Did you know that downtown library location has thousands of books kept in storage underground? While you can't go down and browse the shelves yourself, all of them can be called up for you to look at, and many can even be checked out.
So what all is down there, you ask? Well a lot of what we keep there are materials less commonly utilized than those out on the open shelves. Older books that remain relevant or retain historical importance even as their popularity gives way to modern titles, special interest titles we don't quite have space for on the upper floors, that sort of thing. Some of these titles are really unique, and from time to time we'll bring one of these particular (and sometimes peculiar) treasures to your attention here on the Read @ MPL blog.
The first little book we'd like to feature is called Dolphin Dishes. Don't worry; this isn't a book on how to cook meals from the meat of the beloved aquatic mammal. No, the dolphins that this title refers to are on the US Navy insignia for submarine warfare; this is a cookbook by the families of the US Navy submarine division, originally written in the 1950s (the library's copy is from a later printing, from the 60s). Contained inside, and on the original cover (still there, just within the hardy plain library binding MPL placed around the book in 1964), are some amazing and ridiculously drawings of an anthropomorphized submarine drinking alcoholic punch, roasting a pig at a luau, preparing fabulous meals, and more.
Of course, there are recipes, too. Some definitely show their age. I personally wouldn't want to try anything called 'Mystery Salad' on most days, but especially when it apparently asks you to mix cottage cheese and pineapple into Jell-O. Overall, these recipes actually paint a wonderful and vivid picture of the food that our underwater forces for freedom enjoyed when they came home in the 1950s. Sadly, there are no actual pictures of the food (just the aforementioned cartoons), but then again, that a picture might take away from the mystique of the Mystery Salad.
This book and many more cookbooks from bygone days are available at the downtown library. Stop in today!
Tim @ Central