Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"Handwritten Recipes" by Michael Popek

Since many of you love to cook as much as I do, I wanted to share a unique and fun cookbook I came across, "Handwritten Recipes" by Michael Popek. The book is subtitled "A Bookseller's Collection of Curious and Wonderful Recipes Forgotten Between the Pages," and indeed the book shares some of the many recipes Popek has found inside the volumes at his family's used bookstore.

The handwritten recipes and memorabilia are a real treat for those of us who love to cook "vintage." On this spread opening the "Breads and Baked Goods" chapter, I enjoyed seeing this old trade card for Knapp's Good Food in Garberville, Calif. Do you suppose they were advertising their tea and/or coffee since the piece is teacup-shaped?

The book has lots of recipes that sound good, including a Cranberry Nut Bread Ring made with a cup of cranberry-orange relish, which sounds fun for fall baking, and this Dutch Apple Cake, whose recipe was tucked inside "The Wartime Cook Book" by Alice Bradley (1943). Interestingly, not all the recipes were found inside cookbooks. A Potato Soup recipe was found inside a copy of Stephen Crane's "The Red Badge of Courage," and a recipe for Harvest Loaf was found inside Tami Hoag's mystery "Guilty as Sin." Do you tuck recipes inside books of any kind? I don't, but if the past is any indication maybe I should!


  1. What a neat idea for a book!

  2. The book is fun to hear about. I once lived near Garberville. For some reason this post makes me think of my mother, as she would do this. I love the little cards she hand wrote recipes on, they are tucked into my recipe box.

  3. Interesting find Angela. I don't tuck recipes anywhere and now with technology, they're all going on my computer.
    My mother was a different story - maybe the age group? After she passed away it was fun to go through her recipe books and find things cut out from the paper and notations in the margin.

  4. I have seen a Knapp's Good Food matchbook on Ebay. It was a restaurant in Garberville. The matchbook reads "watch for the tea cup" so I am going to assume that the sign for the restaurant was a large tea cup as well.

  5. Hello Angela, thank you for sharing this book with us - it sounds wonderful! What a neat way to tie some history in. I love hearing about the origin of recipes and family traditions behind them. Michael had a great idea - thank you for the review, Joanie


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