Saturday, July 7, 2012

How books—even cookbooks—make our worlds bigger.

I felt a sense of loss this morning, reading in the New York Times that the western wildfires had destroyed the Flying W Ranch in Colorado.

Why the loss? I'd never personally visited the ranch. As a child, my mom had the "Cow Country Gourmet" cookbook—essentially a compilations of recipes from the Flying W Ranch. It seems to me that she used it regularly, though my memory might be faulty on that front.

But I remember staring at the cover from time to time: What kind of world did it come from, that one could have a sit-down dress-up dinner under the open sky? Next to cattle? In front of a teepee?

 I've never personally opened the cookbook to make a recipe from it. Yet that cover, which got a little bedraggled over the years, burned itself into my mind's eye. It made the Flying W Ranch—or some fantasy version of it, at least—a part of my childhood. I am sad to see it go.

No comments: