Monday, November 19, 2007

Floating Island, or Why I Love Vintage Cookbooks

I absolutely adore vintage cookbooks. They are one of my personal favorite things to collect. I actually enjoy trying the old recipes, and I love the food history aspect of the cookbooks too. (Old cookbooks are fun to read!) I have a small wall of cookbooks in my dining room and I am always trying to cull my personal collection to make room for a few "new" old additions.

I wanted to share a recipe that you don't hear mentioned often. It's from Favorite Hungarian Pastries and Desserts compiled by The Women's Guild of the First Hungarian United Church of Christ -- Bridgeport, Connecticut. The book dates to 1963 and has a wonderful retro illustration on cover. This vintage cookbook sold over $20 on eBay. I do really well with vintage cookbooks, especially vintage ethnic foods.

And here it is -- Floating Island!

Madar Tej (Floating Island)

1 quart milk

4 eggs, separated

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat the yolks of the eggs with the sugar and flour. Stir into a quart of milk, scalded, and cool until it thickens. When cool, pour into a bowl and flavor. Whip egg whites stiff and add the 6 tablespoons of sugar. Pour this froth over a shallow dish of boiling water. The steam passing through cooks it. Tablespoon over the top of the custard. Islands can also be made by spooning the beaten egg whites into the scalded milk. Turn on other side after a few seconds. Remove and place on platter till all egg whites are used. Float on top of thickened custard.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

How to spot an "A" First Edition Little Golden Book

I love Little Golden Books, Wonder Books, Junior Elf Books, etc. If I could make a living selling nothing but these books I would! They were little thin hardcovers that were very popular during the baby boomer years. During my childhood I remember buying these as Woolworth and McCrory's -- how are those for store names from the past?

LGBs from the 1940's through early 1960's had an edition letter at the gutter of the last page of the book. If you have an LGB published in the 1940's, 1950's, or early 1960's, open the book to the last page. Look down at the very bottom of the page. (You may have to lift the binding at bottom of page very slightly to see this.) With older LGBs you will see a letter there. "A" signifies a First Edition, "B" is a Second Edition, "C" is a Third Edition, etc.

I collect LGBs and am attaching pictures of a couple of books from my personal collection. Cleo is the story of a very cute Basset Hound dog who is a television star. Christmas Manger is a LGB activity book -- you can construct a Christmas Manager by cutting and assembling the pages of this book. I am also including a photo of the last page of these books. You'll see the tiny letter "A" at the very bottom of the page. (You may need to zoom in to see it.)

Lotte Herrlich, Real Photo Postcards

I love vintage postcards. My best friend, Dave, collects antique postcards and photos of old New Orleans. A couple of times a year he goes to big postcard shows and I tag along. The last show I bought a shoebox full of great vintage postcards, photos, and Valentines. I will admit that I kept a couple of the baby boomer vintage Valentines ... but I found plenty of old ephemera to list as well!

Here is one of my favorites. It's a color tint photo by Lotte Herrlich. She was a German photographer who did a lot of beautiful portraits, including lots of pictures of children. This little girl with her doll is just so sweet!

This cute postcard sold for over $20 to a collector in Switzerland.

A Little Golden Book to watch for

Just sold this book on eBay. It's a 1970's vintage Little Golden Book, which is not usually a very collectible vintage. This book is one of the exceptions! It sold for $69.99 on eBay.

Daisy Dog's Wake Up Book is a 1974 Little Golden Book by Ilse-Margret Vogel. It's about a cute little dog (who looks like a Poodle mix to me) who wakes up her friends because she is so excited about her birthday party.

My Mom is an estate sale/yard sale addict too ... she found this for me. It was in a basket of books that she bought for $2.00 (for the whole basket). I sold the other books on eBay too!

Who are you, and what is this blog about?

I love books. I grew up going to the library weekly, joining the library's reading club each summer, and eventually went on to study English in college. After college, I worked at various times as an English tutor, an independent bookstore manager, and a teacher. And I discovered eBay. Oh, the books to buy! Beautiful vintage Little Golden Books from my childhood. The yellow spine Nancy Drew books that I loved as a preteen. Favorite novels that were long out of print.

And then there were also books to sell. Soon it became an addiction -- not just selling my own books, but scavenging library sales, estate sales, and yard sales for treasures.

To make a long story short, falling in love with eBay coincided with feeling burned out as a teacher.

So I became a full-time eBayer. This blog is about my adventures and misadventures (I've been on eBay for years, but I am still learning too!). Great books. Odd things I've sold. Tips for sellers. Tips for buyers. Stories about this and that. And maybe even some talk about books ...