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XXX New This Month
Sunday, November 24th, 2013
Originated from: Around the World (in 80 seconds)
Occasion: Open Library Festivals
Contributed by: Webmaster, Mary Melfi; image courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery

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Old cookbooks
Desktop computers
Google search engines


Turn on computer.

Google "www.openlibrary.org."

Type in "Italian cookery."

Read through the list of hundreds of Italian cookbooks, and if you like, borrow one of the many e-books available there for free.

Eat your heart out.


Ever since I had the pleasure of travelling on the Internet Highway (Can it be a quarter of a century already?), I have made it a point to stop at the world's two most beautiful on-line public libraries: www.archive.org and www.gutenberg.org. Silly me, I had no idea that www.openlibrary.org was also a "site" to behold. Www.openlibrary.org has an enormous collection of cookbooks, travel books and every other kind of book that one might want to read. Actually, there are more cookbooks available to read on line for free at Open Library than one could possibly go through in one lifetime. And best of all, many of these cookbooks have been published in the last 20 years. The newer publications are not copyright-free, still, they can be read in their entirety at leisure. What a gift! Instant knowledge. Instant joy. Instant blessedness (If there is such a thing, Dr. Google qualifies).... Thanks be to Open Book, I was able to procure more images for my website's PHOTO ARCHIVES. Added to the PHOTO ARCHIVES on this website this month were images taken from the following travel books: "Naples" by Augustine and Sybil Fitzgerald (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1904), "Roman Holidays by Dean Howells (1908) and the Italian book, "L'Abruzzo" by R. Di Vestea (1900).... This month I also added hundreds of Italian folk sayings which I myself translated (or, at least, attempted to translate) from Giulio Franceschi's incredible 1908 collection, "Proverbi modi proverbiali Italiani" (available for free at www.archive.org). Generally, individuals (including myself) look to folk sayings for wisdom, unfortunately, while there is a lot of wisdom stored in them, the wisdom found might not be to one's liking. Prior to the 21st century Italians had no interest in political correctness -- they called a spade a spade. Much of what the folk sayings say is rather unwholesome to those of us with post-feminist-hyper-sensitive ears, for example, "If you're born beautiful, you're born married." Sad, but true? Or not true at all? The folk sayings about food and health are generally humorous and easier to take, but most of them do have an anti-doctor bias (Doctors beware!).... This month I spent so much time translating folk sayings I didn't add too many traditional recipes, though I did attempt to simplify a few cookie recipes so that I (Just your average baker) could do them. This website was never intended to be a "cooking blog." Its aim was (and still is) to collect old family recipes (The problem is that individuals are often possessive with old family recipes -- they like to keep them within the family!). Still, because I do like to cook, I find myself in the kitchen more often than not, trying this and that. And because friends tell me they like how I do this and that, I find myself doing this and that more often than not.... This month I came up with "Mary's Tarallucci" (see Italy Revisited/Cookies without Nuts) and "Mary's Apple Pie" and that's about it.

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