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Time Life "Foods of the World" series

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169 replies to this topic

#31 Lesley C

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Posted 30 May 2003 - 07:39 PM

The Vienna and Austro-Hungarian Empire book is downright beautiful. As are the Russia and India books.

#32 mikey

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Posted 30 May 2003 - 08:28 PM

It seems I'm the only person so far willing to admit that I bought the series by subscription, starting in 1970. I remember reading them cover to cover when they each book came, and they inspired a lot of alternatives to newlywed hamburger helper. You can tell our favorite recipes by the nastiness of the pages.

#33 Jaymes

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Posted 30 May 2003 - 09:29 PM

It seems I'm the only person so far willing to admit that I bought the series by subscription, starting in 1970. I remember reading them cover to cover when they each book came, and they inspired a lot of alternatives to newlywed hamburger helper. You can tell our favorite recipes by the nastiness of the pages.

I'll admit it. I did. But sadly, I've lost many of them through many relocations through the years.

I have always wanted to do an inventory of the ones I have left, and fill in the others.

Also, I remember too, like you, being so excited when each new one came.

When a friend discovered she was going to be moving to Germany, I gave her the German one, thinking I could replace it. But I never did.

This thread has inspired me to take whatever steps necessary to search out the volumes I need to complete the set.
"And you, you're just a stinker."

#34 awbrig

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Posted 31 May 2003 - 12:29 AM

I saw Maggie's set of books at her Famous Get Together and Im very jealous..that is a great collection....

I love looking at other people's cookbooks especially ones that you know have been used extensively, like Maggie and Lou's...

What dinners they must have prepared!

Edited by awbrig, 31 May 2003 - 12:30 AM.


#35 ruthcooks

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Posted 31 May 2003 - 08:41 AM

I, too, got the set when originally published. The books are a little "shopworn" from being moved so many times and put into storage for periods up to two years. I don't have room for the beautiful books at present, but keep the spirals at hand. I think I have the Good Cook series, too, but have never used them much.

I notice on the Janet Jarvits site that Vincent Price's "Treasury" is sold for as much as $100 and $200. What a book that one is.
Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

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#36 KNorthrup

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Posted 31 May 2003 - 02:00 PM

I notice on the Janet Jarvits site that Vincent Price's "Treasury" is sold for as much as $100 and $200.  What a book that one is.

Sorry to hijack the thread slightly, but what can people say about that one? I know he and his wife were well known for their love of food, it's not just a novelty thing. And a local bookstore has two copies -- $70 and $90. Worth it?

#37 hjshorter

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Posted 31 May 2003 - 03:08 PM

I notice on the Janet Jarvits site that Vincent Price's "Treasury" is sold for as much as $100 and $200.  What a book that one is.

Sorry to hijack the thread slightly, but what can people say about that one? I know he and his wife were well known for their love of food, it's not just a novelty thing. And a local bookstore has two copies -- $70 and $90. Worth it?

Wow, that much? My mother has that book and it's wonderful. I just asked her for it recently.
Heather Johnson
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#38 heyjude

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Posted 31 May 2003 - 03:54 PM

The Prices' book is very collectible and many people still cook from it. It's important to know that there were several editions and the original put out by Ampersand in 1965 is worth the most, especially if it's signed. The editions put out in later years by Bernard Geis Associates, G.P. Putman and Grosset and Dunlap go for as little as $35. There were even some bootlegged reprints made in China of obviously lower value. It should be in everyone's collection.
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#39 hjshorter

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Posted 31 May 2003 - 05:56 PM

Thanks for the info. My mother got it as a wedding gift in January of 1966, so I'm guessing it's probably the original. I'll have to check the next time I get to Charlotte.
Heather Johnson
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#40 kpurvis

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 05:48 AM

I love my copy of the Vincent Price. It was a gift from an elderly gentleman, given with the agreement that I'd treasure it and never sell it. The recipe collection is good, but my favorite part are the menus. Price included menus from all his favorite restaurants (some of them with prices), making it an amazing time capsule of food around the world, circa 1965.
Kathleen Purvis, food editor, The Charlotte (NC) Observer

#41 maggiethecat

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 09:06 AM

I love looking at other people's cookbooks especially ones that you know have been used extensively

This is always a wonderful peek into the life of a Cooking Buddy, or a new aquaintance. I remember checking out the collection of a girlfriend from France. I was so madly jealous. Hundreds of cookbooks, all in French, many of them her mother's or grandmother's. These books had been put to good use for a long, long time. I still treasure the Francoise Bernard "Recettes Faciles" she gave this tyro cook for a wedding present. On the back page she wrote (in that spidery French handwriting)the conversions from metric to English measures. I wonder where Eda is now.

