High Water and Wet Cookbooks

This is what happens when you store a large portion of your cookbook collection in the basement and you experience a torrential rain that overflows the ancient storm sewers in the street behind you, pours down the slope in your backyard, cascades through a window well with the healthy-sounding vigor of Niagara Falls and floods into a muddy, messy wading pool.

I’ve hired a crew of water restoration experts (with the help of my insurance company), who watched me trying to rescue the least waterlogged of my books by squeezing them out and putting them in the sun to dry. Big mistake, they told me.

“Every time you flip through the pages of a sewage contaminated book, you’ll just be spreading spores”.

I guess. But this wasn’t, um, raw sewage, but storm water sewage. Isn’t that different? What’s a little mud between friends and books?

You can pretty much guess that I’m little sad about tossing my cookbooks. Looking on the bright side, though, it was just a few shelves' worth of books that got ruined. And, as grown-ups like to point out after such inconvenient pain-in-the-keister events, nobody got hurt.

On the other hand, my basement is totaled. And as I write this, the sky has darkened and it’s thundering. I’m going to get some buckets ready....

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Holler said...

That is so sad! I hope something good is following on behind!

Karen said...

Thanks, Holler. You have to think SOME good things are in the forecast!

Maybe some new cookbooks :-)

myriam said...

ohmy - all those books and memories! on the other hand: perfect sign to start a new collection! good luck! i am flying to the US tomorrow and i hear there is a thunderstorm waiting for me... still: cant wait!

Deborah Dowd said...

I really feel for you! I actually store a number of my lesser used cookbooks in our basement and I have pressed my husband's stackable wine rack into service (we had dreams of making our basement into a wine cellar). Hurrican Floyd dropped tons of rain and I know what it it like to go through your basement and try to get things up off the floor that you store there. Take heart, this too shall pass!

Pille said...

Oh, Karen, that sounds horrible. Sorry to hear you lost so many books. I'll never keep my books in the basement from now on:)

Kate said...

In the days before I really knew some awesome tricks in the kitchen, I was making simple syrup for lemonade and tried to transfer the syrup from one vessel to the next while holding said vessel over my favorite cookbook, wide open on the counter to a favorite recipe I planned to make next.

I suppose its not hard to guess what happened. *sigh*

It was ruined.

I am with Myriam....start over and buy new cookbooks of old favorites. And maybe some shelves??

Susan said...

I'm so sorry to hear that, Karen. I hope you are able to replace the most important ones and re-build your collection.

Kristen said...

Oh dear. I hope that the rain stops!
I'm so sorry to hear about your basement and your cookbooks. How sad.