daily routine of cooking it will be easy for all of you to imagine my collection of cooking books that found their way into my possession over the years. It’s over a hundred by now :-)
The first ones are still a very special treasure: I received them at the age of 17 in 1988. Being an exchange-student in Minnesota at that time, I was asked to sing and play the guitar at a meeting of the Lutheran Church Women. As a little thank you gift they gave me two Heritage Cooking Books with recipes of their ancestors. What a treat – still a warm wave of happiness runs through me whenever I look into them!
A little thank-you-note still inhabits the envelope inside one of the books – and my handwritten formula for calculating °F into °C starts to fade slowly… Guess I will have to renew this sometime!
Some years ago I felt more and more irritated with our modern cooking books. Most of the time they ignore seasonal ingredients of the region we live in and thus trying to maneuver us into buying all kinds of globalization produce… Complaining about this while visiting my in-laws, I held Great-Grandmother’s cooking book in my hands some minutes later. "Mary Hahn - Kochbuch für die einfach und feine Küche" (Mary Hahn - Cookingbook for the simple and good kitchen"*
It was falling apart, the back coming off, some pages loose.... I found a bookbinder who was able to repair it, without loosing the original air to it! My in-laws wrote a note with Great-Grandmother's name and dates of birth and death and the bookbinder nicely put it on the inside cover.
Since I do like old books in general, reading the old style letters is not a problem - and it is of greatest fun to go through all of the tricks and tips on how to be efficient in your kitchen, haha - many of my daily routines today are taken from this book!
There it started – and I have to work on this remaining a hobby and not growing into an obsessive addiction lol… The risk of me getting lost somewhere in the shelves of an antiquary bookstore is not to be underastimated ;-)
The Regensburger Kochbuch was printed in 1912 – edition number 55. When I found it in one of those shelves in one of those antiquary bookstores my heard jumped – the book was full of little notes and pieces of paper to mark a page…
Pieces torn from a newspaper of long ago times marking the pages for fruitcakes...
Handwritten recipies on little papersquares - the note taken in the old German Sütterlin style. My Grandmother wrote this way and I am lucky to be able to read at least some of it... As we all develop a personal style in handwriting, so did the folks back than, so it takes some time to get used to this personal style and then be able to read it...
In 1916 and 1917 cooking books were giving advice on how to feed the family during times war... It is all about how to survive on what nature provides, how to preserve it and have enough in store ...
And then, there is the jewel, the gemstone in my collection: The handwritten cookingbook of my husband's Grandmother... Her handwriting is really hard to read and whenever I find the time I take one more page and try to riddle it out :-)
Hope you enjoyed this little walk though time and cookingbooks! As this is a favourite hobby of mine I will take the chance and ask you to please not through away old cooking books! If do not want them anymore, please send them to me :-)
Cheers from the Seven Mountains in Germany and a happy and joyful time for all of you!
all pictures are mine