October 9, 2014
Gancel's Encyclopedia of Modern Cooking, ©1920, revised 1956
You could accuse me of cheating on this one. I didn't mean to. This book claims to have over 8,000 recipes in it - that's a great deal more than most Pinterest boards. And it's suitably old.
Reality is this is more glossary than cookbook. Pocket-sized to hide in your apron, every term for every style of cooking is listed in here; heavily influenced by European styles and in particular the French. Mr. Gancel provides his professional references as a prelude, and it's impressive.
Most "recipes" are little more than shorthand versions of what it should contain. I've not found the abbreviations list. I need an interpreter...
There are a few descriptions that give volumes and amounts, but I need to look up terms here too; how much is a gill? Timing is "wing it!" I've come to think of it as the dictionary of secret chef-speak, like a secret handshake. Maybe this is where real cookin' and less "recipe-followin' " begins.
Throwback Thursdays features a recipe from an antiquey style cookbook. Hard to know what age to put on it, but you know an old-timey one when you see it. I have at least 10 oldies now, a number which, being greater than 3, implies a collection. It also means they need their own shelf in the cookbook bookcase.