Recipes for Life

“Cookbooks. $3 each,” said the sign on the table in my driveway.
They were gone within a few hours — hundreds of cookbooks that I had spent decades collecting. I had cookbooks for every country’s city and region; for every technique, from roasting to outdoor grilling; by big- name chefs, celebrities and foodies. I had the classics, from “Julia Child” to “Joy of Cooking” to “Escoffier.” I had cookbooks whose recipes I didn’t give a fig about. Their sumptuous photographs were a meal in themselves.

But there was one cookbook that didn’t make my moving sale: Marcella Hazan’s “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.” Even if I had wanted to sell it, I doubt I could — its pages are frayed and covered with food stains.

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