Pros: a fun read and many older family type recipes
Cons: not a traditional cookbook
How many of you have picked up a cookbook in a yard sale or a second hand book shop and found a quickly scrawled recipe on a piece of paper tucked in the pages of the book? It happens to me all the time. I always consider it a bonus. Usually someone, somewhere, thought enough of the recipe to take the time to jot it down. That, to me, is quite an endorsement since I have to REALLY like the looks of a recipe or perhaps have tried it and fell in love with it before I will take the time to write it down. Yes, Yes, I know, it’s the lazy in me coming out, but none the less true. Imagine, if you will, that you are NOT a cook but run a bookshop and continually discover these little gem recipes tucked in books of all sorts. This is exactly the situation that Michael Popek found himself in. Handwritten Recipes is an intriguing look at some of these recipes.
Firstly, the author makes no claims about the outcome of these recipes since he has not tried most of them and cannot even verify that each recipe is complete. He is not a cook and makes no bones about saying so. He did give several of the recipes featured in the book to some of the readers of his blog and had them try and report back on how the recipe worked out. Those recipe “reviews” are included in the book where applicable. I have no doubt that somewhere within these pages is someone’s lost family recipe.
What I found even more fascinating than the recipes, however, was the books in which they were found. Most of them were not cookbooks. It makes one wonder were they using the recipe for a bookmark? Was the book reader at a friends home and tried a dish they just HAD to get the recipe for and tucked it within the pages of the book they had in their hand?
This book was plain and simply fun. It isn’t the book to buy if you are in need of a cookbook. It is the book to buy if you would like a look into human nature and a sneek peek into some old recipes that may be lost treasures. Pick it up for FUN. And Lord knows we ALL need a little fun in our lives every once in a while.