woman’s world cookbook

Time for another look at my cookbooks!

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My grandmother gave me this beautiful 1940 edition of the Woman’s World Edition of the American Woman’s Cook Book.

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We were very impressed with the color pictures of the food (just a few throughout),

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but what I really like are these old black & white pictures,

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and the various tips that show what life was like during the time the cookbook was printed.

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Something I need to study up on…I don’t even know how to properly set a table.

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Old recipes often say to use a No. 2, or whatever, size can. Now I finally know what all that means!

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I love that this cake is called “glamorous” when it actually looks like a Sandra Lee cake, haha. But my favorite…

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fuzzy carrots. So interesting.

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Well, actually, my most favorite thing about this cookbook is this little receipt I found tucked inside, signed by my great-grandfather and dated August of 1940. I’ll keep that forever.

Do you have an old cookbook handed down from a family member?

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cookbook collection: Vegetables and Vegetarian Cooking

I think this one, The Complete Encyclopedia of Vegetables and Vegetarian Cooking, is the biggest cookbook in my collection. It was given to me as a Christmas present by my cousin about 10 years ago.

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This is a great reference book. For example:

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all kinds of wisdom right there, and throughout.

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The first 139 pages make up the encyclopedia portion, and cover onions and leeks, shoots and stems, roots, greens, beans, peas & seeds, squashes, fruit, salad vegetables, and mushrooms. There are tons of pictures, tips for buying & storing, prepping and cooking, some nutritional information is given and even a brief history of the plant. (P.S. Did you know tomato leaves are toxic? I just read that right now!)

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This was the first recipe I ever used from this cookbook, Oven-Crisp Asparagus Rolls, and it quickly became a family favorite. It’s very simple, you’re basically just rolling asparagus in a piece of bread that’s covered in a seasoned buttery spread. Then you bake it. Of course I only used the actual recipe once, and now I make it my own way.

Another thing I liked about this book, at least when I pulled it off the shelf for this post…

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I found a handwritten note inside. It’s a thank-you note from a former coworker who borrowed the book to find a few things to make for her vegetarian daughter-in-law.

There aren’t a ton of vegan recipes in this cookbook, but most of them could easily be adapted. I like that there’s a variety of recipes from very healthy to pretty fattening, and, much like a food blog, most of the recipes have little pictures showing various steps in preparation. The pictures aren’t helpful at all, but they look nice. There is also a “Virtually Vegetarian” chapter that includes fish. A little something for everyone.

This is one of the few Christmas gifts I still use after 10 years, so of course I recommend it for your personal cookbook library!

cookbook collection: Luchow’s German cookbook

Back to my cookbook collection! I thought this would be perfect for the non-fasting period of Bright Week (the week following Pascha/Easter). Luchow’s was a German restaurant established in New York City in 1882. You may wonder, “Why on earth would a vegan want a German cookbook???”

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I bought this cookbook years ago when I very ambitiously thought I could veganize some of the crazy, extremely NON-vegan-in-any-way-shape-or-form recipes.

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What a dream. For example…

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What, exactly, do you use as a substitute for blood??

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The headcheeses are my favorite. Blech. It would be hilarious and amazing if I could come up with a vegan substitute for a HEAD and make a nice vegan headcheese.

The funny part is this book was published in the early 50s when Americans ate all kinds of strange things. You know, lettuce salad in aspic. But my brother and I will have a long layover in Germany on our way to Greece later this month, and as I tried to find a nice restaurant for us to visit I found the food in Germany has largely remained similar to what’s in this cookbook. But I did find a couple vegetarian restaurants, and…a vegan grocery store! The store looks like it’s mostly filled with American imports, but I’ll still check it out.

Do you have any tips for eating vegan in Germany? Or what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever veganized?