Hello, Old Friend

Earlier this week, before the blizzard hit, UPS delivered an Amazon order. In the past week, we have had mail and other deliveries only once because of the storms. I got 20 pairs of new socks (Kyrill is a thief who has stolen and chewed lots of my socks) and a two volume set of Julia Child’s Mastering The Art Of French Cooking. It is the third set of these books I have owned.

The first set was the original 1961 version. I got those in the early 1970’s when I was in Middle School. I remember pouring over those books with fascination and wonder. I loved watching her on PBS. I tried several recipes with great success and a fair number of flops. Julia had this weird way of measuring flour in the first edition, instructing her readers to sift flour directly into the measuring cups. By the 1983 soft cover version that I acquired shortly after acquiring Husband, you scooped and leveled your flour, since flour no longer needed such sifting.

A couple of weeks ago, Husband expressed great frustration with the condition of the books. We mainly use Julia for a reference, but also have some favorite recipes. Pages have been loose for years, and some are missing, and the books are held together with rubber bands. I found a very reasonably priced boxed set of the hardcover 40th Anniversary edition published in 2001. Getting the boxed set was so fun, like welcoming an old friend home.

What books would you replace if you could? What are your favorite memories of Julia? Ever had a pet that stole things?

40 thoughts on “Hello, Old Friend”

  1. Not sure if this is the correct place to ask, but have to start somewhere.
    I recently started following you and used the WordPress.com Feed to follow your site. But none of your posts show up in the reader, so I came over to see what else I could find. I saw you had an “entries feed” and tried adding that to the wp reader. Still no luck with your posts showing up.

    Any ideas where I can proceed from here?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks. I whois’d you and realized you weren’t using wpdotcom but must be using the dotorg version. I have had about 1% luck getting the two to play together, so it’s a crapshoot.

        I’ll see if I can make it work, but from my experience, it won’t 😀

        But there’s always feedly, which i’m hoping to switch over to in ’23….

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Bookstooge, you think that as one of the two administrators of this site, that I could answer your question. Unfortunately, I cannot. We inherited this site years ago from someone else, and we only know the rudimentaries about all the ins and outs. But you could always ask WordPress. They do answer questions, although they don’t always fix problems.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. WP doesn’t answer questions, sadly. They blame the user for having the problem. Not that i’m bitter about those experiences, mind you 😉

        Thanks for the confirmation. I guess it’s one more reason to get my backside in gear and start using feedly…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have replaced a few books in my lifetime. The Betty Crocker Cookie Book which just fell apart on me, Also two early cookbooks Recipes for a Small Planet and Diet for a Small Planet, again both of which got a lot of use and fell apart. I have also replaced a book that I had as a child. My mother sent me what was left of it and Bill and I talked a little bit about restoring it but it was missing the first 20 pages and I was reluctant. Then I found a really well-preserved version online – it was only about 20 bucks so I went for it. It’s fabulous. Shining Through by Susan Isaacs. Another book that I read every couple of years and my first copy just disintegrated.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. My current Joy of Cooking is in tatters, and I’ve been checking the thrift shops for a replacement copy, preferably the spiral-bound (plastic, though) version I had earlier… online is always my last resort, but it could be done.

    I took my Moosewood Cookbook to the neighborhood print shop to be spiral bound, and was very pleased with results – now it can lay flat…

    I never watched Julia back in the day, but have seen online film clips. I thought I remembered one where the chicken slid to the floor and she picked it up and said something like “Well, you’re alone in the kitchen.” However, just looked it up and Snopes says this:

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a dilapidated copy of the Minnesota Heritage Cookbook, published in 1979 by the American Cancer Society’s Minnesota Division. The book is a compilation of hand-me-down recipes from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds. It was a fund-raising effort undertaken by volunteers, Sue Zelickson was the editor. That book sparked my interest in a much broader spectrum of ethnic cuisines than I had previously been exposed to.

