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May 14, 2002 11:21 PM

Found the Picayune and Hearns cook books in the library ....

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After I read about these books I decided to see if I could track them down.
And....I did in the library. They are in the non-circulating room.
I was astounded by the Picayune's unbelieveable. Boarder's said they will have the
re-prints in shortly. I MUST have one.

The Hearns book is also out of print and I would like to have a copy of that as well.

And Celeste...I saw the Bayou book and your Dad's gumbo in there. I'm gonna copy it down and try it soon.
WOW !.....ANOTHER fabulous book.
I wish I could check them out....but, in the library they stay.
Guess I just have to make copies till I can find the books to buy.

Thanks so much for the suggestions.

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    Hungry Celeste

    I bought my copy of the Hearn book at DeVille Books on Carondelet--the LA section there has an eclectic group of food books. And the Picayune book was reissued; you should be able to find it in bookstores. Amazon carries a nice selection of used books, too. See my earlier post on used culinary books: Kitchen Witch is a used cookbooks store on North Rampart, near Armstrong Park. It is run by the pastry chef at Peristyle (I think). His prices aren't great, but he does have a nice collection.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Hungry Celeste

      Actually I am going to go down there this afternoon....
      I was in the Quater yesterday picking up a Muff. at the Central Grocery and I stumbled on that cookbook store. It was closed and he had some kind of sign posted saying it was open limited hours.
      I'll get the reprint of the Picayune when it come out but I would like a copy of the book that has your Dad's gumbo in it.
      So...we'll see.

      1. re: Evangeline
        Hungry Celeste

        My Picayune cookbook is the '71 reprint. I don't generally buy rare or first editions. I seem to remember Kitchen Witch being open Wed--Sat from 3 pm to 6 pm, or something close to that. Last time I was at the shop, the proprietor's large smelly dog was lying on the rug in the middle of the tiny shop. Still, it was worth the dog hair and heat (no AC). His selection is interesting....I found a slip-covered, first edition of MFK Fisher's translation of Brillat-Savarin. Too expensive for me, but a treasure nonetheless.

      2. re: Hungry Celeste

        Which edition do you have ?? I noticed that the 1971
        edition is a reprint of the original text from 1901...
        BUT...the books from 1936 forward have a slight change in text. The recipies are the same but a some of the text before them has been deleted or re-written.

        Also.....I am undecided as to whether I should buy a collector copy or a newer book.
        The newer book will hold up longer and the pages won't yellow...where as the older collector copies seem to be on their way to yellowing. Yet the idea of having a collector book is enticing.

        The one thing I know is that I want an original book with all the recipies....the 1987 edition has recipies left out of it.

        What do you think ?

        1. re: Evangeline

          I've never done a page-by-page comparison---and I need to for some things I am working on---but my edition is the 1971 reprint. I'd love to have the original, if only for the fun of it. I have done something similar with "the Gentleman's Companion" by Chas.H Baker Jr. I own the 1946 Crown reprint which replaces my father's now-retired copy of the same, but I also own the original limited edition 1939 Derrydale (autographed, no less!) which never gets near the grease of the kitchen but is consulted for recipes that were omitted from the reprint.

          1. re: Hazelhurst

            If you have the 1971 have the original text as it was written in 1901.
            From what I can tell...this is the original book reprinted....which for me and the kitchen grease will be fine.
            At least I think it is the original. On the cover, or somewhere, it states that it is a reprint of the original.
            For some reason they seem to have altered some of the text before the recipies in the books between the 1936 edition and the '71 edition.

            I'm short on funds and I guess I am trying to decide if I want to spend the money on a book that never sees the kitchen or a book that does.
            The '71 is made for the kitchen and it has the original text.
  's paperback and itdoes not have the neat hard cover of the older books.
            So....I guess I'll just have to decide.
            Also.....I'm worried about the older book's pages yellowing and falling out. Some of the ones I saw in the library were getting REALLY yellow and frail.
            Do you have any suggestions as to what I can do to prevent this ?
            I would hate to muster up a bunch of money only to have the book fall apart on me years later from overuse.

            Any more input you can give me would be most appreciated.

            Also.... I am not familiar with the Baker book or Derrydale ???

            1. re: Evangeline

              I'd like to have the original Picayune Cookbook just for fun but, as you said, the pages are fragile. You might check with The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) on Royal Street about preserving the paper. I know that documents at the State Archives are given a bath in something-or-other to neutralize the acid in the paper but I do not know how this works with a bound book. There must be SOME way of handling the issue. [Of course, you can always wear gloves, as one needs to do in examining many old papers]

              Charles H. Baker Jr wrote several very funny cookbooks and travel guides. "The Gentleman's Companion" is comprised of a pair of books, The Exotic Cookery Book and the Exotic Drinking Book. He did a similar set for South America. They are written in the first person plural and this makes for very funny sentence constructions. The original book was an early International cooking collection, put together by a man with a great sense of humor and a true joie de vivre. I've no idea what happened to him but I like to think he retired happily to Java Head, his home in Florida, having raised a fine family. His kids may yet be alive but they'd be pushing 70 today.

              Baker is proof that the American interest in food is not recent. I have patience with those who think that something like skate is a recent introduction to these shores but the truth is that folks have always evinced an interest and appreciation for such foods. Maybe, due to foce of numbers, we have more people pushing for good stuff but none of this is exactly "new"

              1. re: Hazelhurst

                Thanks Hazelhurst....I'll check with THNOC. Maybe they have some ideas. I too would like a collector book...but I fear if I buy one, I'm gonna have to keep it out of the kitchen....maybe re-copy whatever I am gonna use and work from that.

                So.....I'll see what kind of copies I can dig up and decide when I see them.
                Thanks for the help.

      3. Wandered down to my kitchen and noted that I have the Dover reprint of the 1901 Picayune Cookbook (2d Ed) on my shelf. Like other Dovers, its a quality paperback on heavy paper and it is a facsimile reprint of the original. Dont have time to search for a Dover website but I suggest going straight to them for this item. Then you will have an inexpensive durable book you can take right into the kitchen.

        I am also attaching a link I found with what looks like a comprehensive list of Louisiana cookbooks. Id say the Richard and Rima Collin book might be worth looking for on Bookfinder. The Mary Land book is full of recipes for such as bear steak which are readily obtainable throughout the country (:-)


        4 Replies
        1. re: jen kalb

          Spoke to soon about the Dover - I cant find it on their website. The copy I have of the Dover Reprint Picayune Creole Cook Book is hot pink and softcovere - Under the title it says "The Original Second and Best Edition of the Great Classic of Louisiana French Cookery". No author.

          There are several copies of this edition currently up for sale through Bookfinder.


          1. re: jen kalb

            Thanks, I have seen those editions for sale....I have just been wrestling with myself on whether to buy an old edition or one I can take into the kitchen.
            I love the idea of the original reprint from 1901 but I also love the hardback books that were published in the 20's forward.
            Maybe I'll just have to buy 2 of them. One for the kitchen and one for the bookshelf.
            I'm a book freak and love to have the old hardback editions.
            Unfortunately I am short on cash right I've got to figure out what's best to do for the moment.
            Thanks for your input.

          2. re: jen kalb

            I recomment checking e-bay. I have found several intersting Louisiana cookbooks, including the Pic, there and passed up dozens more.

            1. re: JoeTooCool

              I agree - Ive found cookbooks on ebay that were not even available through bookfinder - its a great market but a bit of a crapshoot what will be available any given day.