Echoes From the Past: Cookbook Marginalia: Notes in the margins date back as far as books do (scrolls, even—we hear Egyptians drew awesome hieroglyphic doodles). While academic tomes are those most commonly thought of as being home to most marginalia, perhaps the most intimate of notes are those scribbles found in cookbooks. They describe the modifications cooks made to the recipes, who came for dinner to eat it, and important events associated with the meals. The New York Times’ Dining section today has a story about these culinary scribbles, and the wealth of family histories that dwell between the pages of cookbooks. Professor of English at the University of Oxford Beth Ann Fennelly says her cookbooks are the first things she’d grab in the event of a fire: “They are my treasures.”

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