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While rumaging through my Mom's basement this past weekend, I found a copy of Betty Crocker's New Outdoor Cookbook, published in 1967. This thing gives the Better Homes & Gardens Meat Cook Book a run for its money! :P I am sure that I can find something in there worthy of the DR.com picnic.

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While rumaging through my Mom's basement this past weekend, I found a copy of Betty Crocker's New Outdoor Cookbook, published in 1967.  This thing gives the Better Homes & Gardens Meat Cook Book a run for its money!   :P    I am sure that I can find something in there worthy of the DR.com picnic.

Good. Now we won't run the risk of making the same abomination.

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While rumaging through my Mom's basement this past weekend, I found a copy of Betty Crocker's New Outdoor Cookbook, published in 1967.  This thing gives the Better Homes & Gardens Meat Cook Book a run for its money!  :P   I am sure that I can find something in there worthy of the DR.com picnic.

Ooooooh. I inherited about 20 such cookbooks when we moved my grandmother into a nursing home. My favorite is the Better Homes and Gardens Hamburger and Ground Meat Cookbook, although they are all good for a hearty laugh. The exception is the BH&G Mexican Cookbook (c. 1977) - surprisingly authentic.

I will go digging through this treasure trove for something to share. :wub:

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Ooooooh. I inherited about 20 such cookbooks when we moved my grandmother into a nursing home. My favorite is the Better Homes and Gardens Hamburger and Ground Meat Cookbook, although they are all good for a hearty laugh. The exception is the BH&G Mexican Cookbook (c. 1977) - surprisingly authentic.

I will go digging through this treasure trove for something to share. :wub:

Heather,

I took my Avatar from the BH&G series, because my mom, who owned a very successful higher end catering business actually has these books in her collection...and chose to keep them when moving from NJ to DC. I was absolutely speechless when I saw them in their apartment last year, figuring that they had long hit the 30 yard dumpsters my parents rented when they moved.

Lo and behold, a good chunk of the series is there...the Meat Cookbook, the Ground Meat Cookbook, the Gelatin Cookbook :P , the Vegetable Cookbook (cook corn on the cob for 20 minutes is one suggestion, I believe), among other horrors.

One series that wasn't so bad was the "cookery" series. It wasn't BH&G, but something like that. Mexican Cookery by Barbara Hansen, c. 1981 actually isn't all that bad. It's mostly biased to the Yucatan, but is actually pretty authentic. I spend a fair amount of time in Quintana Roo each year and it definitely is very close to the food in both the Yucatan and truy Cozumeleno cooking. Go figure.

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I don't have The Gelatin Cookbook, but I want it. :wub: I also got a stack of cooking pamphlets from the late 40's-early 50's - the ones from manufacturers. Some of the recipes... :P words fail me.

Also got about eight volumes of The Good Cook series. Now those are not a waste of paper.

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I was unaware that people actually collected cookbooks. My Mother-in-law gifted me with some rather old, but really useful ones. "Modern French Culinary Art" anyone? Not to mention a copy of Larousse Gastronomique.

When we had to clear out the house, one of the books I wanted for myself was a very old, raggedy copy of Mrs. Beeton's Household Management. Lo and behold, Craig oldest brother suggested that a woman in New Hampshire might want some of these books. We contacted her and she told us that she and my MIL would go to flea markets in New Hampshire looking for old cookbooks and she wanted the Mrs. Beeton's. The binding was in such bad shape, that we took it to Distinctive Bookbinders in the city and had it rebound before shipping it off. The staff who did the binding were rather thrilled with this one. (I know, I know--a sacrilege to book collectors, but very useful to anyone who wanted to read it and learn what to pay your household staff in England in 1900 or so. Butlers got the most: 50 pounds a year !!!! And, it was held together with Duct Tape at that point.)

I did, however, come away with a copy of "America Cooks" from the War years. It includes an index for recipes with rationing options. For instance, there are recipes for cakes using 1, 2, or 3 (a real splurge) eggs. I treasure it for its historical value and the way cooks dealt with food rationing.

