April 11, 2010

Only One Box

That white bookcase on the far wall is much emptier and the top now has only plants.

Himself: Breakfast at Perry’s now reopened from months of closure after a kitchen fire, computer time, volunteered at the museum, came home to dinner, angry at me, computer, TV, Bed.

Herself: Got an awful lot done: after a soft breakfast at Perry’s, I got rid of a whole box of cookbooks, cleaned out the back of the truck washing two wringing wet, gooey blankets and talking to Judi the historical lady while I packed it up with stuff for the battered women, read too, angry at G and told him so, dinner, and at bed time felt like I got massive amounts of stuff done this day. Hurrah!

Misc: The RMS Titanic sailed on her maiden voyage yesterday, April 10, 1912.

Reading: Rereading McCaffrey’s “Dragonquest.” Now I am very aware why I replaced this pair of glasses….the focal point is wrong for reading.

Gratitude: Sunshine, owning a pick-em-up truck, the ability to let go.

No. I do not have to own every cookbook every printed. Yes too, if I am not going to reread or use a book again, it can go to a new home.

Wow, new thinking.

I do have two versions of some cookbooks and three of others. Some of these I let these stay as fascinating historical documents. Just as pork has grown leaner, so have cookbooks. No longer do the basic cookbooks have two or three thousand recipes as the older ones did, now they have four or five hundred. They are often printed one recipe to a page…..instead of two columns of six or more per page….with variations. Illustrations are in color and take up a whole page also. What a difference from the earliest commercial cookbooks to these glossy volumes we find on shelves now.

For years I have also collected those pamphlets, those small glossy inclusions that came with your new stove, your new Frigidaire, or your brand new Westinghouse product. There also sit small booklet’s showing you ten new ways with rice or avocados. The pages that illustrate twenty new ways to use Hunt’s tomato sauce taught me not to be afraid of making cabbage rolls. No one would want those tomato smeared pages but me now, so I kept them. The Wesson Oil folder came with a better stock cover and was stamped out in the shape of a salad bowl. I wouldn’t get rid of that little work of art for anything. Half a shelf of these tantalize me into diving into their contents more often. Leave me smiling too.

Oh, I had such tough decisions to make yesterday.

I confess. I didn’t quite fill my small U-Haul box with cookbooks, but I came near the top. I finished it off with one or two duplicates from the science fiction shelves….with a sense of guilt for losing these old friends.

What’s next now….the towels from the downstairs bath, the linens, the garage?


  1. I commend you. Parting with books is hard. Keep yp the good work.

  2. I have to do the same. It's heart-wrenching. Can I borrow a cup of ruthlessness.

  3. I'm all for minimal!
    However: I have a little pamphlet with hotdog recipes from around the world (!!!) with the cutest illustrations of hotdogs in lederhosen or kimonos or in a gondola that i will never relinquish!!!


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