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10 September 2012


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Jann Mumford

What a find!


I'll bet those recipes from the 1700s would take some trial and error to perfect, as some of the ingredients might be hard to find or different today.

On the 1919 menu, I'm wondering what on earth a Bombe Falstaff is....


The menu's are beautiful. The hand writing exquisite. Menu's in the US I believe have changed alot over the past 50 years. The cookbooks I have from almost 50 years ago would not do for my daughter now. Actually more healthy now, I do believe.

Chris Wittmann

I would've been sick all day knowing that beautiful old cookbook was at the brocante and I couldn't buy it! Oh how I adore old books like that, especially cook books and old herbals!
The most I ever paid for a book was $365 for a 1657 edition of Adam in Eden by English herbalist Wm. Coles. The book had been professionaly restored, and was magnificent. Lucky for me, dealer in Canada let me pay for it over a 3 month period or it wouldn't be on my bookshelf now. I've sold many old herbals over the years, but would never part with that one. The good news is, it's now worth alot more.
It would be hard for me to walk away from that old cook book :)


I hope heaven is in France.

Kathie B

Corey, you could do a whole series posts based on recipes for some of the dishes on those menus! I've been looking up recipes for some of those dishes online -- ooh-la-la (especially the desserts)! On a more nutritious note, Haricots verts fins à l'Issigny are simply steamed green beans tossed with shallots sautéed in butter.


Me too! Simply said....


Doesn't it make you wonder about the owner of that book and what her life was like? Corey maybe some day your wonderful cookbook will be found by some kindred soul in a Brocante hundred's of years from now. I loved this post.

Lana Kloch

fascinated with this column, corey...what a wonderful collection..love the heading on many.. however, what really makes it is the handwritten menu itself.

yes, i agree, that a spot of wine or food stain means a lot. shall i start collecting french menus.. omg...

sure wish the handwritten 17 c cookbook was way less than 700 euros..

have a great week.


Treasures! I wonder if the mouse menu was a Cinderella party? Think of all the calories spent talking and mingling. ;)


OH THAT STATIONARY!!!! I want the one with the mice, or the Muget de Bois, both so beautiful. Though I am sure I would never, ever use it. Maybe frame it for the kitchen?

peggy aplSEEDS

i so enjoyed this post with the beautiful images and your description of a French baptism. so interesting and amusing!


What a wonderful collection, Corey! All of them are so pretty and useful too ;) I love the one with lily of the valley because it's my favorite flower.

Julie Ann

Hello dearest Corey, these are beautiful. Still here and thinking of you often, just busy !! Jx

peggy braswell

Heaven in France, Yes! xxpeggybraswelldesign.com


One of the things I adore about traveling in France and throughout parts of Europe is that meals are an occasion. They are shared. They punctuate the day and give it a rythmn. Food has an added richness and depth when enjoyed with others. Preparing a meal transforms a chore into the making of a gift when it is done for another (or lots of others). An independent woman, such as myself, has many cherished freedoms. The freedom of eating alone is not one of them ;)

Kathie B

Perhaps the book belonged to the cook for la Dame du Maison? (am channeling Mrs. Bridges on "Upstairs Downstairs" right now).

Karen in Missouri

Cory, what a wonderful find in the cookbook. I am arriving in Les Arcs sur Argens on Sept 30 to begin translating, writing, testing and photographing my grandfathers cookbook from over 100 years ago. Looks a lot like the book you found! Your readers may read about the book and my cooking classes at www.livininprovence.com
I hope you can come over to visit while I am there.
Karen Mitcham-Stoeckley

Eileen @ Passions to Pastry

Thanks for all of these inspiring photos! I will make my own menus for dinner parties/brunches, etc. and like to work in the French style.

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French La Vie started in 2005. I have the "Brocante Bug," which means antiquing is my cure; France can do me no wrong when it comes to treatment ° 35 years living in France with my French Husband, whom I met while dancing in San Francisco ° Two children, now in their early thirties, amour et joie ° Come join our journey either vicariously through my blog or on a French La Vie Week Retreat in Provence °