Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Annals of the Weird: A Cookbook

“I will start with meats, fish, eggs, soups and sauces, sandwiches, vegetables, the art of French frying, desserts, how to dress game, how to properly sharpen a knife, how to make wines and beer, how to make French soap and also what to do in case of hydrogen or cobalt bomb attack, keeping as much in alphabetical order as possible.”
So begins George Leonard Herter’s Bull Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices, published in 1960. In a 2008 review, "The Oddball Know-It-All," NY Times writer Paul Collins includes this quote and characterizes Herter's cookbook as "one of the greatest oddball masterpieces in this or any other language."

I learned of Bull Cook and its highly weird author in this post at The Neglected Books Blog. The blog author has plenty of comments about his reaction to Herter; for example, "I know I for one am relieved that someone finally thought to include nuclear attack survival tips just after the recipes for Prunes Maxim’s and 'How to Make Puff Paste or Flaky Pastry Dough.'"

I'm not at all sure that I need to look up this loony volume, but I definitely wanted to share my new awareness of its existence.

1 comment:

Jeanie said...

Puff Paste. Oh, the visuals are amazing!