One of the charms of buying secondhand cook books is the scribbled notations in the margins or if you’re very lucky, actual handwritten family recipes on the back pages or inside the hard cover.
I’ve recently discovered a wonderful vintage bookshop in a very small Buckinghamshire village. Sixty thousand titles stuff the shelves of The Cottage Bookshop in Penn, with every inch of the eighteenth century store piled with books, turning the tiny rooms into a warren of intersecting spaces, each more stacked than the one before. it’s little surprise to find that it has been used for sets in Midsomer Murders and is said to be the Origin of Terry Pratchet’s L-Space.
It has a perfect first floor windowed area of cookery books. Delving into the three deep shelves, I’ve come across many gems and in the back of a 1955 edition of Margueritte Patten’s Learning To Cook, I found the press cutting above. It’s both an insight into a time when women cooked and men waited for their supper and a set of tips for a period when few people in the Uk had a fridge. Have you found any gems in your secondhand books?
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