Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews with a heavy emphasis on San Diego. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

Mimsy Review: Bull Cook Historical Recipes

Reviewed by Jerry Stratton, September 7, 2000

Mere words cannot describe this authentic relic of the nuclear era. Whether you want the Virgin Mary’s favorite spinach recipe or how to prepare for a cobalt bomb, Herter covers it, keeping “as much in alphabetical order as possible.”

AuthorsGeorge Leonard Herter, Berthe E. Herter
Year1969
Length380 pages
Book Rating8

The full title is Bull Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices, by George Leonard Herter and Berthe E. Herter. Copyright 1969. While the rest of the world was protesting the war in Vietnam, the Herters were protesting the poor state of cooking everywhere except in Herter’s kitchen.

It is hard to explain what this book really is. You have to see it to believe it. Every other recipe includes a statement on the order of “John Doe at The Great Pantry in Big City claims to know how to cook broiled tiger’s feet. His broiled tiger’s feet is a pale imitation of real broiled tiger’s feet. Nobody knows how to broil tiger’s feet anymore. I’ll tell you how to broil tiger’s feet.”

In among the recipes are commentary on the evils of the modern world. Let’s see what they have to say about Palm Springs:

Hollywood, thank goodness, is dead. Television has at least done incalculable good in destroying this evil group. Hollywood created an era where prostitutes were made national heroines simply because they bedded well with some studio owners. Marriage was treated as a farce and divorce became a ticket for a whore to move from one house to another....

In Palm Springs today, a few aging so-called Hollywood stars are making a last feeble effort to ruin a town. They bilked the public out of billions of dollars, yet will not let Palm Spring citizens even tell you where their homes are. They are gods, you know, in their own small minds.... The President of the United States always lets people know where he lives but these show world punks are too self important to let the public, that gave them every penny that they have, have even a look at where they live.... If Palm Springs could get rid of the old movie and television self-styled tin gods, it would be a fine resort area.

But that’s not the best part. Nor is it the occasional mention of the End of All We Know:

For your convenience 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 attacks, keeping as much in alphabetical order as possible.

No, it actually does have good recipes inside, and most of them are simple.

Spaghetti Dupont

  • 8 oz package of egg noodles,
  • Heaping tablespoon butter,
  • 1 oz crumbled Roquefort cheese,
  • ¼ tsp black pepper,
  • salt.
  1. Boil egg noodles until done and drain off the hot water.
  2. Fill with cold water and drain again to remove loose starch from the noodles.
  3. Add butter at the bottom of the pot and add crumbled Roquefort cheese to melt in the noodles.
  4. Add black pepper.
  5. Salt to taste.
  6. Stir over a low heat until evenly distributed.

Bull Cook Historical Recipes

George Leonard Herter, Berthe E. Herter

My cost: $5.20

Recommendation: Quirky. You know you want it.