Sealed - updated

Found this unopened envelope marked "For Ethelwynne" in "Songs of Hope" by Grace Noll Crowell, published by Harper and Brothers, 1938.

What do you think, should I open it?

Readers have spoken - here  you go:

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Plain And Tart

Two notes (one and a half, really - bottom note has been torn) -

Rhubarb for breakfast please -

NO sugar added -

I like it plain and tart - not sweet


...over the kitchen and pantry and the ceiling is very thin. ??? please ask Beeko (?) and Josephine to talk softly till nine o'clock.

Thank you.

We are going out to lunch, and we'll plan something you can leave for us tomorrow night in icebox.

Found in "The Joy of Cooking" by Irma S. Rombauer. Published by Bobbs Merrill, 1943.

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Instant Kahlua

Printed recipe for "Instant Kahlua." I have a feeling it was put out by the Yuban Coffee people:

Instant Kahlua
(Makes 2 Fifths)

3 cups sugar
2 cups water

Put in 3 quart kettle, bring to boil, remove from fire and let cool.

6 tablespoons instant Yuban coffee
1/2 cup hot water, mix and cool
Put above mixtures together when cool

Add and Stir

1 tsp vanilla (pure)
2 tsp. glycerin (can get from drug store)
1/5 bottle Vodka

When mixed together, put in dark bottles and store for two months before using.

Makes approximately 2 fifths

Found in "The Peanut Cookbook" by Dorothy Frank. Published by Clarkson N. Potter, 1976.

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There's Still Time

Just a friendly reminder that there's still time to get copies of Forgotten Bookmarks and Handwritten Recipes before Christmas via Amazon. If you'd like me to sign a copy you get online, just send me a note. I would be happy to send along an address, sign it, and ship your copy back for free:

Leaf through your cookbooks, and you’re likely to find a bit of paper with a recipe written in a familiar (or not-so-familiar) hand. It could be a family secret finally divulged, a scribbled interpretation of something seen on TV, even a culinary experiment long since forgotten. What happens to these recipes when the books are passed on?

Handwritten Recipes is a treasury of Michael’s most fascinating found recipes. You’ll find classic Americana like pies and casseroles alongside ethnic mainstays such as Italian cookies, springerle, and German dumplings. Some are perfectly clear and complete, while others leave crucial elements—like cooking times and ingredient measurements—to the reader’s imagination. You can venture to try any recipe, or just enjoy Popek’s findings as a time capsule from kitchens of generations gone by.

It's happened to all of us: we're reading a book, something interrupts us, and we grab the closest thing at hand to mark our spot. It could be a train ticket, a letter, an advertisement, a photograph, or a four-leaf clover. Eventually the book finds its way into the world-a library, a flea market, other people's bookshelves, or to a used bookstore. But what becomes of those forgotten bookmarks? What stories could they tell?

By day, Michael Popek works in his family's used bookstore. By night, he's the voyeuristic force behind, where he shares the weird objects he has found among the stacks at his store.

Forgotten Bookmarks is a scrapbook of Popek's most interesting finds. Sure, there are actual bookmarks, but there are also pictures and ticket stubs, old recipes and notes, valentines, unsent letters, four-leaf clovers, and various sordid, heartbreaking, and bizarre keepsakes. Together this collection of lost treasures offers a glimpse into other readers' lives that they never intended for us to see.

Season's Greetings

I thought you might enjoy these bits of holiday ephemera.

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Short verse:

I bring a gleam from the sun's bright beam.
It's golden yellow, you see.
It says "Be true in all you do."
The watchword is "Constancy."

Found in "Shadows on the Rock" by Willa Cather. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 1931.

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You're Cordially Invited

Three wedding photos, no date or writing on reverse.

Found in "Gelato, Sorbet and Ice Cream" by Elsa Petersen-Schepelern. Published by Ryland, Peters and Small,  1997.

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Report card for the seventh grade, dates on the back indicate it's from the 1930-1931 school year.

Found in "The Fighting Livingstons" by Leonard Nason. Published by Grosset and Dunlap, 1931.

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Booby Trap

Someone dropped off a bunch of boxes of books to sell last week, and I just got to taking a look this morning.

Nothing out of the ordinary until I found this one:

What's so strange about this you ask?

I just know they are tipped with poison.

I foiled your evil plans again - I shall live to blog another day.

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Giveaway winners

Three winners this week.

Losing Gamer, from the website.
Amanda Walters, from Facebook.
Caravaughn Frizzell, from Facebook.

Thanks once again to all who entered. See you for the next giveaway in 2014.

