Confessions of a vintage cookbook addict

I like to believe that vintage cookbooks are a treasure-trove full of long-forgotten recipes. Plus, they do paint a very vivid picture on the lifestyle of our past. Every decade of the last and this century is marked by it's political and economical situations. And one of the first mirrors reflecting an ever-changing society is what ends up on people's plates for dinner.

Go into a bookstore today and have a look at the books available. Traditional, thai, chinese, indian, italian cooking. Tapas, sushi, raw, low-fat, low-carb,... you name it. Look at the ingredients needed for some of these dishes: koriander, cumin, wasabi, banana-leaves.... While I admit that you cannot buy all of them at your local supermarket, there is the option to go to the local deli and they will most likely have them. We are living in a society where everything is available at all times. Food, furniture, clothing... all there in a variety of price-ranges and qualities accessible at all times. And I mean it literally: at all times. Today is sunday and I just went out for groceries. No biggie. The supermarket is open all afternoon and based on the amount of people in it, you could not tell if it is a weekday or the weekend.

While all these options are truly great - I am a huge sushi fan - they sometimes leave me a bit... not even sure what the right word is... worried, maybe? Are we losing the feel for seasonal produce? Are we losing the ability to enjoy and use local produce to its best? Where does this trend of constant availability take us?

Very phylosophical, given htat we are only talking about food here. But then again... I think its time to stop for a moment and (re-)discover seasons, local produce and simple yet delicious cooking. In the pictures below you can find some of the vintage cookbooks I own. I have a German and a Dutch one from the fifties and my grnadmothers old cookbook from the thirties. Gran went to a school that tought housekeeping and this is the book she received to learn from. In addition, I have a couple of gran's handwritten receipes as well. I cooked receipes from these books before and can honestly say, they are great.

I have a pretty busy job and no desire to cook for hours when I come home at nine at night. And there is no need for it! All receipies are easy to assembly, quick and best of all... CHEAP!!! So here is my new quest: vintage cookery!

I will keep you posted!










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