The treasures of old cookbooks

Books have always fascinated me, especially old ones since they tell so much about the previous readers. Dog eared pages, margin notes, bookmarks, and newspaper clippings tucked between pages are always great finds. Few things in life are better than finding century old pressed four-leaf clovers. But books are only so useful, since a person can’t reasonably eat them for breakfast.

Cookbooks are a compromise, and my favourites are splattered with bits of recipes, whipped up in a hurry, perhaps 60 years ago. This is important trace evidence that the recipe might be good.

Full of recipes that are truly hard to imagine eating.

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How to spend a Sunday morning with a duck

Step 0: Buy a duck. (Saturday afternoon)

My friend Alisa sent me a link for a soup recipe, and I felt compelled to make it. The soup called for duck stock, whose procedure was briefly described in the article. I announced to Kristin that I was going to make the soup, including the stock, so she took me to a shop in Charlottenburg where I could easily buy a whole duck. I impulse bought some chicken wings while I was there but held myself back from the trays of glistening offal.

My first whole duck

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Why I hate the term “foodie”

B. R. Myers sums it up in his book review The Moral Crusade Against Foodies (subtitled “Gluttony dressed up as foodie-ism is still gluttony.”) in the March issue of The Atlantic. I’ve always had a hard time with the term. I suspect it’s because deep down I feel guilty and selfish for being borderline obsessed with food. Myers writes that foodies are “single-minded … and single-mindedness—even in less obviously selfish forms—is always a littleness of soul.” Ouch. Also, it’s probably because I just wouldn’t be accepted. After all, I can’t stand eggs. Continue reading “Why I hate the term “foodie””