I thought my first trip to Fremont’s Book Larder — i.e.; Seattle’s first culinary bookstore — would feel something like POW! ZING! ZOWEE! or maybe a little pewpewpew! ka-pew! but I was wrong, dead wrong. There was a pew! and then a definite ZOWEE, but mostly my insides burned and dazzled with the fiery strength of the sun. My stomach got locked somewhere between butterflies on meth and those same butterflies in a blender. It felt like the best version of home, but I was disappointed about having to leave before I even got there. I was Lucy, in the wardrobe, fearing and loving my dumb luck.
Immediate thought as I walked in the door: I should have robbed a bank first.
Second thought: Heaven.
I saw books by those whom I consider my culinary heroes, local and beyond; I spied books by chefs I’ll only ever read about in food magazines. There were culinary magazines, baking accoutrements, journals, vintage books, and cookbooks — and oh, what books to cook by! It was a smorgasbord of food-friendly faces and colorful delights.
I knew the Esq would give me that old ‘You did not just bring home another cookbook’ look, so I bought this little beauty instead. I’m neither wife nor homeowner, but there are interesting tidbits in the book that are both awesome and obsolete. Should I find myself without other womanly things to do — like organizing my hat wardrobe and building dollhouses! — there’s the informative ‘Hobbies For Housewives’ chapter, which suggests I take up leatherwork, basketry, soft-toy making, or pewter modelling as a light occupation that will provide a pleasing contrast to my daily routine. Golly, how swell!
There’s a section dedicated to Pelmet Styles. What is a pelmet? Helpful description: “The pelmet is an English term synonymous with the French term Lambrequin. The modern pelmet is entirely flat and made of furnishing buckram or sail cloth.” Now I know what to do with all that extra buckram lying around. Real housewives know what buckram is. Even more helpful: “A pelmet is a cornice board.” So what the hell is a pelmet?
This book hearkens back to a time when children apparently did needlework for fun and wove crafts on simple looms. Also, this: “Boys will appreciate a spare room, an attic or a shed in which they can do simple carpentry and make useful things for the home as well as for personal use.” I can’t remember the last time my son preferred simple carpentry — to make things! useful things! useful things for the home! — over the zombies in Left 4 Dead 2. The children of the 1940’s could totally enslave the adults of today.
Point being: I bought this gem at Book Larder. It’s a beautiful little shop, and a testament to the magical thinking I loved about its brainchild, Kim Ricketts. Check it out sometime, let’s keep them in business! Fremont is so lucky.