I'm not actually writing about this book at the moment, but I do have it and love its craziness. But while looking for information on another book, I stumbled across this comment by Jonathan Miles, from the New York Times Sunday Book Review back in 2006. I figured I would share it now, in case I lose the quote before I get around to the book.
Modern cookbook writers rarely take the time to address the origins of
women's panties, the best time of year for eating robins and
meadowlarks, the effects of menstruation on mayonnaise-making and the
unheralded kitchen pioneering of Genghis Khan, the Virgin Mary and
Stonewall Jackson. George Herter's bombastic comic-culinary masterpiece,
"Bull Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices,"
self-published in 1960, did all that and more, as the opening lines
attest: "I will start with meats, fish, eggs, soups and sauces,
sandwiches, vegetables, the art of French frying, desserts, how to dress
game, how to properly sharpen a knife, how to make wines and beer, how
to make French soap and also what to do in case of hydrogen or cobalt
bomb attack. Keeping as much in alphabetical order as possible." Imagine
the "Joy of Cooking" in the early stages of dementia.
Whee! And that's such a good description, too!