The Quest

As some of you may know, I am on a search to find a seasoned copy of Master the Art of French Cooking (MTAOFC) by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck first published in 1961.

I have been looking since January 2008 when Ii picked up a copy of Julie & Julia at a yard sale for a quarter – it looked interesting - this book is what led me to Holly’s Diner, by the way. Some of you may have heard of Julie & Julia, or seen it (LB!) in theatres recently, so you know what I’m talking about. But I digress…

After reading Julie & Julia, I decided I wanted to find a well seasoned copy of MTAOFC at a yard sale to add to my collection of cookbooks because, well, it would just be more fun to find it at “used” (and a challenge!) than buying it off the shelf at a book store. Besides, I like to “rescue” books that no one wants any more.

Last fall I found MTAOFC at Costco for $24.95, a very good price! I went back to the Diner, thought about it, went back to Costco two days later to buy it, and all the copies were gone! It wasn’t meant to be.

I have continued to look for MTAOFC in the last year, and found From Julia Child’s Kitchen in hard cover this past spring at a yard sale for $0.50! I snatched it up! A few weeks later I found The French Chef Cookbook by Julia Child in soft cover for a quarter, and snatched it up! But still no MTAOFC.

This week I was at Costco on Monday, and low and behold, with the popularity of Julie & Julia in theatres, MTAOFC was back again for $24.95 – I resisted, remembering The Quest. Tuesday I was at Barnes & Noble, found MTAOFC on the self (it’s not always in stock, I’ve looked) for $40 – the full retail price – and passed it up. Wednesday I went to Amazon.com and found MTAOFC for $22! I put it in my “shopping cart,” but wasn’t quite ready to buy. I even looked up a first edition copy on Amazon.com, just for giggles, and easily found one for $325! Now I don’t NEED a first edition copy (although it would be lovely), in fact, I don’t NEED a copy of MTAOFC at all. But this Quest is not about “need,” it’s about “want.”

Wednesday night I sat down with HH, and told him the story of the past few days, he listened and said, “Go buy it!” But I just couldn’t. It’s not about the money, it’s about The Quest.

After contemplating for few more days, I have concluded it is totally about The Quest. I will continue to follow The Quest - searching yard sales every Saturday, scouring thrift stores every few weeks, and rummaging at the swap meet every so often. When I am supposed to have MTAOFC, I will find it. Until then I continue my search for the perfectly seasoned copy of MTAOFC – whatever edition it is.

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