For the past year or two, I’ve been telling anyone who will listen: Casseroles are ready for a comeback. After stopping by the cookbook sale at Second Editions in the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library Tuesday evening, I’m either right (lots of casserole cookbooks) or wrong (lots of casserole cookbooks).
My favorite find was a perfect copy of Better Homes and Gardens Casserole Cookbook, published in 1968. I bought it for $1.55 and now I can make dinners like “Beef Goulash and Noodles” or “Quick Chicken A La King.”
Even better news: All cookbooks at the library bookstore are half-price through Saturday. Even better, better news: All cooking magazines are a dime. Although I didn’t go through the boxes (my husband convinced me to meet him at JG's Trattoria for a cocktail and Oyster Rockefeller instead), I still saw lots of new issues of Bon Appetit, Cooks Illustrated, and Saveur.
Overall, I spent less than $13 for seven cook books, including The New York Times Cook Book by Craig Claiborne published in 1961, The Tea Cook Book by William Kaufman published in 1966, and Vegetariana: A Rich Harvest of Wit, Lore and Recipes written and illustrated by Nava Atlas. Can you stand it? Don’t you want to stop everything and get to the library right now?
If so, you’ll have to visit from noon to 6 p.m. through Friday or from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, when the cookbook sale ends. FYI, there are plenty of non-vintage titles too, including annual compilations of recipes from Cooking Light, a clean edition of Joy of Cooking, and tons of diet, low-fat, low-carb, and Italian cookbooks.