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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gotta Love Those Cookbooks




Today I thought I'd share a few of my favorite cookbooks. Needless to say I am a cookbook junkie! For those of you who can relate to me on this, you will have to admit that there is no way that you will ever be able to try even a fraction of the recipes in all the cookbooks you own. But then again.....that's not really the point, is it? We just love cookbooks, plain and simple. Right?


 I'm not a person who likes to live with a lot of clutter, but cookbooks don't count, do they? Even with the plethora of recipes online today ( I love these too..... I even have a recipe index on my computer letting me know where my favorites are located and I have my share of printed recipes in binders too)......but like I said, even with all of these things... I just can't get rid of my cookbooks!


 These are just a handful that I'm particularly fond of . Some I have used consistently over the years, some are just plain fun to read, and some have sentimental memories attached to them. For instance, Betty Crocker's New Good and Easy Cookbook, the one shown above, was given to me by my Mom for Christmas when I was 17 years old. I have used recipes from this book for so many years now.......I can remember making some of these things for my parents and sisters before I even married.









This one, Betty Crocker's New Dinner for Two was a gift at my bridal shower. This one not only has delicious recipes, but entire menus in it with lots of handy kitchen tips. I made full use of this one when I was a starry-eyed bride cooking for her brand new husband! Sometimes now when I am feeling sentimental and romantic I will recreate one of these menus for the two of us.









Now this well-worn goody of a cookbook holds a lot of cooking memories for me too. To this day my husband declares that the prize-winning "Souper Beef Supper" by Mrs. Karen Fulk of Terre Haute, Indiana, is one of his all time favorite dishes. Mrs Fulk, are you still out there somewhere? If you are, thanks for the recipe. Now that I think about it....I haven't made this for Jim in a long time. Probably should do something about that.








This one is barely a cookbook at all, but an instruction manual/mini-recipe book for the Montgomery Ward food mixer. (Anyone remember Montgomery Ward?) Anyway I love this little booklet because it's from the mixer my Mom always used when I was a kid growing up. The mixer itself is long gone but now I have the book. On the front cover my Mom had written that this was a gift from James in 1952. Though I had memories of the mixer itself I did not know until recently, when my Mom gave me this book, that it had been a gift from my Dad when they were practically newlyweds themselves. Thanks Mom; this one's special.....and I'm gonna try a few recipes from it even if I have to use my Kitchen Aid.









Now this one, Modern Meal Maker by Martha Mead, is special to me because it was given to me by my late mother-in-law. She was a fabulous cook herself and this cookbook, copyright 1935, had belonged to the precious aunt who raised her. Think of Carey Grant's sweet little old aunts in the movie "Arsenic and Old Lace" and you can picture her Aunt Nettie ( minus the arsenic in the elderberry wine of course...smile). This one has meal plans and recipes for an entire year! It's an ingenious little design that allows you to stand it up to read your recipes as you cook. One half of the book is January through June, then flip it over and you find July through December. There are some surprisingly up-to-date features in this book such as the fact that throughout the book they use only menus and recipes for seasonal produce. Back then I know that this was a necessity because certain foods were not available year round. It's interesting to note now though because so many of us are trying to eat organically and more naturally by cooking with the seasons. Still, you can get such a feel for the times by perusing through this cookbook. A particular  helpful little note: "Sunday Night Suppers.....Since the Sunday night supper is one of the more popular ways of entertaining informally, a buffet supper menu is offered on the first Sunday of each month. " So vintage. Don't you just love it?








Every home with kids should have a Disney Cookbook of some sort. My middle son, a very good cook himself, was just this past Christmas day showing his wife the different recipes he made out of this book when he was a kid. I fixed many lunches and after-school snacks from this one.......things with names like "Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest Sandwich", "Bambi's Garden Salad"," Mickey's Beanie Weanie Soup", and "Jiminy Cricket's Cherry Vanilla Freeze". Enough said.









Betty Crocker's 40th Anniversary Cookbook is a favorite of mine for one reason: I use so many recipes from it. I have several earlier editions of the same book, but I like this one since it gives complete nutritional information for each recipe.









As you can see, this Children's Choice Cookbook has been used quite a bit. My January 5th post featured the unique little Over the Rainbow Cookies from this book.

 











I don't think that you can get recipes that are any more delicious than those that are from ordinary home cooks. That's one reason why it is so much fun to read blogs nowadays.....you
can run across so many lovely recipes. Before blogs, however, one way women shared their recipes with one another was with the cookbooks their groups and organizations put together. This one is from the Woman's Auxiliary of the South Carolina Conference of our church.....published about 1961. I love the fact that my Mom was on the publishing committee and that I recognize so many of the names and recipes of her friends......lots of fun to reminisce with this one.










Another classic cookbook that I use to this day. This one has the best Hungarian Chicken that you'll ever taste.







Finally, I've got to tell you, this cookbook is just plain fun. For anyone who loves to read about the history of food and homemaking I would highly recommend Fashionable Foods, Seven Decades of Food Fads. Beginning with the 20's and going all the way to the 90's this is a very enjoyable trip through time. Did you know that #1 Caesar Salad was invented during the 1920's by a chef named Caesar Cardini from Tijuana, Mexico? It became an immediate hit in that daring decade. #2 Many of our "comfort foods" originated in the 1930's during the depression and because sugar was one of the things that was still relatively inexpensive, people in the U.S. consumed more sugar per capita than they have done before or since. Each decade had it's own fashionable foods as well as fashionable clothing. #3 Anyone remember the granola craze of the 1970's? Believe me, if you like this kind of thing, you'll love this book.



Now I know not everyone will agree with me, but when we get into our "decluttering mode" this time of year......my advice is to think twice before you throw away your cookbooks....you just might regret it. Smile.










