We are all recipe collectors.
The trouble is that we don’t always remember where those recipes are, whether scribbled on a scrap of paper stuck into the middle of last summer’s beach read or on a computer print-out stuffed between many like it on the cookbook shelf. I know my grandmother’s recipe for brownies is somewhere
in my house. Is it in a drawer in the kitchen? In the “Letters from G-ma” file? Or did I lend it to my sister? We need some order to the madness of our recipe collections, and that is what I hope to provide for you.
In The Omnivore’s Recipe Keeper
you’ll find not only space for cutting, pasting, and storing your favorite recipes but also useful cooking resources such as measurement conversions and roasting guidelines. Scattered throughout are wonderful food images culled from my personal library of eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and early twentieth-, century cookbooks. I’ve mined the depths of food books in my collection to show you some of my favorite color lithographs of rich Victorian cakes, turn-of-the-century Dutch poster stamps, matchbox covers from hip 1940s-era Japanese cocktail lounges, and much more. What I found delights me and reminds me why I collect these books in the first place–there’s both a whimsy and a charming seriousness to vintage food books, as you’ll see here.
In short, this is a collector’s Collector–a mix of utility and art, sprinkled with handy charts and resources, plus personal recipes from culinary luminaries. The sturdy folders are a place for you to store the recipes you use most, and the blank pages should set free the recipe creator in you. Don’t you hate it when you want to remember how you made something off the cuff six months ago, but you didn’t write it down? The day you improvised that incredible pasta sauce from what you had in the pantry? Now you can’t remember a single ingredient, except the oregano. I made a mind-blowing salsa last summer. God knows what went into it.
It’s time to start writing our recipes down. After all, how many of us wish our grandmothers had done that? I hope you’ll use this book to preserve the recipes you treasure most, be they your own or from others. Maybe some day your recipe keeper will end up in the hands of someone who cherishes it dearly.
Owner, Omnivore Books on Food
Excerpted from The Omnivore's Recipe Keeper by Celia Sack with Susan Fleming. Copyright © 2011 by Celia Sack with Susan Fleming. Excerpted by permission of Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.