The magic to be found in old cooking books – WARNING: One might get addicted!steemCreated with Sketch.

in hobbyhub •  8 months ago



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

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

I don't have the slightest idea why so many of the pictures are in a wrong angle - everything was just looking fine in the preview, ack!!! Sorry for this - will try to edit it tomorrow morning.... Hope it doesn't spoil the fun reading the post tonight...

That is really such an interesting journey through time! I love old cook books & the hand written ones & all the memories - the books show so much care and I hope you did find something unique and long forgotten in them again.

Wir hatten einmal vor vielen Jahren die Idee, durch das Land zu reisen und alte Frauen und Omies zu interviewen für eine Kochbuch-Idee - wir wollten es "Immer gute Butter" nennen. Ist nie was draus geworden.

Wow, sogar ein "Kriegs-Kochbuch" du meine Güte.

Das mit F in C umzurechnen: sehr klug, es dort hineinzuschreiben.


Haha, "Immer gute Butter" klingt gut - solltest die Idee wieder aufleben lassen :-) Die Frauen und Omis die sich noch an die "alte, regionale Küche" erinnern werden immer weniger! Leider sind einige Fotos verkehrt herum gedreht, war im Preview noch alles in Ordnung... Danke für deinen Kommentar und schön, dass dir die Reise gefallen hat! Herzliche Grüße aus dem Siebengebirge nach Hamburg :-)


Danke dir. Ja, die werden leider alle bald nicht mehr am Leben sein. Aber vielleicht werden einige ihrer handgeschriebenen Kochbücher es. Ansonsten geht alles einmal zuende. :-(

This is an amazing collection! I get goosebumps thinking about how many people have flicked through the pages and followed a recipe to cook for their family. We can Google as much as we want, but there is something about a solid book that is simply magical and irriplaceable. My mom has some old recipe books in her collection that I haven't given much thought to, until now! Thank you for entering the Hobby Hub Challenge, good luck!


haha, well in the post I only went through some of it - I am glad it gave you some goosebumps thinking about it, there was the connection right there... and yes, this is something not to be found online, it has to be the paperversion with all the fingerprints of greasy hands having been turning the pages through the years ;-) Go get those old recipe books!!!! and give your Mother a hug from the German Oddball thanking her for having kept them through the time, haha!

Hay my friend I do enjoy the post of your and the most amazing part is you received them at the age of 17 in 1988 .wow


thank you @funatoz, yes, that was really a treasuresome gift way back then ;-) Cheers from the Seven Mountains in Germany


Welcome my friend

I have a replica of a cookbook / hommaking class from the pioneer days of this country called "The Settlement Cookbook." It is SO fun to read, has great recipes and very practical advice. I bought it for the Schnecken recipe... lol!

Wow heritage cook books ! What a cool hobby @jkiw ! Love the old photos , and can just imagine how many generations and people cooked these "secret " handed down recipes ! Good luck !👍👍👍😋


Thank you so much @karenmckersie :-) Great weekend for you and your loved ones!


Your welcome , you too !!✌👌💕

What a wonderful walk down memory lane @jklw the old books not only have great information and tips, the well used pages quickly take you to old family favourites.

Congratulations on winning the Hobby Hub contest with @sweetpea and @karenmckersie this is well deserved.


Thank you so much @joanstewart and concrats to you as well!!! cheers from the snowy Seven Mountains in Germany and a wonderful 1. Advent Sunday to you and your loved ones :-)


Envious of the idea being up in the snowy mountains (anywhere) a not too hot but humid day here on the coast of Durban in sunny South Africa @jkiw greetings and seasonal wishes to you and your family as well.