Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Addition to My Collection

Last week, Small Notebook posted this question: "What Do You Collect?" which made me pause and consider what it is I collect. There are lots of things I have because I like them but not necessarily because I collect them. One thing I do collect is vintage cookbooks.

I don't think I started this collection intentionally. It evolved. I've enjoyed reading cookbooks for years. My reading of cookbooks started when I was 8 and received the Betty Crocker New Boys and Girls Cookbook as a gift from my mother. I remember looking at the photographs in it for hours and wanting to make every single recipe in it. I branched out and began reading other cookbooks that were in mom's pantry.

Fast forward 18 years when I was a new bride and I wanted to cook for Lawman. I started reading cookbooks and cooking magazines again. I started testing recipes. I found my love of cooking. My mom soon saw my love of cookbooks and she gave me some that had been in her collection as well as some from her mother. Now as I sit here writing, I can see, at a glance, 11 vintage cookbooks. The oldest copyright date that I can find in my collection is 1926. Most of them are from the 50's, 60's and 70's.

Alison surprised me with a new addition last week, The Split-Level Cookbook by LouAnn Gaeddert (photo above). I can't tell you how happy that made me. And, the fact that she found it at a thrift sotre made it even better. I love that she knows what I like; it makes me feel all warm & fuzzy inside.

As I read through this book last weekend, I had to smile. The copyright is 1967 which I believe is about the time that the suburbs became popular with American families. The introduction states, "The leisurely family dinner with Father presiding at the head of the table has, for millions of families in this country, become a sometime -even a rare - thing. Blame Father's commuter train, his business duties which often keep him at his desk long after his secretary has gone home, or his huge business lunches." Sadly, I'm not sure much has changed since then as the majority of families don't have dinner around the table together.

In a recipe for Beef Packages, the instructions read, "Bring the sides of the foil up and wrap loosely with druggist's folds." I know I've never seen that before.

One recipe title gave me the giggles...Smoked Butts with Crab Apples. I had this scene in my head of Lawman coming home and asking what was for dinner. My reply, "Smoked Butts, dear." Oh the hysteria. Surely you think it's funny, right? Please tell me it's not just me.

With each recipe is listed a suggested menu, including dessert. I don't make dessert every night,do you? I'm not a June Cleaver.


Anonymous said...

no, no desert every night. love that Alison brought you home this cookbook. she knows her mom and that is cool.

Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig said...

Very cool cookbook...I have a cookbook fetish also. And dessert every night? No way. It's all I can do to get dinner on the table!

Wren said...

I love to look through vintage cookbooks. My grandmother had some whoppers! Who knew you could do so much with ham and jello? Well, not together..you know what I mean! I still hate jello salad, especially if there are bits in it, like carrots.


i LOVE vintage cookbooks (and vintage housekeeping books because they make me laugh with all the daily ironing and starching) - what a nice surprise gift :) and i WISH we could have a fun dessert every night! but not happening in this house :)

ps - the word verification was almost identical to my (longer and not common) maiden name! that was weird :)

Jenni said...

Oh, it would not stop with laughter if I served that meal under that name. My family would be riffing on that all through the meal and after.

Forget dessert, sometimes I don't even make dinner.

Anonymous said...

I have some of my Grandma's extra vintage cookbooks. I've cooked a few recipes from them but the most successful is ANZAC biscuits which are a NZ/Aussie tradition. My kids always have dessert usually yogurt with fruit, custard with fruit or jelly with fruit. Jas and I have dessert a couple of times a week but more like apple pie or choc sponge dessert which my kids won't eat. Yip, I agree crazy kids they don't know what they are missing out on.

JC Mom said...

I have my Grandma Hazel's vintage Betty Crocker (red and white plaid tablecloth looking cover) cookbook that is falling apart from so much use. Very fun.

We have Pork Butts a lot and my kids laugh everytime I say it. I have city friends that won't eat it. It's not even the butt! Doesn't change their mind one bit! :)