Updated: Apr 13
Following the lovely and informative experience of surveying people about their bookish habits, I've decided to sharpen the focus. Specifically, I want to learn more about how we use books designed for the kitchen. The Survey of Cook Book Habitry aims to measure the habits we keep in using, storing and caring for our cook books.
Cook books are not just tools in a kitchen. They are repositories of memories, evidence of meals consumed long ago, and promises to cook again. Time escapes us in an inherited cook book through the suggestion of future gatherings around our grandmother’s foods. Cook books hold tried and true recipes, while also posing the possibility of making something new. They entertain and educate through histories, geographies and substitutions. Cook books can be regional, about one food pathway, collective efforts, or of a restaurant.
Cook Book Habit: Her cook books hold recipes she’s collected from different places including ones torn from product labels, cut from magazines and written on index cards. This one is torn from a magazine, then photocopied onto a piece of stationary from the family grocery store.
The Survey of Cook Book Habitry seeks to enrich our appreciation of cook books by inviting conversations about how we use them.
The Survey of Cook Book Habitry will be administered live at Classic Elements in Johnstown PA on May 28, 2021 from 10 am to 2 pm. If you don't make it to the gallery, there are two other ways to take the survey.
First, and this is my preference, download and print out the PDF version of the instrument. Respond to the questions by hand and mail it to The Habitorium c/o Classic Elements, 345 Main St, Johnstown PA 15901. If that doesn't work for you, reply electronically; take the Survey of Cook Book Habitry online.
The Survey of Cook Book Habitry closes on June 17, 2021 for reporting purposes. Responses received by the close date will be distilled into a Report on Cook Book Habitry. Provide your address, electronic or postal, to receive a copy of the report. Survey replies received after June 17 are very welcome, but will not be included in the report.