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#42 Priscilla

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 10:07 AM

Also, re: T-L Foods of the World, somewhere along the line I scored a pamphlet with a master index of all the recipes. It's stapled, not spiral-bound. Very convenient for locating a particular thing.

It was in one of those piles of pamphlets that accumulate in the corners of the lowest shelves in used bookstores, which I usually don't bother to rifle. Maybe it was right on top.

Priscilla

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#43 KNorthrup

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 12:02 PM

Powell's just got in at least half a dozen titles. I have them all, so sharing that info. About $10 apiece.

powells.com

Apologies if I've mentioned this before, and more apologies for enabling, but one service they now offer is a daily email listing all used books received and added that day. Just used titles, not new. And you sign up by category and cookbooks is an option. So first dibs at everything. Note also that the daily list is, on average, about 120 titles.

And no I don't work for them. Just a big fan of how easy they make collecting.


One other caveat for folks getting inspired to start picking up the books. It's very very frustrating to be reading through the hardcovers and hit a great sounding recipe description or photo and discover it's only in the spiral section. Not to say you should pass up hardcovers when no corresponding spirals are immediately available, but it is a downside to the format.

#44 pjs

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 09:07 PM

There are a hundred or so listed for sale here:

http://dogbert.abebooks.com/abe/IList

Singles, sets, cheap, expensive.

Just type in "Time Life Foods of the World" in the title field in the search form.

PJ
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--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling
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#45 KatieLoeb

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 09:27 PM

This thread has inspired me to broaden my collection of these great books. So far I've gotten about 10 Good Cooks books in the last few days on eBay for a song! I'm looking at some of the Foods of the World series too, as I never saw those before. I won the Scandinavian set today for $3.00! :cool:

This will be fun and can be a new project/hobby to keep me off the streets and out of trouble. :wink:

Katie M. Loeb
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#46 JSD

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 10:09 AM

After reading this thread, I saw some at a garage sale today and bought the lot for $40. They hardly look used. They include 14 large books, and 14 spiral bound books. I have Germany, Provincial France, Chinese, British Isles, American, Middle Eastern, Scandinavia, Spain and Portugal, Vienna's Empire, Wines and Spirits, Latin American, Japan, India, and Italy. Which am I missing? I'm excited to look through these.

#47 elyse

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 10:23 AM

Off the top of my head, Quintet of Cuisines.

#48 mikey

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 12:38 PM

I did a quick count of our bookshelf and came up with 29(this may include a couple of dupes). Others include 5 or 6 regional American, Pacific & Southeast Asia, Classic French, Russia, Caribbean.
Enjoy

#49 Flocko

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 01:00 PM

What a wonderful series!!

I remember that I got them, by subscription, once a month, in a slipcase with the recipe book for .............$6.95 each................This was in '70, '71. They are still among my most used for cooking and most read for sheer enjoyment.
Bill Benge
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#50 KNorthrup

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 08:15 PM

Also Africa.

#51 skchai

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 12:07 AM

An inrelevant point: the Foods of the World series remained in print long after it originally came out, and some of the later printings, while not exactly new editions, contain slight updates on people and places. Mostly they're about people who died in the interim, like Euell Gibbons (Eastern Heartland) and that daring Alaskan pilot (Great West).

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#52 SWoodyWhite

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 08:14 AM

For anyone wanting a check-list, I believe the full 27-volume set includes (not in order)

1) Provincial France
2) Classic French Cooking
3) Japan
4) Chinese Cooking
5) Pacific & Southeast Asian
6) British Isles
7) Italy
8) Russian
9) Germany
10) Scandinavia
11) Spain & Portugal
12) Vienna's Empire
13) Carribbean Islands
14) Middle Eastern
15) India
16) African
17) Latin American Cooking
18) Wines & Spirits
19) A Quintet of Cuisines
20) American Cooking
21) American Cooking: Creole & Arcadian
22) American Cooking: New England
23) American Cooking: Southern Style
24) American Cooking: The Northwest
25) American Cooking: The Great West
26) American Cooking: Eastern Heartland
27) American Cooking: The Melting Pot

The Introduction to the Melting Pot volume announces that it is the final volume in the series.

