Fun with the United States Reports

Someday, I’d like to assemble a cookbook of recipes contained within non-cookbooks. Richard Powers included a recipe for “Healthy Chinese Vegetables and Noodles” in Gain (page 56); my friend Rachel actually cooked it, and reported that it’s not bad.

The crown jewel in such a project, I think would have to come from the United States Reports. That’s right: if you’re ever in a law library and in need of dinner ideas, just pull down volume 533, and flip to page 405. You’ll be looking at United States v. United Foods. At the end of the opinion, you’ll find a special treat: a two page brochure of mushroom recipes, physically bound into the volume.

United Foods involved a federal act setting up a trade association of fresh mushroom handlers: it required them to pay into a fund that would take out pro-mushroom advertisements. The Supreme Court struck down the act; in his dissent, Justice Breyer decided it would be helpful to illustrate the advertisements involved. Thus, “Let Your Love Mushroom” became an appendix to the court’s opinion; in due course, the editors of the bound volumes of opinions decided simply to bind the brochure in.

Wacky, huh?