I wanted to make banana bread this morning so pulled out the cookbook that has my favorite recipe.
“Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Cookbook”
This poor book – it’s lost its dust jacket, the spine is gone, the binding is in tatters.
Pages are dog eared, stained with years of cooking splashes, marked with recipe changes… No matter – it is my go-to cookbook.
It was my mom’s so I grew up using it as a teen and when I had a family of my own, before the days of eBay & Amazon, I had a bookstore search for a copy for me. When asked for any info I had about it, I mentioned that it was copyright 1961 and had drawings by Andrew Warhol. The vintage book store guy seemed surprised by that but said it might make it easier to find. They found a copy for me within a few months. The cover had a different colorway but it had a dust jacket and the book itself was super clean.
(See – I wasn’t fibbing about the Andrew Warhol thing.)
I love the drawings and used to flip the pages, just to see his simple linework images.
Anyway, I did use this book for awhile. It was odd, because I was used to the old one falling open at certain pages and the new copy seemed like it had seen nearly no use. I made do with it though.
A few years later, while visiting my parents one holiday, my mom told me she was going to do a book purge and asked if I wanted anything before she did. Duh. I packed every cookbook she had and put the box in our truck for the drive home.
The old Amy Vanderbilt is now my most used and most loved cookbook. It sits on the shelf next to the “nicer” one. I sometimes think about using it but then my hand always falls on the old standby.