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Greetings from Vermont

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I recently retired after 45 years in the hospitality and related software industries and am very much looking forward to devoting attention to redirecting my hobbies into mainstream pursuits – writing, travel and cookbooks.  Coming from a long line of educators and librarians, it has always struck me that this convergence of interests was highly advantageous, if not downright predestined.


I have traveled extensively for decades but it was only ten years ago that I began journaling the trips as a blog for friends around the world.  Would that I had begun much earlier but, the writing gradually became as important as the destinations and that, in turn, began to meld with the objectives behind my cookbook collection.


While I collected cookbooks for many years, it wasn’t until my mother’s collection passed to me that I decided to get serious about it.  I settled on three objectives:

1.      I wanted to be a generalist rather than a specialist.  Cookbook subjects are legion, and I wanted to focus on those works that were the most significant within any given topic.

2.      As a former history major, I was particularly interested in those works within the last 150 years that had an incremental impact on the evolution of culinary perceptions.

3.      Every author has influences and I wanted to explore the connections between peers and from one generation to the next.


Over the last 30 years, that intensively curated collection has grown to over 7,100 titles but there is always more to discover.  I quickly realized that many of the publications were not only out of print, but out of sight.  Today, the volume of new releases is staggering while space on bookstore shelves is limited.  In support of the collection, my writing documents those titles and authors that remain relevant and deserve greater visibility.


I stumbled across these forums as I was tracking another “lost” cookbook and was excited to realize that you are the very people whose input I need.  I will be posting questions in a couple of the forums, and I hope you will be amenable to sharing your experiences.

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"You're never too old to do goofy stuff." -- Ward Cleaver

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Holy cow, @Rurban24, and I thought I had a growing pile of cookbooks! 🤣 I have fewer than 10% of your titles.


There are some great people here, you'll soon make fast friends. Welcome.

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Welcome, @Rurban24. I'm looking forward to your questions and the related discussions. Two years and a few months ago, in the "Cookbooks – How Many Do You Own? (Part 5)" topic, I wrote, "We probably should have a topic for folks who are contemplating -- or actually -- winnowing their cookbook collection, and could use some encouragement and empathy. Or maybe there's one already but I've forgotten about it." And now it's time. Good things come to those who wait.


In the mid-70s I was planning to move to St. Johnsbury, but I had a work commitment in New York for another few months and the agency couldn't postpone my offer.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1


"Imagine all the food you have eaten in your life and consider that you are simply some of that food, rearranged."  -Max Tegmark, physicist


Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."


"...in the mid-’90s when the internet was coming...there was a tendency to assume that when all the world’s knowledge comes online, everyone will flock to it. It turns out that if you give everyone access to the Library of Congress, what they do is watch videos on TikTok."  -Neil Stephenson, author, in The Atlantic


"In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual." -Galileo Galilei, physicist and astronomer

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