Monday, January 21, 2008

Old Cookbooks

This was my first real cookbook. I had Volume II of the Meta Givens cookbook, and always wanted Volume I.

Volume II taught me how to bake bread, date bars and cakes of all kinds. The section on bread baking included black-and-white photos so I could see exactly how the dough was supposed to look. I felt confident in my abilities because no recipe I tried from that book ever failed.

I used it regularly, and my old faithful cookbook finally fell to pieces. By the time it died, I was no longer cooking as much because I was in college and my sons were growing up and leaving home. I didn't have time to cook, and they had no time to eat it if I did. The old cookbook disappeared.

It was when I was looking for the recipe for date bars this Christmas that I realized my old book was gone. I searched everywhere, sorted out all the cookbooks and looked behind the pots and pans in the cabinet. It was just...gone.

I found a date bar recipe that was close to the one I remembered, and although the cookies were good, they weren't quite the same. I got online and started looking.

Who knew that old cookbooks could be so expensive? I was amazed at the prices I found until I got on eBay. There I found not one but THREE copies of my beloved cookbook. I put in a bid on a two volume set and waited. Sure enough, I won! The cookbooks arrived last Friday, and I opened them quickly. But wait...these weren't right. The two books were from different years. So I have an index that is only half right.

Now I have to decide--go back on eBay and try to find the matching volumes? Or be satisfied with what I have now? The photos of bread making are the same, and the date bars are there.

But if I go back into the hunt, I'll end up with 2 sets! Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I wore out my first Meta Givens cookbook, so it may take two sets to get me through the rest of my life.

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