A good index is hard to find

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The best cookbook I have ever owned is still The Lily Wallace New American Cookbook.  I inherited it from my mom.  She bought it back in the 1940s when it was first published.  What makes it great is three things:  Delicious-looking color pictures of some of the recipes (color from 1943?  Amazing!) , the comprehensive list of recipes (from Alaskan Fruit Pie to Zabaglione, Italian) and the awesome index at the back, which is 40 pages long.  The cookbook itself is like a Bible of books. It is over 900 pages on thin paper.  Mine has become fragile and ragged over time, but has the greatest collection of recipes in my possession.  I still use Lily’s sugar cookie recipe at Christmas.

You can get a copy of this cookbook on line.  I saw an original for $149 and a cheaper version for $19.95.  I believe mom paid $1.00 for hers.  Mom made a wise decision the day she purchased Lily’s book.

My point in this blog is two-fold: 1. Highlighting a great old book;  2. And how much I appreciate a good index.  I often make and maintain indexes for my clients.  It helps them, and me, keep up with all their paperwork.  Thanks to Lily Wallace I learned the value of an index many years ago.

When you want to find something in a hurry nothing beats a good index.  Does your filing system have one?  Do you update it as your files grow?



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