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I will go digging through this treasure trove for something to share.   :lol:
And who could ever forget this masterpiece: post-46-1125374156_thumb.jpg It was my first cookbook, and I still treasure the memories. (Yes, I had a dress just like that too.) It contains such marvels as bunny salad:post-46-1125374184_thumb.jpg Then there's the circa 1958 classic that I will turn to for the next dr.com picnic: post-46-1125374227_thumb.jpg with memorable Potato Salad Mold:post-46-1125374263_thumb.jpg

the Shrimp Lime Double Decker (special for you Mr. Rockwell):post-46-1125374378_thumb.jpg

and the unforgettable Melon Polka-Dot Mold:post-46-1125374324_thumb.jpg

Edited by crackers
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I was unaware that people actually collected cookbooks.  My Mother-in-law gifted me with some rather old, but really useful ones.  "Modern French Culinary Art" anyone?  Not to mention a copy of Larousse Gastronomique.

Unaware in general, or within this group?

I have maybe 2-300 cookbooks, including a complete set of Time-Life Foods of the World with the wire bound recipe booklets, and a copy of the Joy of Cooking from 1943 with section on rationing recipes and preserving one's victory garden produce.

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Unaware in general, or within this group?

I have maybe 2-300 cookbooks, including a complete set of Time-Life Foods of the World with the wire bound recipe booklets, and a copy of the Joy of Cooking from 1943 with section on rationing recipes and preserving one's victory garden produce.

My mother is giving me her set of "Foods of the World" this weekend. This is what made me fall in love with food. I can't top you on the "Joy of Cooking", but I have a "Settlement Cookbook" from the 1930's. It came from my wife's grandmother, and I have never even opened it.
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And who could ever forget this masterpiece: post-46-1125374156_thumb.jpg It was my first cookbook, and I still treasure the memories. (Yes, I had a dress just like that too.) It contains such marvels as bunny salad:post-46-1125374184_thumb.jpg Then there's the circa 1958 classic that I will turn to for the next dr.com picnic: post-46-1125374227_thumb.jpg with memorable Potato Salad Mold:post-46-1125374263_thumb.jpg

the Shrimp Lime Double Decker (special for you Mr. Rockwell):post-46-1125374378_thumb.jpg

and the unforgettable Melon Polka-Dot Mold:post-46-1125374324_thumb.jpg

OOH- I have that Salad Book. I recently had a dinner party using only old cookbooks. The winner I chose from the salad cookbook was a recipe for "Snacko" (mostly because I like to say it). It's essentially cornbread batter (from a mix, of course) spread thinly, and then topped with crushed peanuts, garlic salt, parm. and butter before baking. Sounds scary- but pretty tasty.

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And who could ever forget this masterpiece: post-46-1125374156_thumb.jpg  It was my first cookbook, and I still treasure the memories.  (Yes, I had a dress just like that too.)  It contains such marvels as bunny salad:post-46-1125374184_thumb.jpg

I recently lost that Betty Crocker Kids cookbook (and about 200 or so other treasures) in a house fire. I loved that cookbook - I made every holiday cake year after year. My kids loved the pear and cottage cheese bunny salad (only to make, not to actually eat...). I am sure I also had that dress - probably sewed it in 4H!

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One series that wasn't so bad was the "cookery" series. It wasn't BH&G, but something like that. Mexican Cookery by Barbara Hansen, c. 1981 actually isn't all that bad. It's mostly biased to the Yucatan, but is actually pretty authentic. I spend a fair amount of time in Quintana Roo each year and it definitely is very close to the food in both the Yucatan and truy Cozumeleno cooking. Go figure.

Barbara Hansen was the Food Editor of the Los Angeles Times for many years, and has written several very good books. I have the book you are referring to, published in 1980 by HPBooks in Tucson. It was one of the few (other than Diana Kennedy's early work) Mexican cookbooks published in the US before the 1990's that was truly authentic. It has really nice photos, too. I have a 1944 wirebound book--*Elena's Famous Mexican and Spanish Recipes* by Elena Zelayeta (Edited by "A Group of San Francisco Home Economists") Which has a mixture of authentic recipes and others that have been geared to the "gringo palate"--there is a notable absence of chiles in most of them. Elena was a restauranteur in San Francisco who authored several cookbooks. At that time, Mexican food was usually called "Spanish" when it was geared to a gringo clientele- - "Mexican" having quite a negative connotation of peasant food that was inedibly spicy. One of the early Mexican restaurants which opened in Hollywood in the late '20s was called The Spanish Kitchen.