Oh and please don't forget..... be sure to go on over to Kelli's place http://kellishouse.blogspot.com/ to see other "Show and Tells" for this week. Enjoy.

32 comments:

Lara Gisela said...

Wow! What a collection Elaine! I love cookbooks as well (and also using them!) but I haven't got so many. Thanks for sharing and thanks for visiting me.
Blessings

The Blonde Duck said...

Stopping in from SITS to say hi! It looks like you've got a great vintage collection of cookbooks!

Hootin' Anni said...

I have the "Dinner for Two" one that my mother in law gave many many years ago. And it's just about in the same shape as yours. Little did she know I knew how to cook. LOLOLOL

My Show n Tell is being BLUE today...come on over if you can. I'd love your company.

Lora said...

What a great collection! I'm a cookbook junkie, too.

Lady Katherine said...

What a wonderful collection of old cook books! I just love them!

A Hint of Home said...

What a great collection of books. Ceekay and I were just talking about how much we miss Montgomery Wards.

Rechelle ~Walnuthaven Cottage~ said...

OMgosh! I so enjoyed this post. I also love cookbooks and can sit with one for hours just perusing it's pages, deciding which recipe I will try. I love vintage recipes and cookbooks are just one of those things that remind me of a happy home.
Thanks for sharing!

Becca said...

Elaine, What year was your book Fashionable Food published? Do you think it is still available? Loved your post today by the way!

Kathy said...

I LOVE cookbooks! You have some wonderful books. There's just something comforting about sitting down with a new cookbook (even if it's vintage) and leafing through it.

Terry & Dennis Macri said...

You can find some really great recipes in those old cookbooks. Thank you for sharing

Lisa said...

Oh, I would love to see your entire collection. I adore cookbooks. I gave away 70 of them a while back, but still have a bunch. The old ones are a lot of fun.

I do remember Montgomery Ward. I bought my first set of pots there. They were beige with brown stripes. I thought myself so adult to be living in a apartment instead of a dorm.

Belinda said...

Thank you for sharing some of your favorite cookbooks! I so agree with you...cookbooks are irresistible. And I also agree that if we lived ten lifetimes, we would never make a dent in all of the recipes we collect over time...but there is great joy to be had in a good cookbook, that's for sure. :-)

Elaine said...

Becca...to answer your question...the book was published in 1995 so you probably could locate it somewhere. I'd start with Amazon and go from there. Good luck. I know you'll enjoy it.

Carla said...

Wonderful! Thanks for sharing your great collection:)

YayaOrchid said...

Elaine, you're a woman after my own heart. I ♥♥♥ cookbooks too. I have an extensive collection thanks in part to the Good Cook bookclub and other book clubs. My hubby doesn't get it, he says I'll never make all the recipes, but like you say, that's not the point,LOL!

YayaOrchid said...

I forgot to mention that I'd been away due to computer glitches on my end. So glad to be back though!

Gattina said...

That's really a coincidence ! this morning I went through my cook books to give them to my son because he loves to cook ! I loved to cook to when I was in my 20th and 30th and have a lot of books, but 40 years of marriage later, I have enough from cooking, lol !

Linda C said...

You can never go wrong with Betty Crocker- such down to earth recipes.

Great cookbooks--thanks for showing us!

I do remember Montgomery Wards and their catalog:)

Linda C

Joy said...

Wow, that is quite a collection.
I have a few but nothing like that.
I do have the first one you posted though..I think it was my Mom's.

My First Kitchen said...

I love how weathered they all are! Thanks for stopping by! I hope to see you again sometime!

Wendy said...

Wow, you have a collection of Cookbooks. Thanks for sharing all of them with us.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Wendy

Reeni♥ said...

Came over from SITS to say hi! You were the comment above me today. I love your cookbooks. My Mom has a lot of old ones too that we still cook our favorite foods out of.

Paula said...

Love your blog! SO fun to see all the cook books.
Thanks for stoppy by my blog.
Paula
http://bucketideasforgrandmas.blogspot.com/

Carrie said...

I enjoyed reading your annotated bibliography of treasured cookbooks.

YayaOrchid said...

Hi, Elaine! Pls visit my blog for an award!

Pearl said...

Hi Elaine... What a sweet blog you have! Your CookBook Collection reminds me of the one that my husband and I have... very BIG and a wide variety... They're just alot of fun to collect and read...

Thanks so much for your recent visit and comments... I'm glad you enjoyed my Vintage Valentine's and hope you'll plan some return visits! I often am posting Vintage Post Cards. Ohhh, let me know if you get a new porch swing! Take care...

~blessings~
Pearl

Anonymous said...

Hi Elaine!!! I sure love reading your blog! You have the best one I've ever read! So nice and warm and fuzzy! That's how I feel when I read it. I too love cook books. I'm still wishing I could find the one my mom cooked most of her delicious dishes from. I think it might be that Good Housekeeping one, but not sure. Keep up the great blogging!

LuLu & Co. said...

Your collection is wonderful.
How fun... cookbooks are great.
LuLu

Rachel Ann said...

Thanks for stopping by on my SITS day last week...I feel so loved and just a bit overwhelmed with all the comments! Sorry it's taken me so long to respond back!

Jenna said...

That Hungarian Chicken recipe sounds great. Maybe you could post about that sometime.

Mimi said...

Hi Elaine! I'm stopping by from SITS, you were above me in roll call today.

I collect old cookbooks, too! I really love them.

It's negative one here in Michigan today, so that should make Phoenix feel a little warmer!

mail4rosey said...

Today I'm visiting from the Friendship Friday Hop (already a follower), but I saw this on your sidebar and had to comment. How cool! Pictures of these books take me waaay back to my mom's kitchen when I was a girl. Love this!