Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Betty book.

I had to run into the library this morning to pick up a book I'd requested, and I stopped to look at the Friends of the Library sale rack just inside the front door.

I never really noticed this rack before--it's in an awkward place between the door and the metal detectors--and I think if I ever did glance at it, it was just a cursory "James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, yeahyeahyeah" kind of glance.

A few weeks ago, I went in with my father-in-law and he stopped at the rack right away and found something he wanted. So now I'm noticing it more.

Today I found this for a buck:

I thought maybe there was a nice dust jacket under that paper bag cover, but alas no. So it's not an awesome find, but I am a sucker for old Betty Crocker books. I have a ring-bound Picture Cookbook (the edition before this one) and I have a hardback cookbook from the 60s that's the same edition my mom had in ring-bound when I was a kid. I used to love to pore over the pictures, and it has some excellent recipes for pound cake and oatmeal cookies, among other things. I have a Betty Crocker Cooky Book from the early 1970s, too. I just love the bright pictures in old cookbooks...they're too bright in a vaguely unappetizing way.

You know, you just don't see radish roses any more, and I think that's a darn shame.

These are the Betty Crocker test kitchens of the 1950's. They tested "new and glamorous" recipes in the Kitchen of Tomorrow...wonder what those would have been? Cheese fondue? Pizza rolls? Sushi?

This link shows the different Betty cookbooks over the ages (if you scroll down a tad.) The first red one is the one I have in ring-bound. The second one is the one I picked up today--that's what the jacket would have looked like. The third one is one I have salivated over on Ebay more than once. And the fourth one is the one my mom had in ring-bound and I have in hardcover.

Beyond those years, I think the editions are not as cute. I have a Better Homes and Gardens book to represent the 80s and beyond--it was a wedding present to me in 1992. Love that one, too--I always have to check it every time I make hard-boiled eggs, as I don't seem to be able to keep the procedure in my head.
It's very useful, but it's not as charming as the old books with their ultra-bright pictures.

This book that I found today is in really nice shape, a few places where the spine is cleaved, but the pages are clean. I always hope for handwritten recipes tucked into these old cookbooks, but no such luck with this one. There's only one page that looks worn and has some liquid damage. It has recipes for cottage pudding with vanilla, lemon, chocolate or nutmeg sauce; cinnamon fluff; cherry carnival; and Iowa date pudding. I wonder which one was the family favorite? Upon reading, it looks like "cottage pudding" is just a plain white cake baked in a 9" pan. That sounds much more appetizing than "cottage pudding," which made me think of steamed cottage cheese.