A Sunday Morning look at the art of the cookbook

The CBS Sunday Morning show is my favorite way to start my own Sunday morning. Give me a double latte, the Sunday New York Times, the TiVo-ed television show (so I can fast-forward through the annoying commercials) and a comfy position on our down-stuffed couch, and I am one very happy camper.

This morning's program was all about one of my favorite topics: food. One of the segments was The Art of the Cookbook, providing a historical perspective of what will be a 500 million dollar industry this year.

Our household certainly contributes to that economic boost to the publishing industry. Over 200 cookbooks are on the shelves in our kitchen - still far behind the 350+ cookbooks my mother has collected. My partner, Ed, has an ongoing love affair with cookbooks. For him such books are pleasure reading. There's usually a cookbook, or at least several "foodie" magazines, on his nightstand and he'll drift off to dreamland with thoughts of incredible meals bouncing around in his head. Over the years, with Ed's cooking better than most restaurant offerings, we've even discussed the possibility of creating a cookbook ourselves.

Seeing the show reminded me that over 30 years ago I played a part in creating a cookbook. I was a sophomore in college when I was asked to create illustrations of the buildings on the University of Oregon campus for the University of Oregon Centennial Cookbook 1876 - 1976, produced by the University of Oregon Mothers' Club as a fundraiser. We do have a copy in our own cookbook collection. Out of curiosity I thought I would "Google" the book and see what popped up. There it was on Amazon and eBay for anyone to purchase - over 30 years after the fact. Never one to throw anything away, I still have the original, now seemingly crude, illustrations in a file somewhere in my incredibly messy office...

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

1 comment:

Dani Nordin said...

That's a pretty impressive collection. My uncle Joe is an online bookseller, and he has a pretty intense collection as well—I don't know how many, but there are at least 3-4 shelves of them in the kitchen he shares with my mom, including a few from the 1800's. I have a decent collection, mostly made up of back issues of Vegetarian Times and the entire Moosewood Collection, with a few extra books thrown in for good measure (the Polish and Russian cookbook is my favorite), but I have rarely been one to follow recipes, so they sort of sit there in a cabinet in my kitchen.