DEVOUR & CONQUER

Exploring, eating and writing about good food on Canada's west coast

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Retro cookbooks are cheap & tasty entertainment

February 5, 2013

When I was a little girl I would spend hours pouring over photographs in my mother's cookbooks. I was fascinated by the art that could be created with food, although at a young age that just translated to page after page of "Mmmmmm, I want some of that..."

As an adult, I've had lots of fun hunting down those old cookbooks and their ilk in old bookstores and thrift shops. While many of the recipes are outdated and not to modern tastes, I often find hidden gems in their yellowing pages. The description of cooking techniques in these older books is sometimes even better than modern cookbooks who assume most readers will just watch a YouTube video or cooking show to study up on a new technique.

While shopping at a thrift store for clothes for a 70's themed fondue party recently, I stopping to flip through the pile of old books for sale and was delighted to come across Chatelaine's Adventures in Cooking from 1969 for the massive bargain price of 25 cents.

I would have bought it for the pictures alone, as these late 1960's photos are such a great time capsule of how North America used to eat. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that while the tone of the book is somewhat condensing (shades of "Let's help the young bride make special meals for her new husband!"), it does have a variety of classic recipes that I will be giving a whirl in the future.

Hunting down these old cookbooks on the cheap is a great way to fill your library, get an amusing history lesson on cooking styles of the past, and pick up a few recipes that never get old.

And seriously, does anything cost 25 cents any more? What a steal!

 

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Kind of like a tour down foodie lane fer sure. I agree with you on old cookbooks are sometimes outdated, but they do have some treasured recipes that never go out of fashion.

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