"About Moosewood Restaurant: Moosewood (named after a local maple tree) was begun in September 1972 by a group of friends who enjoyed getting together to cook and eat, and who wanted to engage in a community project. The chosen site was an old brick school building which was being converted into shops offices and dwelling units. It took four months to transform a gymnasium into a ready-to-function-restaurant.
After the grand opening in January 1973, more friends of the original seven people joined. Moosewood is now a collectively-owned and worker-managed business with 15 members, who participate in all aspects of running the restaurant from deciding policy to planning menus to changing lightbulbs. There is no singular owner and no "boss". Any profit that accumulates is distributed among the workers or recycled back into the restaurant.
Fast forward twenty years and Moosewood sounds like my kind of place. You could imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this cookbook while visiting the estate of a recently deceased family member. I collect cookbooks and love vintage items so this gem hit on two of my most favorite things.
The book is astounding. Not only was it published in 1977, the entire thing is illustrated and hand-lettered by founding member of the Moosewood Collective, Mollie Katzen. The pages were well worn with time and, in some instances, stained. You can see some of that in the photos I have here.
For me, the book conveys the art of cooking in a way that invites the user to play and have fun with the ingredients and each illustration reminds the reader to not take oneself so seriously. Check the Beavis and Butthead-esque illustration below.
The Moosewood people are true pioneers and this book is an indication of the genuine community that exists between people and food. Modern day concepts like Kinfolk Magazine follow a trail blazed by this remarkable community of individuals.
Ah-mazing! I love, love, love my vintage vegetarian find. Hope you do too!