Progress in The Culinary Cellar

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I have never had such exhausting fun.  When my sister-in-law’s husband, Larry, starting erecting my long-awaited shelves starting way back on a cold winter day, I stared at each of them completely new and empty wondering if  I could ever move all my books that were either in boxes or on flimsy, cheap metal free-standing shelves, not to mention they were also all over the house and garage.  It was a daunting task but one I couldn’t wait to do.  But I could not have done it without my niece, Pesi, who has stayed with us all summer.  Pesi is tall, strong, and eager to help.  She knows my shelves now as well as I do.

Now I am not going to show you everything, because there has to be more surprises along the way, but let’s start with the giveaway pile!  As Pesi and I sorted out the books, we found many duplicates and set them aside –  for you, my readers!  I won’t let you see the titles, but I promise there are some good ones there!  Watch for these one-by-one on my Monday Giveaway Days.

Culinary Cellar giveaway pile

These are the shelves you will see first thing as you come down the cellar stairway.  It’s close to being done.  I see a messy spot here and there, but it’s almost completed.  This is the area where I have a couple rows of  my all-time favorites.  Can you guess which shelves they are on?  (I see some obvious ones!)

Culinary Cellar front shelves

The black files you see are all my vintage Sphere magazines.  All but the August 1972 issue!

Culinary Cellar Spheres

The middle area is still in need of work.

Culinary Cellar messy middle shelf

Of course, Julia is everywhere!

Culinary Cellar Julia books double photo

Here’s some of the Scandinavian:

Culinary Cellar Scandinavian books

On most of the shelves, I am finding items to put between books.  I thought this old Mix Master from my husband’s aunt would be perfect next to the cookies.

Culinary Cellar cookie books with mixer

The chicken books needed a chicken!

Culinary Cellar chicken books

For the cake shelf, I used that darling vintage cake tin that I posted about earlier when Pesi and I invaded an antique mall in search of interesting culinary items.

Culinary Cellar cake shelf

The baking books needed some bowls.  I won these at a raffle in a cookware store several years ago.  Aren’t they adorable?

Culinary Cellar baking books and bowls

The Time-Life Series deserved a globe, don’t you think?

Culinary Cellar Time-Life books with globe

I keep adding to my Pillsbury Bake-Off shelf!  I think I am going to run out of room.  I have more.  Much more…

Culinary Cellar Bake-Off shelf

By the way, I have been asked numerous times about the heaviness of the books, the floor, and the strength of shelves.  It’s nice to have a structural engineer for a husband because he knows the books are okay in the basement with the poured concrete slab.  If you look at the Pillsbury shelf, you will see an extra beam on each to hold the weight of the books.

I have many more fun items to arrange around the shelves, but they are scattered in other parts of the basement, in the garage, or I haven’t found them yet!  This beautiful antique jar hasn’t found a home yet, so it’s sitting next to pizzas at the moment.

Culinary Cellar antique cookie jar

After all the books are shelved, the work isn’t even close to being done.  I have bags of recipes and food magazines to sort through, boxes and boxes of miscellaneous kitchen items, canning jars, and many items that are not even food-related like all of my husband’s engineering books and drawings.  And Halloween costumes from my girls, and Christmas stuff, etc.  It will be a while before the Culinary Cellar is ready for a grand opening party, but in the meantime, after Pesi leaves this weekend to go back home to California, I’ll have my James Beard teddy to watch over the progress from now on.  Not that he can lift anything, but he will keep me company.

Culinary Cellar James Beard teddy

8 Responses to Progress in The Culinary Cellar

  1. August 6, 2014 at 8:20 am #

    I very much share your passion and love of everything to do with cooking/baking. I have quite a collection of various cookbooks, cut-out recipes and cooking magazines as well, but not as vast as yours. I love your blog and what you have to contribute to those of us who share your excitement and joy of all things cooking/baking etc. related. Thank you so very much!!!!

  2. August 6, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

    It’s really looking good Debbie.

  3. August 6, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

    Amazing and how wonderful to share your passion with Pesi

  4. August 7, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

    Debbie, I know this has been a labor of love. Love of great cooking and help from family. The results look amazing. Good job!

  5. August 8, 2014 at 6:00 am #

    The cellar is looking great, Debbie. I love the books and also the objects you’ve found to add some extra touches to the shelves.

    My Julia Child shelf looks a lot like yours.

    • August 8, 2014 at 7:59 am #

      Madonna, I can’t wait for you to see the completed cellar!

  6. April 4, 2021 at 6:40 am #

    Oh… Now I’m seeing more of your blog and … you are a kindred spirit of mine!! I moved to a small apartment in Brooklyn three years ago and had to let so many of my cookbooks and magazines go… so sad… Your collection makes my heart skip a beat!!

    • April 4, 2021 at 9:50 am #

      Hi Pat – I’m sure it was so hard to give up your cookbooks. Perhaps you will see some of my blogs with books you used to have and it will bring back happy memories. Thanks for writing. I love meeting all my kindred spirits!

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