Promoting passion in book collecting

Antiquarian Cookbooks: A List for Hipsters

We’re not about to grow a handlebar mustache, but the hipster predilection for DIY and slow food certainly strikes a chord with us! The world of antiquarian cookbooks is full of titles that speak to this lifestyle. These books will not only provide useful instruction on cultivating, butchering, harvesting, and making one’s own food, but they’ll make quaint additions to your bookshelf.

Canning and How to Use Canned Foods

Bitting_CanningIn Canning and How to Use Canned Foods, AW Bitting and KG Bitting delve into the history of canning, along with principles and methodology of canning. The volume, published in by the National Canners’ Association, includes a host of recipes for canning meats, vegetables,  fruits, beans, and soups. It includes a number of black and white illustrations, along with photographs of early canning factories.  Details>>

Farming the City

Farming_CityThe Farming the City project began in November 2010 as an initiative of the Amersterdam-based organization CITIES, bringing city dwellers and urban farmers together to explore inspirational ways of producing, storing, cooking, preserving, distributing and sharing food. Since then, it has fostered urban farming projects all over the world. Illustrated with color photographs with 20 short essays. Details>>

A Practical Treatise on the Grape Vine

Thomson_Grape_VineWhile grapes might not be the ideal crop for a rooftop garden, A Practical Treatise on the Cultivation of the Grape Vine is an unexpectedly interesting read.  This volume is the illustrated seventh edition with a chapter on preparation of young vines for planting. Details>>

Complete Manual for the Cultivation of the Cranberry

B. Eastwood, aka “Septimus,” of the New York Tribune, dedicated this book to the “Hon. Horace Geeley, Editor of the New York Tribune, and the Untiring Advocate of whatever may develop the Agricultural Resources of the Country.” Along with nine plates and a decorative title page,  Complete Manual for the Cultivation of the Cranberry includes a full history, description, and planting of the Cranberry. Details>>

How to Do Things

How_To_Do_ThingsThe ultimate guide for living off-grid, How to Do Things bears an ambitious drop-title: “A Compendium of New and Practical Farm and Household devices, Helps, Hints, Recipes, Formulas and Useful Information from the Farm Journal with List of Residents of Harland, Newfane, Royalton and Somerset Townships, Niagara County, New York.” The book addresses everything from Scientific Hand Milking, Incubator Hatching, Testing Seed Corn, Engines and Machinery, Household Recipes, Indoor & Outdoor Games for Children, Building Coops, Runs, and Fences, etc. It’s a great book for anyone starting a farm, even today. Details>>

The Country Kitchen Cook Book

Heth_Country_KitchenEdward Harris Heth’s The Country Kitchen Cook Book was formerly The Wonderful World of Cooking.  A deliciously written seasonal cook book that makes you want to run, not walk, to your closest farmers market. In the introduction, Euell Gibbons says “[Heth’s] book not only tells you how to cook, but to live.” Details>>

What’s Cooking in Your Neighbor’s Pot

Whats_Cooking_Neighbors_PotPart of the “Friendship through Food” series, What’s Cooking in Your Neighbor’s Pot was published by the Common Council for American Unity (CCAU). The organization was founded in 1939 to advocate against prejudice and discrimination on the basis of ethnicity. This particular war project developed after an exploratory conference on the “Food Fights for Freedom” campaign. Representatives of one-hundred and fifty national “American” and foreign-language organizations recessed from the meeting only to find a table full of “exotic” food. “What’s Cooking in Your Neighbor’s Pot” was the result. The organization’s objective was to present eating habits of various nationality groups, evaluate them nutritionally, and suggest rationing ideas from the prospective of foriegn-origin housewives. Included in this manuscript: Greek Party, Scandinavian Party, Western Mediterranean Party, Oriental Party, Slave Party, and American Regional Party. Each “Party” includes date, committee, hostesses, program, menu, and recipes. This manuscript quite possibly was the beginning of the foodie movement in NYC and the catalyst for the Board of Education to experiment and introduce alternative cooking methods in its high school homemaking classes in parts of the city where there were foreign-born populations. Details>>

Fruits of the World in Danger

Baxter_Fruits_World_DangerWhile Fruits of the World in Danger isn’t a cookbook per se, it’s a delightfully quirky volume that offers just the right amount of irony. The amusing artist book features Glen Baxter’s illustrations of various fruits in peril (grape going over a waterfall; banana getting sawed in half…). Details>>

The Fine Art of Mixing Drink

Embury_Fine_Art_Mixing_DrinkFirst published in 1948, this newly revised and enlarged edition of The Fine Art of Mixing Drink is accompanied by Nathan Gluck’s illustrations, who was Andy Warhol’s in-house graphic designer, illustrator and studio assistant when Warhol was still a “commercial artist.” Embury’s classic cocktail book was noteworthy for its witty, highly opinionated and conversational tone, as well as its categorization of cocktails into two main types: aromatic and sour. Embury continually stressed the fact that a drink would never be any better than the quality of the cheapest ingredient in it, hence he stressed the need for the highest quality of spirits, liqueurs, cordials, and modifiers (fresh squeezed fruit). Details>>

2 comments on “Antiquarian Cookbooks: A List for Hipsters

  1. Kathryn
    May 16, 2014

    Oh, come on!! Grow the mustache! Great post- would love to see the fruits in peril illustrations =)

    • bibliophiliackm
      May 16, 2014

      Kathryn, we’ll work on posting some of those illustrations on Facebook soon! But the mustache might require a little more effort:) Thanks so much for reading!

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