a cooking challenge

   Posted by: liz   in food

a long time ago, in a galaxy….nevermind.

a long time ago, i stole or borrowed (not sure which) my mom’s Betty Crocker Cookbook. it’s straight out of the Cold War. no, the 60′s free love revolution. i’m actually not sure how old it is because i can’t find any copyright information in it. i looked it up and found out it’s at least worth $63 and i guarantee you it’s not because of the quality of the recipes inside!

i’ve made a few things from this cookbook before. but only in the dessert section. my brother Andrew and I made the Bonnie Butter Cake found in the cakes and frostings section of the book. It’s a mammoth of a cake and melt-in-your mouth delicious, as long as you eat it the same day it’s made. it’s hard as a rock the second day, so make sure you make it for company.

this book refers to guests as “company” not as “entertaining” or “hospitality.” I remember when we used to call guests “company” and we’d “visit” with them in the dining room after the meal (translation: sit and talk after the meal).

this book is chock-full of fabulous meal ideas for your company! begin the meal with clever small plates and appetizers like “Petals ‘N Pickles.” other mouth-watering recipes included are, “Frosted Liverwurst Pate,” “Ambrosia” and “Sunburst Salad.”  You know you’ve been searching your mom’s and grandmom’s recipe lists for that jello salad that has the shredded carrots….it’s Sunburst Salad!

The writers for the Betty Crocker cookbook are sure to bring a smile to your face and a tickle to you heart. They truly believe that food is the means to all happiness:

Watch early-morning moodiness dissolve into a sunny smile. All of these sweet breads can turn the trick – and they can do it even faster when served piping hot with plenty of BUTTER.”

“No perfume can compare with the heady aroma of homemade white bread!”

“Mary’s sleeping over! Jim’s bringing a GIRL home from college! You’ve asked friends to come for brunch after church. Or you just woke up this morning so full of goodwill that you wanted to make the day special. That’s the day for any one of  the good things in this section. Our testers tell us they’re delicious!”

“Meat: your meals and your budget revolve around it.”

“Simple, classic salads! Slimming, health-brimming salads! Crisp, cool salads! Bright, sparkling salads! Taste-tempting salads! You’ll find your skill with a salad makes its own contribution to the quality of life in your house.”

There is even a “recipe” for frozen vegetables in the Vegetable section that basically tells you to read the back of the frozen vegetable package. Brilliance!

I am considering making a whole meal from this cookbook once or twice over the next few weeks. Starting with the appetizer, main course with side salad and vegetable dish, and dessert. You can join me! Photograph your dish, and make it look like the one from your Betty Crocker cookbook. Don’t have one? There’s bound to be a fantastic 1960s cookbook at your local library just waiting for you to check out.

More details to come. But first, I leave you with more Crocker goodness.

Appetizers: A special little something any old night to tell your favorite family, “I’m so glad you came home!”

We used to make Sukiyaki a lot.

Galaxy Cookies!  Otherwise known as sprinkle cookies.

I think it would be fun to document meals made from an entirely different era. Go find yourself a great cookbook and let me know if you’ll be joining me!

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 6th, 2011 at 3:52 pm and is filed under food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 comments so far


It’s the 1970 Betty Crocker, and my mom cooked out of the and More With Less about 75% of the time when I was growing up. I looked and looked to find a copy of my own, and was lucky enough to find a $5 copy in the antique store in town. If you cook the right recipes, it’s a great book! Consider…the Spanish rice, the dinette cake, or the toffee recipe for starters!

February 6th, 2011 at 4:38 pm

…”cooked out of IT and More With Less,” rather…

February 6th, 2011 at 4:38 pm

This is hysterically awesome! My BFF Wendy gave me an old-school cookbook like this when I got married, b/c our grandmothers had them. :-)

I’m not cooking anything complete in the next two weeks with the move & desperately eating out the last incongruous contents of our freezer, but I will follow along excitedly until I can be organized enough to join in!

February 6th, 2011 at 4:39 pm

i love More with Less and use it quite a bit. “Dinette Cake” sounds perfectly 60s. my parents were married in 1970, i’m sure it was a wedding gift!

February 6th, 2011 at 4:41 pm

sues – i think i’ll need a few weeks to come up with my own menu, so i’ll wait until at least mid-march!

February 6th, 2011 at 4:42 pm
Linda J.

This will date me…I received this cookbook as a bridal shower gift in 1976. It is still my “go-to” cookbook. It tells you how to do just about anything. It really helped out this newlywed who didn’t have a clue. It, also kept her husband from starving.

February 6th, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Odd. From your description I would have said 50′s for sure. Certainly not 1970. It sounds more like some of my mother’s older cookbooks, and you know that you’re my daughter’s age, not mine. Most of the cookbooks I got from my mother sound much more modern than this.

February 7th, 2011 at 7:36 am

I have the exact same cookbook. We brought it back from my Grandma’s house after she died. I also found the text and descriptions to be so funny. And I LOVE all the little notes my Grandma wrote in it. She often even recorded what “company” she made the meal for and how they liked it! Maybe I will join you! Let me know what full course meal you decide to do!

February 7th, 2011 at 10:39 am

my description were words straight out of the book, and the copyright date, i’ve found out, is 1969.
bonnie – the notes from original owners (epsecially if they’re your grandma!) are priceless!!!!

February 8th, 2011 at 3:37 pm

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