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Jul 27, 2013 02:21 PM

The side-car thread to the absolute worst cookbook you own -- What is your most obscure, weird or oddball cookbook.

This kind of came up in the worst cookbook that you own discussion. In addition to actual worst cookbooks, there are "weird" cookbooks. Books that are pretty obscure or very limited in audience appeal. Doesn't mean they are your worst. But it does mean they are weird.
Here are my top two nominations from my cookbook collection:
"Bill Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices" by George Leonard Herter and Berthe E. Herter.
"A General's Diary of Treasured Recipes" by Brigadier General Frank Dorn.

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  1. I will offer up my coolest cookbook treasure for its age and obscurity. Miss Parloa's New Cookbook and Marketing Guide from 1886 that i got at an estate sale for 12 dollars. Really cool to me.

    5 Replies
    1. re: suzigirl

      I have White Trash Cooking by Ernest Mickler. AND the follow up. I just find them fascinating. I confess to making a recipe or two... and having to google oleo and palm cabbage

      1. re: Goatjunky

        Not sure why you responded to me but oleo is old school margarine and palm cabbage is what i grew up on in Florida. We called it swamp cabbage, but most call it hearts of palm

      2. re: suzigirl

        Miss Parloa is not an obscure figure in New England cooking and the development of the home economics movement there.

        1. re: sr44

          Maybe true. But as far as cookbooks go, do you have one from 1886?

      3. I've never done this before, but let's see if I can link to an old thread. My coolest old cookbook is "Aunt Chick's Pies" from 1949. I'm sure it belonged to my grandmother and then my mother after her. I wrote a rather extensive listing of recipes here:

        1. George Leonard Herter was an eccentric dude from Waseca MN. He also wrote a book called "How to Live With a Bitch and Avoid Killing Her". His company, Herters Inc., was a supplier of outdoorsman equipment, and Sam F. and I used to enjoy the massive catalogs. We learned from George how to skin a squirrel in 60 seconds.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Veggo

            Just the title alone is priceless.I want that cookbook. I now have a mission...

          2. Saucepans and the Single Girl - kind of a cookbook for a Mary Tyler Moore type in the 60s/70s (or so I would assume). Cute and fun and with a few actually good recipes.


            I got it at a thrift store.

            4 Replies
            1. re: moreace01

              I have it and the sequel, Now That You Have Caught Him, How To Keep Him.

              1. re: Candy

                That sounds more like a dating book to me. ;)

                  1. re: Firegoat

                    Read Misery for that, it's a classic. ;)

            2. Most of those 'neighborhood' cookbooks, similar to church/JR League-especially if you live In a small neighborhood, & you're wondering why they did/didn't ask you for a recipe...