This month The Quest for Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Volume One, by the way) led me to yard sales, thrift stores, book sales and a special cookbook store.
Although I bought over 50 cookbooks this month for the San Diego County Fair project I’m working on, none of them were MTAOFC. I found books by James Beard, Craig Claiborne, Graham Kerr, and Jeff Smith (anyone remember the Frugal Gourmet and his sudden drop off the face of the earth?) I found compellations by Gourmet Magazine, Sunset Magazine and Southern Living Magazine.
There were books for 75% off on January 8 in honor of Elvis’ 75th birthday, and a 2 for 1 deal last week on just cookbooks – both at the Thrift Korral. I visited The Cookbook Store in Kensington for the first time ever (hard to believe!) with lots and lots and lots of cookbooks, but no MTAOFC.
I did speak to the owner of The Cookbook Store and learned that although she had a number of Julia Child cookbooks a year ago, the debut of Julie & Julia in theatres wiped the books off her shelves. I told her of the Quest, and she politely smiled and shook her head as if to say “good luck with that.”
We talked about “seasoned” cookbooks, she had an industry term for that but she knew what I meant. We talked about the joy of finding a seasoned cookbook with the previous cook’s notes in the margins. She told me I could find a copy on Ebay if I wanted, and I told her that the last time I looked they were going for as much as $300, far out of my price range.
So I continue, diligently looking, always hoping that someone is done with their MTAOFC, ready to pass it on and I will be able to “rescue” a seasoned copy at a used book price. If it takes me a couple of more years, and it just might, I will relish the day I can add MTAOFC to my cookbook collection - adding my own seasonings to its pages, as well.
The Quest continues…