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.