When I helped my elderly parents move, my mother gave me the abovementioned and several other old cookbooks. There's the *Russian Cook Book for American Homes* ©1942 (price $1.00), a fundraiser compilation book published by Russian War Relief, Inc. Recipes are credited to, among others, celebrities like James Beard, Nathan Milstein, Prince Matchabelli, Oscar of the Waldorf, and The Russian Tea Room.

I am also in possession of *Madame Chiang's Chinese Cookbook* ©1941, which has a price of 25 cents on the cover, and absurdly racist illustrations inside. It starts out with twelve different recipes for chop suey. Most of the recipes call for "Vie Tsin" gourmet powder, which I assume is MSG.

Then, there is The *Rokeach Cook Book*, ©1933, which is half in English and half in Yiddish. It is full of ads for Rokeach kosher products, like *Nyafat*--"Foods prepared with NYAFAT are easier to digest and cause no heartburn" the ad copy promises. All of the recipes call for Rokeach products, naturally. The section of meat dishes has recipes for sweetbreads, smothered tongue, and calf brain croquettes, as well as "Leftover Meat #1" and "Leftover Meat #2" -- very little in the way of seasoning in any of the recipes except for onion and paprika.

My MIL gave me an undated cookbook that came with her set of Guardian cast aluminum cookware, which she bought in the mid-1940's. Wonderful color illustrations and photos, and clearly written by very earnest nutritionist-home economists. It is relentlessly middle American--not a smidgen of garlic in anything. The section about salads is all for molded gelatine salads, of course. The chapter heading is: "Salads That Will Inveigle the Family Into Their Full Vitamin Quota." Mmm. Delectable!

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My mother is giving me her set of "Foods of the World" this weekend.  This is what made me fall in love with food.  I can't top you on the "Joy of Cooking", but I have a "Settlement Cookbook" from the 1930's.  It came from my wife's grandmother, and I have never even opened it.

The Settlement Cookbook is a classic. I discovered the Foods of the World series relatively late. What got me into food was my mother's Grande Diplome Cooking School series from the 60's.

I don't seriously look for "collector's items", just think cookbooks are cool.

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I have two favorites:

The Best Recipe: Here it is on Froogle

and one that is from the Surprise Valley Chamber of Commerce from Cedarville, CA. It's full of recipes from folks I know, and has some surprising (ha ha!) variety (i.e., recipes from people's "old countries"). You have to watch out for the numerous recipes that use cream of mushroom soup though...

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The photo (thankfully in black & white) is captioned "Enchant guests with crunchy Ham-Cabbage Molds. They're sure to ask for the recipe."

"So they can post it on the internet and make fun of it behind your back". Just like one of my all-time favorite sites.

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"So they can post it on the internet and make fun of it behind your back". Just like one of my all-time favorite sites.

Thanks for posting this, Bill. I haven't laughed so hard in ages.

I just looked at a couple of softcover cookbooks that I found when I was moving my parents into their condo. From the forties. The most outrageous one is called _Madame Chang's Chinese Cookbook (Translated in English)_. On the cover it says: "Prepare a delicious Chinese Dinner in your own home and surprise your friends" 25c. Though it was "translated by" Frank Yep, it has remarkably racist pen and ink drawings above each recipe.

A sample menu for a Wednesday Chinese Dinner:

Fruit Cocktail

Celery hearts Sour Pickles

Chinese Consumme (sic)

Fried White Fish, Chinese Style

Creamed Water Chestnuts

Steamed Rice

Chinese Cookies

Tea or Coffee

Now, wouldn't YOUR friends be surprised?

What's weird is, there are lots of recipes in the book (Sweet and Sour Pigs Feet, anyone?) , but not for the dishes listed in the above menu. One of the strangest is "Mandarin Style Kidneys in Creole Sauce" which calls for 1 beef kidney or 6 lamb kidneys, flour, bacon drippings, onion, green pepper, tomato juice, bay leaf, flour and toast points. Not even any soy sauce, which along with "gourmet powder" (MSG, I presume) is in almost all of the other recipes. Genuinely bizarre.

Then I have the Rokeach Kosher Cookbook, from 1933. All of the recipes feature Rokeach products IN CAPITAL LETTERS, especially ROKEACH KOSHER NYAFAT. And lots of hints about how to keep your home clean and kosher with Rokeach cleaning products. If you turn the book over to the back cover, the entire text is provided in Yiddish...

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