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New Book Celebrates Talismanic Trash

Food, even of the most exalted kind, is rarely long for this world. Occasionally, some baron of gastronomy will announce that the floorboards in his new restaurant were salvaged from the original automat, or some credulous soul will make the News of the Weird by seeing the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich. But food and cooking objects tend toward the ephemeral. Which is one reason we are so enjoying Taking Things Seriously, a new collection of essays about particular treasures. (Another is that we contributed one of its essays, about a damaged but durable old cast-iron skillet and what it means to us.)