While I fancy myself a decent hostess, I haven't played the part as often as I'd like. We wandered through the used bookstore over the weekend and had to wait for our store credit to be processed, so I scurried over to my favorite section...cookbooks! I've written about my love of used books, specifically used cookbooks, before. It's an easy, economical way to create a unique collection of cookbooks without paying full price for a single item. In our case, we purge books at least annually and have amassed a fairly decent store credit with the local used book shop.
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I bought Betty Crocker's Guide to Easy Entertaining, a first edition (second printing) pristine spiral-bound copy, for less than $2*. Inside are some of the most delightful and outdated ideas for satisfying guest and hostess, including tips on punctuality and where to place a fresh bar of soap, how to host a house party and full-color inspirational table spreads. The graphics are amusing to downright adorable and there are some awesome recipes for party punches that I'm desperate to replicate. We'll see if the information and tips I glean from this fine publication can translate well into hostessing guests in the future; I think we all know that any guide inspired by 1950s American housewifery involves a heavy dose of gendered, racist and classist nonsense. In the meantime, I feel like I have a bit of fancy history to call my own.
* Right now it's available on Amazon in a facsimile edition for $13.