I come from a long line of… shall we say… Book hoarders.
We love books. I LOVE books!
My particular love is for books about history, fashion, and food. Sometimes history of food, sometimes history of fashion.
So you can imagine my surprise when a vintage cookbook seemed to have found me.
While I was home for Christmas I went to a local used bookshop with my mom. Of course the two of us ended up in the cookbook section. We can’t help it. I’m convinced it’s in our DNA.
While I was searching for the Les Halles cookbook and having a slight meltdown when I found a book on Truffles (the mushroom) in the candy section; I came across what appeared to be an old leather bound novel.
Thinking that yet again there was a book in the wrong section… I sat down on the floor prepared to rearrange the books and take the vintage book back to it’s proper home. The glass enclosed vintage book case.
I carefully pulled the book from it’s resting place between Ina Garten and a gluten free cookbook. The cover was so unusual. Shiny black and orange leather, slightly worn on the corners.
It felt different. It felt comfortable.
Like Alice, curiosity got the best of me and I fell down the rabbit hole.
The cookbook was published in 1931 for “The Household Magazine”. Having an affinity for all things vintage and food I started to flip through the pages.
The smell, the tiny bits of flour left in the bread section, and the notes clearly written on the pages by someone who used the book frequently gave me the most giddy feeling.
I turned a page and picked up a note written on a calendar page in beautiful handwriting.
Monday Oct. 15th. 1951
“Bonnie’s Pumpkin Pie”
1/2 can of pumpkin
1 1/2 cups milk
1 t. salt
1 cup sugar
1 t. cinnamon
3/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 each cloves and nutmeg
Expecting to find the rest of the instructions on the back I turned the page over.
What I found seemed to be a little more than a coincidence.
Sunday October 14th 1951.
“Home from Pullman”
Yes, the page said “home from Pullman”. For those that don’t know from previous posts, I’m currently living in Pullman, Washington. I attend Washington State University finishing my degree in Apparel Merchandising.
So imagine my surprise that I found the book 300 miles west of Pullman at one of my favorite used bookstores.
The coincidence was just too much… I took it as a sign and bought the book.
I like to think that like my collection of cookbooks passed down from my mother and grandmother, this book was looking for another owner to care for it.
And care for it I will. It has a home next to my other food books and a beautiful copy of “Alice in Wonderland” from 1920.
It will remain with me for the rest of my life. I think I might add to the notes hidden in the book and leave one about graduation day next spring 2016.
“Last day in Pullman. Happy Graduation day! Go Cougs! – May 2016
Who knows maybe it will find it’s way in to the hands of another coug some day.
I plan on making a trip to our archives at WSU to see what kind of information they can give me about life in Pullman in 1951!