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Friday Giveaway: Three Sets of "Handwritten Recipes" and "Forgotten Bookmarks" - contest closed

This will be last giveaway of 2013, so I thought I would end it by giving away signed copies of my books:

Contest now closed, back with three winners shortly.

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George And Abe

Not sure what to call this, it's four pieces of construction paper pasted together with stamps of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in the middle.

Found in "Chess Strategies Illustrated" by Franklin K. Young. Published by Little, Brown and Co., 1912.

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A Sick Boy

Get well card with handwritten note.

Dear Harry,

I'm very sorry to hear that you were sick. I was talking to Milo and Sanford about you. He said that uou were up. I wish I was up there hunting . ? "rite" soon.

Love, Al

Will see you soon. Marjorie was inquiring about you. She is behaving much better than the fair (?). She had better, or I would wap her, The car needed brakes line. I did it. It also ground valves and put in new rings.

Found in "A Daughter of the Land" by Gene Stratton-Porter. Published by Grosset and Dunlap, 1918.

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The San Francisco Treat

Ticket stub for the San Francisco Cable Car.

Found in "Talking Indian" by Anna Lee Walters. Published by Firebrand Books, 1992.

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Giveaway winner

Lots of entries this week! Glad to see you liked these books as much I as do.

This week's winner was mario, who entered here on the site. If you see this, please get in touch: I will do my best to contact you.

See you all next week - likely the last book giveaway of the year.

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Friday Giveaway: 12 Matched Poetry Volumes - contest now closed

The shop recently got in a really lovely collection of Easton Press books. Some real beauties.

In that collection was this little set of poetry books. They are on the smaller side, four inches by seven inches, with a flexible leather cover. They still have all the details of the larger Easton books; moire endpapers, silk ribbon bookmark, etc. - just in a smaller form. As it turns out, we had doubles of many of the little poetry titles, so I am offering these twelve for this week's giveaway. Good luck, it's one of the best collections I've given away!

Contest now closed, I will announce the winner shortly.

Oh, and don't forget about my holiday book sale post - still lots of good ones left, and I am still updating the list.

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Tintype photograph mounted in a paper frame.

Found in "The Book of Common Prayer" published by The Oxford Press, 1869.

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Have A Pheasant Day

Typed page with instructions on the proper way to prepare pheasant:


There are two general preferred methods of preparing pheasant. One being to bake the game in the cream; the other being to pan broil the flesh after it has been parboiled.

According to some general instructions which Mrs. Holden sent to me last year, the baking method is outlined below in accordance with her instructions:

Cut pheasant into serving pieces - then soak over night in cold salted water. Dry each piece and dip in flour, season with salt and pepper and then brown in hot grease in in heavy frying pan (butter or whatever you wish). Place browned pieces of pheasant in roasting pan and add cream (or milk and cream). Almost cover pieces. Then cover roaster and out in oven - heated to almost 300 degrees or a little less and cook for about an hour. Turn pieces so they won't stick to bottom of roaster and add more cream from time to time as necessary - care add 1/4 cup of sherry to cream if so desire.

The other method is to parboil the meat same length of time as would be the case of chicken and then pan boil it. The meat should be placed in a minimum amount of butter in the pan and should not be cooked too quickly as fast cooking tends to making the outer surface of the meat hard and dry.

In either event, the meat should be soaked in unsalted room temperature water for about two hours before cooking. This soaking tends to dissolve all blood clots in the meat and removes blood remaining in the flesh.

Of course, pheasant many be prepared in any manner similar to chicken such as fricassee, etc. But the above two methods seem to be preferred by those are concerned authorities in preparation of game.


Arcade Market
14th and Park Rd.
E.T. Goodman (stand)
see Karl Goodman

Found in "How To Be a Successful Hostess" by Charlotte and Thelma Clarke. Published by Kenmor Company, 1930.

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The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Photograph, on the back is a typed sticker that reads

Christmas Eve
Montgomery NY
Sat, 12-24-88

Found in "A Grief Observed" by C.S. Lewis. Published by The Easton Press, 2002.

From the looks of the photograph, the copy of "Gone With The Wind" she is holding up looks like an Easton Press edition as well.

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Giveaway winner

This week's winner was Jane Richardone, who entered on Facebook.

See you here next week!

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Friday Giveaway: 12 Vintage Classics - contest now closed

Another batch of classics for you all this week. Check out that handsome edition of "Pickwick Papers" - or that padded faux-alligator edition of the poems of Mrs. Browning.

Contest now closed, winner announced shortly.

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I Want To Thank You

I will be off tomorrow, eating lots of food. More than a man should. I'll be back for the Friday giveaway, until then, enjoy some vintage Thanksgiving postcards:

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