#28 2010, My favorite cookbook…
I was having lunch a few weeks ago with a friend when the conversation turned to cookbooks. She asked me, “Which cookbook is your all-time favorite?” I sat puzzled for a moment, weighing Ina Garten’s great new book (you know, the green one) against The Best of Bridge (the red one!). After some contemplation, I declared The Mary Moore Cookbook, a Canadian classic self-published in 1978 and long out of print, as my winner. It is not fancy or glitzy, but it is my most used, most “glumped up,” and most cherished cookbook.
That same week, I visited the University of Guelph (about 45 miles southwest of Toronto) and had the great pleasure of exploring their Canadian Cookbook Collection. The library is the home to Canada’s largest culinary collection of more than 6,000 volumes. Comprised not only of cookbooks, the collection also contains scrapbooks and personal letters dating back to the 17th century. There is no doubt that Canadians love their cookbooks! It was a nostalgic and heartwarming ramble amongst shelves that reveal the depth and breadth of Canadian cuisine and the cultural transformations that have radically changed Canadian living. The collection portrays the very heart of Canada’s history, homes, and families. If you are ever in Guelph, it’s worth a visit!
Also, did you know there are annual Canadian Culinary Book Awards that recognize excellence and creativity in Canadian recipe books in both English and French? Sponsored by the university and Cuisine Canada, the awards have been granted to cookbook luminaries including Rose Murray, Bonnie Stern, and Michael Smith. I was amazed! Who knew!?
Among last year’s winners was The Complete Canadian Living Baking Book by the effervescent Elizabeth Baird. The baby blue volume was in my Christmas stocking (from my fabulous nieces), and is already “glumped up,” and quickly becoming a new favorite!
So, to all of the cookbook authors out there, please keep doing what you do best. We in library land love cookbooks…at home, in our Christmas stockings, and on our library shelves. Have a great week.
kpope @ alliancelibrarysystem.com #28 August/2010