Have you ever wondered how to remove insects from your own or your children’s ears? How to make French soap and what to do in the case of a hydrogen attack?
This man can tell you how!
The late George Leonard Herter is the cantankerous author of many odd but irresistible titles including:
- How to Get Out of the Rat Race and Live On $10 a Month
- How to Make the Finest Wines at Home in Old Glass or Plastic and Jugs for as Little as 10¢ a Gallon
- The Truth about Hunting in Today’s Africa and How to Go on Safari for $690.00
I am very grateful to librarian Kim Beeman for introducing me to this literary cult-figure (of sorts) in her recent contribution to Paris Review. Beeman is an avid collector of Herter’s works, and she aptly describes him as the “hectoring” and self-published author of numerous “bizarre cookbooks, travel guides and hunting books” by night. By day, he operated a hunting-goods store in Minnesota.
According to Wikipedia, Mr. Herter is best known for the Bull Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices series (published in 3 volumes). The New York Times describes Bull Cook as “a wild mix of recipes, unsourced claims and unhinged philosophy that went through at least 15 editions between 1960 and 1970.”
Bull Cook begins with this memorable first line:
“I will start with meats, fish, eggs, soups and sauces, sandwiches, vegetables, the art of French frying, desserts, how to dress game, how to properly sharpen a knife, how to make wines and beer, how to make French soap and also what to do in case of hydrogen or cobalt bomb attack, keeping as much in alphabetical order as possible.”
What more could you ask for in a book?
(A quick search of online second-hand bookstores happily revealed that Herter’s books are readily available for purchase.)