for the love of vintage cookbooks…

I love a vintage cookbook. True story: Most of my cookbooks are vintage. I do love my Flour Cookbook and Skinny Bitch but its always fun to find a new old cookbook.

Like these…

My cookbooks are a mixture of cheap finds and inheritance from my mother. Can you guess which one of these is inherited from my mother? I’m seriously interested if anyone can get it right. If you have a guess leave a comment at the bottom of this post! I’ll let you know which one I inherited in my next post!

I might love vintage cookbooks because of the aroma wafting from the pages. Or because most of the recipes are pre health consciousness and call for loads of butter. Or because they are full of fun, inventive cocktails and classics.

Or maybe because they’re full of pearls of wisdom like from the one above…

“Always buy clean food from clean stores”

Duly noted.

A few nights ago (ack late I know. It’s been a busy week. Busy in the “I have a lot of things to do and see kind of way and not in an ‘I have 300 pages of reading to do by tomorrow kind of way) I explored a new to me cookbook:

This is a Veggie cookbook from the 70’s and is an inherited item. My mom has pretty awesome cookbook taste and I was lucky enough over break to get this cookbook from her when she needed to make more shelf room on the cook book shelf. My favorite part of this cookbook is opening pages and seeing her handwriting in the margins of her favorite recipes. For example, “add 1/2 lb bacon to carbonara”. I love my family.

My other favorite part of the cookbook? There are recipes from other cultures. There is a tapas section, crepe section, Mexican section, Italian section and an Indian section. Last weekend I made Dal with spiced potatoes and Brussels Sprouts. I know the sprouts are random but hey I had a craving.

Here are the players:

I started by applying salt, pepper, and EVO to the sprouts and roasting them at 425.

Then I turned my attention to the potatoes. I sliced one serving of potatoes and mixed them in a bowl with canola oil (about 1 tbsp.), turmeric (1/2 tsp), a tiny bit of crushed red pepper and cumin (1/2 tsp). After tossing all the ingredients together I placed the potatoes in a roasting pan and popped in the oven with the sprouts at the same temp. Continue to check periodically. Should take about 20 mins to cook.

Finally, it was time to make the dal. I would just like to put out there that I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the dish and I didn’t have all the seasoning that the cookbook called for but I did my best!

I bought pre cooked lentils from Trader Joe’s. I started by taking a pan and adding water to cover the bottom. Then I added a 1/2 cup of the lentils to the water and brought up the heat to a medium level. I added 1/2 tsp of turmeric, cayenne, and cumin to the lentils and let it simmer. If the water gets absorbed into the lentils you can add a little more.

Once the water is getting pretty absorbed and the lentils have been heating up for a few mins (think like 5 mins) add 1 tbs. of butter to the mix. Let it melt down and absorb.

Interesting note about old cookbooks: When I cook I tend to look at packaging (like on the lentils) to determine portion size. Interestingly, the portion in the recipe was smaller than the portion suggested by the packaging. I went with the recipe but I was left wondering, is this just a difference in packaging or is it a result of the decade difference? Who knows, but food for thought.

I put the lentils on my plate and took my sprouts and potatoes out of the oven. I was going to make cous cous but I only had one serving left and when I went to grab the pot it was hot, I burned my hand a little bit and cous cous went all over my kitchen floor. Can’t win them all. It was OK through because I think my plate turned out pretty well.

Personally, I think the potatoes could have used more cumin but I loved the lentils! They had a bold but not too spicy flavoring and were quick to make. Quick + cheap + seasoned + protein? I feel like this is going to become my “ah I’m too busy but I need to eat something” go to meal. Definitely want buy more seasonings and experiment more with different flavors.

So, Which cookbook did I inherit? And what is your favorite seasoning?

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7 thoughts on “for the love of vintage cookbooks…

  1. Pingback: for the love of vintage cookbooks… « Left Coast Contessa | Cheap Quick Recipes

  2. i hope it’s the booze one!

    my go-to lentil recipe is over at canyoustayfordinner.com…her recipe for dal makhani is something i never thought i’d recreate over and over again but i do! it’s so easy and yummy, i make it all the time and eat it with TJ’s frozen garlic naan.

  3. In Julia Child’s biography she made this great note about “seasoned” cookbooks and how vintage cookbooks with scents and smudges were one of her favorite things to find when traveling and shopping. Couldn’t agree more!

    It was great to see you today and catch up, we will have to hit those trails soon. 🙂

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