16 July 2012

Book du jour - Backen macht Freude

A preliminary version of excerpts from my mother's much-used cookbook, Dr Oetker's Backen macht Freude (The Joy of Baking - ?), published in 1970. 
 I scanned in the photographs as double-page spreads, and because the printer didn't like the double-sided paper - to the point of chewing up the corners! - I ended up printing on one side of inferior paper and gluing the pages together in a "closed concertina" format (like a star). The filleted pages were folded round the edges, so that they could be lifted up at the centre  to show the photo beneath.

 The final page shows an amazing variation on the jelly roll, which I remember Mom making at the same time as she was working in the greenhouse (the parents had a nursery business) - she'd simply do the next step each time she happened to be back in the house.
The recipe for "mom's jelly roll torte" is in my recipe file, handwritten and dated July 1979. (She was younger then than I am now - isn't it interesting to look back at your parents' lives and compare ages...)

I'll be taking this book along to my tutorial (without the biographical info!) - but what is it I want feedback on ... does it need the missing words "returned" - either on the back of the cut pages, or with a bit of photoshopping on the photos? Does the "lift the pages" format work? Is it all too confusing? Is there a better format, given the limitations of printing the pages?

While looking at Tony's German cookbooks, one from the mid-1950s and one from the early 60s, we discussed the elaborate food, the carefully-made appetisers, and the array of complicated dishes, photographed in that stilted style that seems so old-fashioned now. These came after the end of postwar austerity, and with the availability of ingredients - and the cookbooks themselves - came the desire to use these fine foods, to spend time preparing them, to make them look "nice", to show off - a celebration of this opportunity and prosperity.

So in a way revisiting these cookbooks is about another type of forgetting - we have forgotten (or haven't needed to face) a worldview like this sudden access to "riches".

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