Collecting Vintage Cookbooks

Do you remember fondue parties… or really good fruitcake… or Mom’s dinners before the advent of fast food and frozen dinners? You can find delicious classic recipes and discover long forgotten family recipes in vintage cookbooks. Whenever I shop a thrift store I always browse the book department specifically looking for vintage recipe books and pamphlets. I may be looking for specific recipes or just looking for interesting information about cooking the way it used to be. I skim over newer titles and look for the well used cookbooks of the past, preferably from the 1960's or earlier.

Much of the food we eat as well as the cooking methods we use have changed over the years. Light heart healthy meals were definitely not the norm. You'll find lots of meats and casserole dishes in these early books. There's no mention of low-fat, either, as butter, lard, heavy cream, cheeses and full fat milk are common ingredients. With a few substitutions, many old recipes can easily be converted into healthier fare, but even if you don't want to recreate recipes, vintage cookbooks are just fun to read.