    The spine of my copy has disintegrated to the point where the book now, essentially, is a loose-leaf collection of recipes. I bought an updated copy of the book, but haven’t had the heart to toss the old one. It was a gift from my first close friend in Minnesota, and she died quite a few years ago. Holding that book in my hands still brings back memories.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have a copy of that book as well and the pages are coming out of mine too. As I recall, mine was given to me as thanks for some tangential involvement in the project.


  5. I replaced my Enchanted Broccoli Forest but kept the old one. I had recipes hand written in the back cover and lots of notes on pages. I also replaced my original copy of the folk music book “Rise Up Singing”. My first one was tattered and used beyond repair and the replacement is no longer just like new. Same problem – I wrote notes, transposed keys, wrote my own verses, etc, in the original copy so I have to keep it.

    I’ve never spent much time watching cooking shows. I do enjoy cooking but I’ll never be a great cook. I have no one to cook for but myself and I’m not always too fussy. I remember the SNL skit but I’m not sure I even knew who Julia Childs was.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. OT – Just had a call from the garage where my car was towed. I just needed a new battery. Apparently putting a new battery in a PT Cruiser is a complicated affair, or the price of them has skyrocketed. I don’t know which is the case, but the bill for this is $400.03, and that does not include the towing. Ouch!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When you get the bill, you will be able to see the labor costs and the battery cost separately. I suspect the shop is getting a premium price for the battery AND the labor involved in replacing it is more extensive than on other cars.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was aware that replacing the battery was a pain in the posterior in this car, so I expected that it would be costly. I’ll admit, though, that I hadn’t anticipated it being that pricey. Still,
        I’m grateful to have it fixed, and glad I have the money to pay it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I looked up on YouTube how to change the battery. It’s a bit complicated, but it’s not under the back seat or anything like some are. And I wouldn’t want to do it out on the street in zero degree weather.
          I’m sure the battery is $200 if not $275. They’ll spend an hour doing it, so there’s $150. “Supplies” another $50 and there ya go.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. The battery was $212.93, labor to install it $50.99. They also ran a test on the electrical system to be sure the battery wasn’t the only problem, and that cost $84.98. Add in tax, supplies $34.89. You weren’t that far off, Ben. And you’re right, Hans wouldn’t want to do the work outside in these temperatures. It’s a big chunk of money, but it’s really the first “major” expense in the six years I have owned the car, so I’m not too upset about. It helps, too, that I have the money to pay for it. I can vividly remember a time when an unexpected repair bill of that magnitude would have blown our budget out of the water for months.

          Liked by 4 people

  7. We’ve replaced Joy of Cooking at least once, but I almost never cook from it. I distinctly remember reading in an earlier edition Rombauer commenting on the controversy regarding Welsh Rarebit vs Welsh Rabbit as saying that “Rabbit is witty. Rarebit isn’t anything” but I’ve never been able to find that particular edition and I often look for it whenever I come upon an edition.
    Current editions come down in favor of Rarebit and declare the controversy closed.

    We’ve replaced Vegetarian Epicure at least once and now that I’m looking at the bookshelf, I see that our copy of Vegetarian Epicure 2 is missing. I know that I wouldn’t have discarded it but if I ask Robin about it, I know from experience she won’t remember doing anything with it. The only recourse is to be on the lookout for a replacement. There are any number of minor cookbooks on the shelf that I’ve never used and wouldn’t miss but that isn’t one of them.

    We have several books by and about Julia Child but Not her cookbooks and I’ve never cooked from her recipes.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The way Rombauer emphatically declares the controversy closed suggests there must have been prolonged controversy. I’ve only seen the beginning and the end. I’d like to see the middle.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. My BH&G cookbook is pretty tattered, but it doesn’t yet need rubber bands, so I’ll keep it.

    My cat Isabel was a sock thief. She has been gone for over two years now, but I still haven’t found all my socks.

    Liked by 3 people

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