The idea behind Cookbook Club is a simple one—a group of friends all make recipes from the same book and gather to share the results, a crowdsourced feast. But there's a bit of magic to Cookbook Club that I didn't anticipate when I attended my first meeting, walking into an unfamiliar house clutching a bowl of pumpkin seed dip from Diana Kennedy's The Essential Cuisines of Mexico.
" “I tell my daughters that when I go, they’ll know the good recipes from the dirty pages.” [NYT]] A group of Nashville writers mounts an exhibit of the dirty pages from their own family cookbooks.
Edouard Pozerski de Pomiane was a physician and biologist with a particular interest in gastronomy and cooking. Long before thirty, twenty, and fifteen minute meals, de Pomaine made La cuisine en dix minutes. [more inside]
The Salt, NPR's food blog, explains how Leanne Brown was inspired to develop a cookbook for people on SNAP. Leanne published Good and Cheap[PDF] as the capstone project for her MA in Food Studies at New York University and released it online as a free ebook. She also ran a successful Kickstarter to produce a print version.
In 1929, Italian artist (author of The Futurist manifesto) Filippo Tommaso Marinetti opened a restaurant, La Taverna del Santo Palato [Tavern of the Holy Palate] in Turin. In 1930/31, Marinetti went on a polemical crusade against pasta, decrying it as holding the Italian people back. In 1932, he wrote La Cuicina Futurista [The Futurist Cookbook]. Part manifesto, part cookbook, all promotional, it contained a host of sensational delights, like "Chicken Fiat": chicken roasted with steel ball bearings, on a bed of whipped cream, as well as desciptions of banquets, and a recounting of his success against pasta. [more inside]
"....many a tragic episode in family life is superinduced by the baleful influence of a tortured stomach. Mighty is the hand that holds the ballot-box, but mightier is the hand that wields to advantage the pepper-box, the salt-spoon, and the sugar-shaker." read the entirely of Maud C. Cooke's, Breakfast, Dinner and Supper; or, What To Eat and How To Prepare It (1897) online and enter a world of home remedies, large scale recipes, sound advice, leftover wizardry, squirrel stews, scientific digestion, and horrible things done to vegetables.
In 1931, Irma Rombauer, a Missouri homemaker struggling to support her family after the suicide of her husband, self-published The Joy of Cooking: A Compilation of Reliable Recipes with a Casual Culinary Chat. The New York Public Library later named it one of the 150 most influential books of the century. [more inside]
Another kind of cookbook. For a couple years now, as evidenced by this old English cookbook, or this old French cookbook, or this even older Italian cookbook, recipes have been conveyed with language. Fitting with our age of copious visual information, Katie Shelly has made a cookbook using just illustrations. Eat your heart out.
The African Cookbook is a compilation of recipes from 9 countries in Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, Sudan and Tanzania & Zanzibar. As well as a handful of recipes each section has short chapters on how food is served in each country. For more recipes and information go to Try African Food.
The Company Cookbook. Have you ever attended a company potluck? Did you vote on recipes and create a cookbook to send as promo to unsuspecting clients? Warning: If you select to read this post, you take "pot luck" - what was available, not knowing for sure what you might receive. (But be sure that, with this cookbook, it will include shredded cheese). And as a bonus, things you shouldn't bring to the company potluck.