"A Labor of Love"

How It All Began…

Spinach...Who would have thought that my interest in such an unimposing leafy green would turn into a hobby of recipe collecting? Perhaps "hobby" is too mild a word…"passion" sounds more like it.

When I was a young schoolgirl back in the 60's, it seemed as if every time the school maintenance crew cut the grass on the playground, the cafeteria ladies served spinach in the lunchroom.Often times while daydreaming in class, I would be snapped back to reality by the mechanical buzzing of the lawnmowers...and sure enough, I knew my lunchtime fate had been sealed.

My passion for spinach began in 1972 at my favorite restaurant du jour. After much persuasion by a dining companion, I was coerced into ordering Oysters Rockefeller as an appetizer. The thought of actually eating an oyster was sobering enough, but to cover it with spinach, well the very mention of it brought back less than fond memories. However, I soon realized from that first bite that I was "in love."

Thousands of Spinach Recipes?

Somehow in my passion for collecting, I forgot to keep track of just how many recipes were in my collection. A few years ago, I started digging them out of desk drawers, file cabinets, old handbags, coat pockets, and those that were stuffed between the pages of old cookbooks. I filled several boxes and started the sorting process. Originally, I created seventy-four categories because there were so many to be organized. Next, I had to narrow those categories down to only eight. No small task indeed.

I would buy cookbooks just to read through the spinach recipes. Friends would send newspaper clippings my way along with spinach recipes cut from food packages. I even found hand-scribbled notes everywhere with elusive origins. One day I found a recipe with "special keepsake" written on it, yet I had forgotten for which special sake it was being kept! Recipes started pouring in from all over the United States and several foreign countries like England, Australia, Germany, Italy, Greece and Africa. How so many people learned of my passion and collection still remains a mystery to this day.

One thing I know for sure: the versatility of this nutritious and delicious vegetable is beyond comparison. There are thousands of ways to enjoy spinach, and the "best of the best" have been painstakingly selected from my vast archives and presented to you in this Collector's Edition "i love SPINACH" Cookbook.

Burgundy L. Olivier