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Jul 11, 2012 06:21 AM

What is your funniest cookbook story?

My in-laws hosted a Swedish Smorgasbord every Christmas. When my father-in-law passed away, we found his Swedish cookbook and knowing that my brother-in-law would also want it, I proceeded to record all information on the hand written notes and loose papers that were stuffed into the cookbook. (I found an identical cookbook online for myself). The Swedish meatball recipe was the most sought after. So I was going through the notes, most of which were shopping lists, and found a torn out page from a magazine. The article was about a couple, one Swedish and one Italian, who each cooked their family meatball recipes and conducted a taste test. I scanned through and read the comments from the Tasters. One comment read, "These are f***ing good!" I was taken aback. What magazine is this from? So I look at the margins of the page and there was no indication. I flip over the page and look at the margins, and it was blank as well. Then I notice the picture on the back page. It is an X-ray photo of a suitcase, and in the suitcase are some adult toys. Whoa!! Clearly, he wanted the magazine purely for the meatball recipes! Haha!

Does anyone else have a funny stories to share about adventures with cookbooks?

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  1. Well, I have a of those loose-leaf publications that various organizations or workplaces put out as fundraisers...this one from the Humane Society of Missouri circa about 1990, that features a recipe for a copycat Steak and Shake chili. One of the ingredients is 'cream of soup'. Gotta think they missed a word there. The frustrating thing (since I abhor a mystery) is that all the obvious elements seem to be represented (onions, tomatoes, celery, chili powder) so there is no WAY to figure out cream of WHAT?

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    1. OK this isn’t fall-on-the-floor funny but always made me smile: You know those Nancy Drew books – those 70s hardcovers with the yellow spines? Back in elementary school, I would just devour those things one after the other while snacking away. Bliss. Anyway the back covers of some of the books advertised a Nancy Drew Cookbook. What always struck me as funny, even as a kid, was the phrasing of one of the marketing blurbs: “This cookbook will just encourage young cooks” – as if that were a bad thing.

      1. I come from a family that writes in cookbooks - how else are we supposed to keep track of what we've tried and what worked/didn't? My mom was not a fan of meatloaf, but she found a recipe in an early microwave cookbook (I must have been young) and that became her go-to meatloaf recipe. It was pretty bad: farfel (broken-up matzah) instead of breadcrumbs, for example. Anyway, one time she was making it, I decorated the recipe page with my crayons and a variety of stickers.

        Fast-forward to my 20s, and I was home from grad school for a visit, and she decided to make meatloaf for dinner rather than having my dad grill burgers. She sent me into the pantry to find the cookbook with the recipe for "Clifford-loaf". Apparently, one of the stickers I'd put on the page was Clifford the Big Red Dog, and that was what she associated with the recipe! We had a few good laughs about the idea of eating Clifford for dinner...