Old Cook Books

There is a store in Oakland called The Center for Creative Reuse. It's a sort of second hand store for things that people might use to make crafts, art or various projects. You never know what you will find there on any given week. There are often egg cartons, toilet paper rolls, fabrics. A few months ago there was a box of bones - yes real dried out bones, animal I presume - have no idea where they might have gotten those from but people were scrounging through them.

In addition, they have a small selection of random books and on a recent trip there I discovered a book called The Spice Cook Book. It has a very plain cover, is quite thick and reminds me of the old Collegiate Dictionary my dad used to have. It was published in 1964. As I flipped through the pages it was not the recipes that drew me in but the sketches that decorate so many of the pages. I got to wondering about those sketches and after doing some research I found that the illustrations are by Jo Spier, a popular Dutch artist who after making a satirical depiction of Hitler was sent to a concentration camp. I could hardly believe it. How exciting to find such a cook book with such a history behind it.

The book also contains some great writings about the Spice Trade which I haven't finished reading yet. And here is a sampling of some recipe titles: Macaroni and Cheese Mousse, Ham and Cheese Pudding, and Favorite Liver Loaf...yum.

Enjoy these pics from The Spice CookBook by Avanelle Day & Lillie Stuckey, Illustrated by Jo Spier; David White Co., NY 1964

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