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That’s what I came home with last week-end. 101 cookbooks! A real treasure trove. My friend Karen introduced me to her friend Marina, a cookbook collector. As in a collector of 2000 cookbooks. No, that’s not a typo. All catalogued on her computer, to boot.  Marina is downsizing her home and unfortunately, she can only keep a fraction of her collection. Fortunately for me, I was invited to spend an afternoon in her home to browse through her collection and pick any book my little heart desired. Which I did. With coffee, decadent double-chocolate cookies and a fruit smoothie! How lucky was I?

As I put aside my choices, I couldn’t help but look over at Marina every now and then and ask if she was sure she could part with her treasures. She was sure. I think she was somewhat relieved they were going to a cookbook lover and foodie rather than just having to dump them off at a thrift shop. I would have felt the same. Some of these finds will be displayed at the cottage, but most will go right here, on my wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling bookshelf that Peter built for me.

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Marina must have known that I am also a gadget junkie. She passed a couple of them on to me, one of which is a true treasure. Check this out. Isn’t it a beauty? In its original box too. Love it!

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And now I just have to share some of my book finds with you.

Books by Lidia Bastianich, my namesake! A cookbook from the amazing La Brea Bakery in L.A.

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The prominent Marcella Hazan, Godmother of Italian cooking.  Renowned for introducing the American public to traditional Italian food. Alice Waters, activist, author and owner of the ever-popular Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkley. Sweet and savoury dishes featuring fruit.

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James Beard, cookbook author and teacher who helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, discusses bread. Writings of Elizabeth David on Italian food, she being a British cookery author who introduced a generation of British cooks to Italian and Mediterranean foods. And a sweet, little book on cocktails.

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A second little book of cocktails…just reading the names of some of these drinks is a hoot! Bosom Caresser (I’m not kidding!), Brain Duster, Climax Cocktail, Corpse Reviver, Poop Deck Pappy Cocktail, Symphony of Moist Joy Cocktail, The Barking Dog, Between-The-Sheets, Damn-The-Weather Cocktail, Gingivitis Cocktail (I’m not making this up!), Nude Eel Cocktail,  One Exciting Night, I-Don’t- Care-Cocktail… Can’t wait until summer so I could whip up some of these babies!

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Pearl S. Buck, an American author who spent the first 40 years of her life in China. Winner of the Pulitzer prize in 1932 for The Good Earth and the Nobel Prize in Literature for her rich and epic writings of peasant life in China. Through her beautiful and eloquent writings on each country, she manages to transport me to those exotic lands.

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And this old beauty. The Margaret Rudkin Pepperidge Farm Cookbook. Just look at the front and back cover. Gorgeous!

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The pages inside are filled with the sweetest illustrations. 

…for a Lamb Curry                                 …for Extra Special Cookies

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…for Boeuf Stroganoff Without Panic and Ground Beef A La Lindstrom

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And this old, and old-fashioned, Betty Crocker Cookbook for Boys and Girls. It’s a wonder they’ve added a boy on the cover! And the sweetest cookies… 

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And now for the pièce de resistance, from a little Italian cookbook…

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Hilarious!

To thank Marina, a donation will be made to Saint-Mary’s Hospital in memory of her mom. And of course, lunch chez moi.  Thank you Marina for this wonderful gift. Thank you Karen for having thought of me and introduced us.

Finn the kitten, thinking what fun this is!

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Little kitten Shadow, wondering where to begin…

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Naughty kittens telling me it’s time to shelve those cookbooks before they wreak havoc!

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