August 1st, 2011

reading/writing, books

The Raggedy Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook Bites the Dust

Today I finally, at long last, threw out my Better Homes and Gardens red-gingham-covered "New" cookbook. (It looked a lot like this one, but in much much much worse shape.) See, I inherited it from my mom when I moved out on my own ... long long ago. Decades. And I believe she actually purchased the book before I was born.

I kept the book for this long partially because I felt like it connected me to my mom, and partially because it contained a lot of very basic, useful stuff, like how long to hard boil an egg, that sort of thing. But the actual recipes were really not my sort of thing -- I'm more of a veggie-intensive gal, and the folks who wrote this cookbook 50+ years ago were decidedly not. Plus, the cover of the "book" (it was actually a fancied-up spiral binder) has been an absolute wreck pretty much as long as I've had it. We're talking extensive use of tape in order to maintain any amount of structural integrity. And the tape really wasn't doing the job this last decade or so, and the back cover kept falling off whenever I wanted to hard boil an egg, and the whole thing was just in tatters.

So finally I decided that if I need to know how long to hard boil an egg (or whatever random basic cooking info), I can find it online. So this evening the book has been finally dismantled, all the yellowed pages (which looked a lot like these) going into the recycling, and I guess my cookbook collection has taken a giant step further into the modern age.

It's a little sad though, like tossing out a really battered heirloom. I suppose that's exactly what it was.