Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The Vulcan Cook Book

Vulcan cookers were manufactured by the aptly named 'The Vulcan Stove Company' from Exeter in south west England. In 1936, they commissioned the director of the Good Housekeeping Institute to compile a special book to promote the art of cooking with their latest collection of ovens proudly presented within.

Little would a creator of domestic gas apparatus realise that way after the life expectancy of its cookers, their book would eventually end up in the hands of a 'Trekkie' collectable dealer. Yes indeed, for nestled amongst plastic 'Spock' ears and replica 'phasers' at a weekend antiques fair was this unexpected treasure - The Vulcan Cook Book. For of course, whatever we all may have remembered about Roman mythology, its Mister Spock who is the most significant 'modern day' Vulcan (or part-Vulcan). So when the 'Trekkie' dealer noted that I had enjoyed his connection between old stoves and Star Trek, he joyously told me that he only wanted 50p for the book as "it's a bit of a laugh".

It was by far the cheapest (and oldest) object on his stall - so no way was it about hustling a quick buck from a fellow Trekkie. This was mutual Vulcan appreciation. Fast forward two decades since my purchase, and I note that the (gulp!) 12th Star Trek-related movie is being released in the cinemas, and we're approaching the fifty years mark since the broadcast of the classic original TV series in 1966.

To begin with, the Vulcan Cook Book:

1936 edition: front cover
the Vulcan In situ

a choice of four varieties of Vulcan

And now here's my addition to the Vulcan-name gag:
I took this photograph back in 1981 whilst on holiday in Wales. We'd stopped to get a close look at the sign - but I just can't remember if we dined out on the Vulcan food that was being served...


...and lest we forget the very first 'Official' Star Trek Cooking Manual. Back in the 1936 Vulcan Cook Book, Mrs D.D. Cottington Taylor of the Good Housekeeping Institute had suggested recipes for such delights as "A Ragout of Mutton", "Tapioca Cream Soup" and "Fruit and Vegetable Bottling". Fast forward to Star Date 3299, and the Offical Trek manual offers up such Vulcan specialities as "Plomeek broth", "Pok tar" and "Gespar". No mention of those Vulcan ovens though.

first published in 1978

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