And Now For Something Completely Strange…..

May 2, 2016

IMG_5356And now for something….insane. That’s the only word for this “cookbook.” Brace yourself for something disturbing, disorienting and dark.

On it’s relatively modest face, this is a book of recipes from a restaurant in a fictional asylum called “Dippy House.” The waitstaff wear straight jackets. The “visitors” are never allowed to leave; perhaps they are the inmates? As the introduction ends the author exhorts readers to “come and see us, we know you should be here.” I believe that’s an author photo on the bottom left. IMG_5355

But let’s get into the “recipes”:


Is this a commentary on recipe-writing conventions?  An art piece?  The musings of a very disturbed mind?  To be honest, I have no idea.  It’s just one very strange hand-typed book dating from the twenties, and I pass it on for your edification.

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  • Julie Cracchiolo says:

    YIKES! I’m thinking disturbed mind!

  • Misha says:

    Author was being deliberately bizarrely hilarious!

  • Robert Ross says:

    From a Portland Maine bookseller’s description:

    11 typed pages, each pasted onto a canvas backing and then tipped to hinges in this
    homemade artwork, an ironic and satirical hotel cookbook. The hotel’s
    “Superintendent”greets visitors with this description: “The hotel is beautifully situated
    in a wonderful valley on the top of high hills commanding a fine view of the
    neighboring insane asylum and the town piggeries. It is lighted by brilliant minds and
    whale oil lamps, but we rely principally upon the former, as it is cheaper.” It goes on in
    this vein. Of the food, they promise, “our table is particularly good. It is made from oak
    from the best white pine to be found in the neighborhood and is well braced.” The
    remainder of the contents consists of original typescripts of fanciful recipes which
    would have pleased Marinetti, including ‘Safety Pin Soup’, ‘Broiled Elephant’ and
    ‘College Stew’. The canvas-backed boards are covered with pen and ink drawings of
    oddball characters and little sayings. Of the author of this ironic folly we know little.
    The recipe for ‘College Stew’ mentions Pratt Institute, and perhaps the author/artist was a student there. Listed at $900.

    • admin says:

      Thanks so much Robert! Even the librarians at Fales, where this book resides, do not have this much information. But I’m glad to know that I was right in guessing art project. Wish I knew who created it.

  • Joy Kramer says:

    I think it’s very clever. Art project! Good guess/idea. Wonder, if so, what the grade was. Surely one of a kind. Thanks for sharing this with us. We’d never see it otherwise.