Today I went out for a bit to stretch the gimpy leg and get some fresh air — what a pleasure after the pain of the past few weeks!

In NYC where I live, a walk is always an adventure — you never know what magic you might find. Today I passed a free book exchange table and found LaRousse Gastronomique, the definitive history of French cooking written in dictionary/ encyclopedia form.

At first I thought is was written in French and I picked it up for my French friend Sylvie who is my farmshare partner and loves to cook as much as I do. (We became friends when she asked me to teach her to make bread.) But on the bus on the way home, I discovered it is actually written in English. So, of course, I can and will read it! (When I told her what I’d found, Sylvie told me she already has too many cookbooks already anyway.)

One of the wonderful things about used books is that often they have dedications. Here’s the dedication in this one:


Who was “C”? And what was Richard to her? And why did he call her a “saucy wench” (apart from what we can infer was her love of cooking)? I’ll never know, but it makes the book that much more fun!