Wasn't this one of the first times regional American cooking was really discussed in a mainstream series?

And, dang, I'm missing two of the Recipe volumes.

Edited by SWoodyWhite, 10 June 2003 - 08:17 AM.

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#53 BellaRosa

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 07:30 AM

Hello everyone! I did find the complete 57 book set of the Time-Life Foods of the World series on Ebay for $70. plus $30 shipping, which I consider one hell of a deal! I fell in love with them when I came across them 5 years ago at the local library and then subsequently got three (Germany, Japan, Provincial France) at a yard sale. My set is in very good shape, with minimal wear, and it includes the 27 hardcover, the companion spiral set, and three supplemental booklets that were a nice bonus but non-essential. I highly recommend folks search these out if you enjoy reading your cookbooks as well as cooking from them.

I'll go search for the Good Cook series now!

#54 tryska

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 07:33 AM

if i remember correctly , i used to read the India one for fun when i was little. I loved the pictures, and the writing was good too.


(of course i also had an appetitie for National Geographics, and my dad's Medical Journals)

#55 marie-louise

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 08:39 PM

FYI Jessica's Biscuit has a number of the Good Cooks series for sale-and they are still new! I love that they buy up going-out-of-print books.

#56 maggiethecat

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Posted 01 November 2003 - 09:19 PM

Wasn't this one of the first times regional American cooking was really discussed in a mainstream series?

I think you're right, Woody. We cooked from the Southern volume last week.

And we're simmering the pistachio studded stuffed veal breast from "The Cooking of Italy" tonight. These books never disappoint.

Margaret McArthur

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#57 artisan02

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 07:01 PM

It seems I'm the only person so far willing to admit that I bought the series by subscription, starting in 1970. I remember reading them cover to cover when they each book came, and they inspired a lot of alternatives to newlywed hamburger helper. You can tell our favorite recipes by the nastiness of the pages.

View Post

Jump.

I am another one that got the series entirely by subscription, starting when I was about 19 years old. I have the entire series, which is now in storage.

The recipes do work. I learned to make Osso Buco from these books, risotto, and a ton of other wonderful recipes. These were my first introductions to anything other than southern cooking.

I also got a good part of the Good Cook series by subscription. I am still missing about 3 books from that series.

#58 SobaAddict70

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 08:46 PM

You really can't forget that description of Spanish food at the beginning of the Spain/Portugal volume, of sharing a tortilla, some wine and bread with a complete stranger whilst on a train ride. Or how true Spanish gazpacho is made (in a clay bowl, with bread, tomatoes, peppers, onion, wine and EVOO, set out to cook in a sunlit window). Or the glories of English (yes, you read that right, English cuisine, especially in spring and summer), in the volume on the UK.

Guess that's one of my next projects, to add the books to my collection.

Soba

#59 artisan02

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 08:56 PM

You really can't forget that description of Spanish food at the beginning of the Spain/Portugal volume, of sharing a tortilla, some wine and bread with a complete stranger whilst on a train ride.

View Post

Wasn't there a description of a soup, in the Spain and Portugal volume, in the same section that you mention, which had a crustacean in the middle which was set to spinning 'round in the bowl? Or is that in another volume.
For some reason this sticks with me. In spite of the description, it sounded so good. I wanted some of that!

I can't check the volumes now, cause they are all in storage.

Of the recipes, I started cooking from the Provincial France volume. I still think the chocolate mousse recipe in that volume is the best one I have ever had.

#60 tcavallo

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 11:00 AM

Well, since we're talking about it, did anyone here happen to grab the full set they had for $25 (YES $25!!) at the James Beard House cookbook sale? I had to take a train back to Brooklyn and didn't feel like lugging them, and since I already had 6 at home I just grabbed 10 more of the "loosies" for a dollar each to add to my collection. Great books all, and only slightly outmoded in certain areas. Get 'em when you can find 'em and eBay the rest.





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