Food, Glorious Food

greater jello recipe book

The Greater Jell-O Recipe Book (G.F. Corporation, 1931)

I’m currently working on a big special collections project (it’ll be ready to roll in a few months, and you’re going to love it – stay tuned!). Today’s post, however, is about another set of items that are inadvertently crossing my path during my adventures in collections acquisitions. Specifically, hilarious historic cooking pamphlets. Like The Greater Jell-O Recipe Book. Because who doesn’t want to whip up a gelatinous Ham and Celery Loaf? Mmmmmmm.

green loaf in greater jello recipe book

I bought this for my personal collection. It’s a little 7up recipe pamphlet.

9 ways to spark family favorites

9 Ways to Spark Family Favorites (The Seven Up Company, 1948)

With a recipe for ham basted with 7up.

ham basted with 7up

Or hey! 7up with milk for the kiddies???

7up and milk

As it turns out, Katie also had a small horde of these pamphlets, and we started rifling through them with gusto. Check out the During Scalomatic instructions. Honestly, I’m not sure if the woman’s expression on this is excitement or horror.

during scaleomatic pressure cooker

During Scalomatic Pressure Cooker (During Developments Inc., 1946)

Or how about New Cake Secrets? Because everyone already knows the old cake secrets.

new cake secrets

New Cake Secrets (G.F. Corporation, 1931)

Here’s one of Katie’s favorites. Both for the title and the illustration. Those are some FIERCE skirt pleats. Apparently part of the standard uniform in Health Defense.

meat in the meal

Meat in the Meal for Health Defense (National Live Stock and Meat Board, 1942)

And just in case you are needing 99 tempting pineapple treats…I wonder…did the 100th recipe not quite meet the “tempting” threshold…?

99 pineapple treats

Ninety-Nine Tempting Pineapple Treats (Association of Hawaiian Pineapple Canners, 1924)

Here’s Some of My Favorite Good Things to Eat, a vision in plaid:

some of my favorite good things to eat

Some of My Favorite Things to Eat (Church & Dwight Inc., 1940)

Funny. In one of the illustrations, the mother’s waistline appears to be smaller than that of her her 6-year-old daughter. Also, call my picky, but last time I checked, sour milk was not listed under my top 5 “Good Things to Eat.”

some of my favorite good things to eat interior

There were quite a number of Jell-O pamphlets. Here’s the “Mordor” of Jell-O towers.

jello recipes cover

Jell-O Recipes Pamphlet (G.F. Corporation, 1934)

One the back cover, instructions to delicately inhale the bouquet of your freshly opened box of Jell-O. Which I never thought to do, honestly. But now I’m totally going to try it.

jello recipes back cover

Another Jell-O pamphlet, this one from 1920.

many reasons for jello

Many Reasons for Jell-O (Genesee Pure Food Company, 1920)

I want to frame this center spread. The “Strawberry Brick” is giving me pause, however.

many reasons for jello ice cream interior

I save the best for last. This is a pamphlet for Spry, a product that is still going strong!

124 spry recipes

What Shall I Cook Today? (Lever Brothers Company, circa 1950)

The hilarity continues on the back. This is my favorite panel. Because I don’t know about you, but I do all my grocery shopping in a hat, lipstick, and white gloves.

can of spry

Legendary

books of wonder nyc photo 5

New York City is quite the literary town, but there is one place I hear about repeatedly in my line of work. The famous, fun, and fabulous children’s bookstore, Books of Wonder. On a recent trip to the city, Katie and I stopped by their 18th Street location to bask in the stuff of legend.

Independently owned and operated, Books of Wonder first opened its doors in 1980. Originally slated to sell antiquarian children’s books, the stock soon expanded to encompass new children’s books as well. In 37 years of business, Books of Wonder has moved, expanded multiple times, coordinated events both large and small, launched a publishing division, and become the keepers and champions of Frank Baum’s Oz books. Another interesting fact – Books of Wonder inspired the setting for the children’s bookstore in You’ve Got Mail, right down to being measured, photographed, and rebuilt on the movie’s sound stage.

books of wonder nyc photo 2_1Books of Wonder is PACKED with a huge selection of books. The books are so enticingly displayed, you just want to grab one and read it right away (and plenty of readers were camped out on the floor and in little chairs, doing just that). They have quantities of signed copies too.

books of wonder nyc photo 3Katie left with not one but two signed copies of The Girl Who Drank the Moon (the 2017 Newbery winner). Once I torn myself away from the stacks, I turned my eyes to the quirky and inviting decor.

Layered on endcaps, tables, walls, and bookshelves are posters, original artwork, and characters from illustrated books. It almost feels like you’re inside some sort of awesome pop-up book. Do you recognize the dragon in the image that started this post?

legendary 2Yup! It’s by author and illustrator Steve Light, wielder of the fountain pen extraordinaire (we made these fantastical steampunk airship for his book, Zephyr Takes Flight). The artwork pops up in unusual places too. Curious George swinging from a light fixture…

books of wonder nyc photo 6A street scene on the floor of the gallery:

books of wonder nyc photo 7The back wall of the store is dedicated to Books of Wonder’s extensive antiquarian and rare books section.

books of wonder nyc photo 8Here you can find an amazing array of your favorites. If you’re wondering how much a first edition of Where the Wild Things Are (inscribed, with an original sketch) is going for these days, it’s $22,500.

books of wonder nyc photo 9Not far from the rare books, I was delighted to find a real live author signing books! In fact, I shouted across three shelves of retail space to tell Katie that Rowboat Watkins was in the store. Rowboat is the author and illustrator of Rude Cakes (which I love, and which we story timed here). His newest book is Pete With No Pants. Not only did I get a signed copy of Rude Cakes, Rowboat let me model his awesome headgear.

dr. dana and rowbot watkins, rude cakesMoving towards the front of the store, I soon discovered “Blind Date With A Book.”

books of wonder nyc photo 10Essentially, it’s a book wrapped in brown paper with a suggested age range, genre, and enticing teaser. YES!

books of wonder nyc photo 11I almost bought this one…

books of wonder nyc photo 12One more fantastic detail. At the front of the store are thank you illustrations from visiting artists. It reminded me of the fabulous conference room walls at the Mazza Museum (which you can see at the end of this post).

books of wonder nyc photo 13Here’s my personal favorite:

books of wonder nyc photo 14Katie and I spent a happy hour shopping Books of Wonder before we had to dash to catch our train. My only regret is that I spotted this cool canvas logo bag as I was walking out the door. Too late to go back and snag it, darn it!

books of wonder nyc photo 15But not to worry. I’ll definitely return. In fact, in September a second location will be opening on 217 West 84th Street. If you’re in town, definitely make Books of Wonder a destination. Just be prepared to leave with LOTS of books. This store is bursting with love for children’s books. How can you resist taking some of the love home with you?