The more curmudgeonly among us would call an entire store devoted to cookbooks a recipe for bankruptcy, but to me it’s sheer happiness. As you might have guessed from reading this blog, I LOVE cookbooks. As an extension of this love, I ADORE cookbook stores. Too bad they’re so scarce. I’ve already filled you in on one of my favorites, Books for Cooks in London (in case you missed it, see post here), but I’m happy to report that I’ve found another, Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks in New York’s West Village.
Here, cookbooks new, old, out-of-print and antiquarian are wedged together in a happy jumble. The owner, Bonnie Slotnick, is a true devotee of the recipe, collecting housekeeping manuals and baking books, 1950s-era cooking magazines, vintage cookware, aprons and greeting cards, along with a special section dedicated to etiquette.
Movie buffs, take note: these books (photo above) were used on the set of Julie and Julia, the new Nora Ephron movie starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child, which debuts August 7 (according to the internets).
I picked up this second-hand Elizabeth David paperback (photo above), a worthy guide to some of France’s regional cuisines.
The Little House on the Prairie books contain some of my favorite food scenes ever (especially Farmer Boy — does anyone else remember the scene with Almanzo’s popcorn and glass of creamy milk?). Filled with recipes like “crackling cornbread,” “apples and onions,” and “stewed jack rabbit and dumplings,” The Little House Cookbook captured my attention immediately, though I ultimately decided not to buy it. Imagine my surprise and happiness when friends brought it as a gift to me in Paris! I can’t wait to create dishes like “blackbird pie”… “Blackbirds are still a nuisance to farmers, but only one member of this large group of birds may be freely hunted throughout the United States,” says the recipe. “This is the starling, a twentieth-century European immigrant that is despised by townspeople as well for its noisy, dirty massing habits. Starlings cannot be bought; they must be hunted.” Get out the shotgun, Pa, I’ve got a hankerin’ for blackbird pie!
Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks
163 W. 10th Street
New York, NY 10014
Open 1pm-7pm “most” days; call ahead