A Book Lost to History

The kitchen at the Paulings’ original Deer Flat Ranch cabin, 1958.

During the Second World War, when the children were growing up, I think three of the children were still at home or – I don’t know, perhaps the youngest one was still at home – [Ava Helen Pauling] worked for a couple of years as a chemist on a war job making rubber out of plants that would grow in the Mojave.

She was interested in chemistry and knew a lot of chemistry but it was more an intellectual interest.  She was planning to write a cookbook on the science of cooking, because she knew what happened when things were cooked.  She knew what baking powder is and why you use it.  She used to make her own baking powder, instead of just buying baking powder.  Well, she never got that done.  She was a very good cook, but she never wrote the book on the science of cooking.

… It probably wouldn’t have had much of a sale, because the contents might well have been above the heads of most cooks.

-Linus Pauling, 1990.

Linus and Ava Helen in their kitchen at the new Deer Flat Ranch home, 1977.


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