Ten Years of The Culinary Cellar

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In the ten years since I wrote my first blog on January 31st, 2010, so much has happened.  I can still remember the excitement of writing those first few lines. I wanted to start with writing about my oldest book, my grandmother’s edition of Fannie Farmer’s famous cookbook which gram bought in 1914 during her college days in Iowa.  The day I began the blog also happened to be her birthday.

I had several thousand cookbooks in my library basement, AKA “The Culinary Cellar” from which to choose and knew I would never run out of books to write about.  Except my loyal readers knew that I actually did run out of books when they were almost all lost in a devastating flood, including grandma’s Fannie Farmer.

But I would rather focus now at the best things about the past ten years of the blog.  The absolute most heart-warming, amazing, and life-changing thing was how you, my readers, were always there.  You sent boxes and boxes of books when I had none left, you cried along with me when my mom died, you rejoiced with me at the birth of my granddaughters, and I have made so many wonderful friends from around the globe.  I found that cookbooks and what they represent is a common thread throughout the world.  Family recipes, family dinners, and being with loved ones is what cooking is all about, and I love sharing all those feelings that go with the love of food, family, and traditions.

In 2016, I had “The Culinary Cellar” trademarked.  It means so much to me that I don’t want anyone else to use that name.  My mom, who loved my blog and looked forward to reading it as soon as she woke up and was having her morning coffee, bought the sign that is on the door to the basement.  My goal is to keep going for as long as I can with my blog.  I have no intention of stopping not just because I love it, but because the love of cookbooks will never end.  No internet recipes can compete with a book you can hold in your hands that belonged to someone special, with its earmarked and splattered pages of their messy fingers while preparing a favorite meal or trying something new.  When I am gone, I hope my daughters or grandchildren will continue writing The Culinary Cellar blogs in their own words.  I love thinking about future cookbooks and how the blog will move on in the future.  I know one thing for sure.  There will always be cookbooks because there will always be family, friends, food, and the joy of everything that implies.  And I will never stop writing about them.  Thank you, my readers, for all the ways you have enriched not just my life, but how you all shared your stories too.  I can’t wait to see what the next ten years will bring to all of us.



11 Responses to Ten Years of The Culinary Cellar

  1. January 31, 2020 at 5:16 am #

    Happy blogiversary! No internet recipe can compete with a well tested greased stained cookbook recipe. Thank you for all that you do in preserving these treasures.

    • January 31, 2020 at 8:14 am #

      Thank you, Lisa. It means so much coming from you, as you have one of the greatest blogs on the internet. I think both of us will be writing for a long time to come.

  2. January 31, 2020 at 6:56 am #

    Congratulations on 10 great years. Your blog just proves that cookbooks will never go out of style. Your blog is like talking to our mothers, aunts, grandmothers through their cooking from years ago. I love the old cookbooks and anything Junior league is our past speaking to us.

    • January 31, 2020 at 8:21 am #

      Elaine, we are on the same wavelength sharing our love of cookbooks and sharing the comfort of food with all its memories and traditions. I love how you said the blog is like talking to our mothers, aunts, and grandmothers through their cooking. It’s exactly why I will never give it up. That kind of powerful connection with our family and community will go on for generations to come, and it is evident that millions of cooks around the globe feel the same way.

  3. January 31, 2020 at 6:00 pm #

    I am so grateful for people like you who take a chance on a simple idea that becomes such a blessing to others! You are doing important work in preserving precious memories as they relate to the cookbooks in our lives. Reminding us of the precious hands that turned the pages before us and then passed it on to us to cherish. Thank you!

    • January 31, 2020 at 6:32 pm #

      Hi Margaux, I am Debbie’s daughter Kristina. I just wanted to let you know that your comment here is one of the most powerful things I have read in a long time. Your words about the “precious hands that turned the pages” made me stop and catch my breath. Somehow in one phrase you captured the beauty of it all. Thank you Margaux!

      • February 1, 2020 at 9:50 am #

        I am so glad my words spoke to you because your mothers blog speaks to me! And indeed I hope you carry on your mom’s wonderful work!

      • February 1, 2020 at 10:00 am #

        I wanted to also say to you that it is good to know that somewhere else in the world a daughter had a mom that read cookbooks like they were novels and collected them like she was a Barnes and Noble bookstore! I am assuming you had some of those similar experiences and your friends probably wondered what could be so entertaining about your mothers cookbooks as she sat by the hour and read them. I do know that they clambered to her door whenever she prepared a meal because even though she was a self-taught chef she was exceptional and no one turned down an invitation for a meal at her table! and what a beautiful table it always was! I always say she was the original Martha Stewart but her name was Ruth Cannon. I am willing to bet you feel much of the same things about your mom.

    • January 31, 2020 at 10:13 pm #

      Margaux, your eloquent and heartfelt comment made me teary-eyed. Your beautiful words continue to resonate in my head. You touched not just me, but I see that my daughter Kristina responded here to you too. We were texting back and forth about how your words affected us both. We share a love for cookbooks, especially ones that are passed down, and you said so perfectly how we feel about them. Thank you.

  4. February 4, 2020 at 2:05 pm #

    Congratulations, and thank you, Debbie! Your blog is a gift to so many. I read every single one. Your writing feels like a discussion at the kitchen table or sink.

    Margaux, indeed you articulated the connection beautifully.

    In addition to the books or written recipes, whenever I make something my grandmother, great aunt, mom, mother-in-law, or friend once made, I feel connected to them in way that is like no other. What I’m smelling, they would have smelled. What I’m tasting and feeling, they tasted and felt. It’s more than a “live” connection to another place and time, it’s a connection to some of the people and memoriesI hold most dear. Eileen, I think I understand when you say it’s like “talking” to so many of the important people in our lives.

    Oh yes, I’ve also added several cookbooks to my shelves based on your reviews. Love that too!

    • February 4, 2020 at 10:17 pm #

      Thank you for your wise and kind words, Denise. We certainly think a lot alike. I would love to sit around a kitchen table and chat with this group here!

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