|A page from Teen Cuisine, illustrated by Peter Max.|
Yes, that's a page from one of the hundreds of cookbooks in my personal collection (although I did not take this photo). I can't say I find a late 60's teen party cookbook too Streamlined inspiring but man, the overall design makes it a great addition to any dinner party, room or rap session.
Yes, I've mentioned before about collecting cookbooks, some for their historic entertainment and others for actual cooking. And I do scour the web for inspiration. But I would be remiss in both my Retro and Streamlined Ska Librarian physiques to not talk about some great resources for recipes and menu planning available from libraries.
Some resources are a little more esoteric, such as New York Public Library's great menu collection, for which you can help add metadata. (Crowdsource Delmonicos!)
But there's also a new beta site that I'd like to share: The OCLC Worldcat Cookbook Finder.
Worldcat is a website that links up to thousands of library catalogs all over the world. It's a nice way to find out if a book is available in your area or if you can get it through inter-library loan.
The Cookbook Finder can be searched by the usual terms, but also by ingredient, method and (be still my heart) Dewey Decimal Number.
[I find those librarians that poo-poo DDC in favor of some more "popular" classification systems to be just missing out.But that another post for another time.]
And let's be honest; much as I love owning cookbooks, price and space does not always allow that personal library to grow. Thankfully, cookbooks are a big part of library collections. What if I really wanted to try some new eating plan and perusing the web just wasn't doing it, as it was too disparate and not easily self-contained? This, my friends, is the way to go.
So, I'm going to recommend a few items that have inspired me in my Streamlined Ska Librarian lifestyle. And by "inspired" I mean I enjoyed these ideas for recipes and promptly saw how I could fit them to my own style, technique and need. These are all from my own collection, but are also available in libraries. The following links are to the Worldcat pages.
The Gefilte Variations by Jayne Cohen.
This has some really nice variations of traditional Jewish foods (and the author's a librarian!) but oy gevalt! These recipes take time and equipment! Certainly not something always easy in a small NYC kitchen. The ingredients are simple (for example, the amazing potato-onion kugel is just potatoes, onions, oil, eggs, rosemary and salt) but they often require several pots, multiple preps stages and a LOT of space! Still, these are easily tweakable to inspire your own variations, with or without gefilte.