My Family's Cookbook? Betty Crocker's New Picture Cook Book 1961 Edition
This cookbook has a long history in my family. Firstly my grandmother bought it for my mom before I was born and mom immediately took to it. It is filled with illustrations and so easy to understand that I've even taught myself new cooking techniques out of it. I seriously figured out how to get pressure cooker results just with the roasting technique, thanks Betty!
It is also the cookbook mom taught me out of for decades. When I would want to know how to make something she would tell me to go get 'the bible' and I'd get down our very used and much loved copy. Then I'd have to look up the recipe (she cleverly taught me how to use a cookbook this way) but the handy tabs for each section and index helped a lot.
Then as I would ask mom a million questions (now that I'm a better cook I know just to follow the directions) she would sigh and ask me what Betty Crocker had to say about it. So this book was not only a gift to a young mother who needed ways to cook delicious things for her growing family, but my training wheels as I learned how to cook.
Now is this book just bygone nostalgia? To me, no. I can either choose to cook as per the 1960s instructions when lard and butter were king, or I can figure out slightly healthier tweaks. Honestly I like having these older recipes since although most stores still sell lard or vegetable shortening they have no idea what to do with it.
Betty does. And it isn't all heavy food either, there are all types of fare for every meal, desserts and bread included. I like the fact that the five-ring binder and punch hole pages have held up for over five decades just fine. And now like so many women I can still turn to my copy and remember the two generations of women before me that used it as well.
Oh, before I forget the photo below and the background for this lens are of the inside of my own personal copy. Which is actually the second copy of this book my family owned, mom's first version having retired after various misadventures.
The modern version of this kitchen classic features the same ring binder format, but plenty of new sections and recipes.
The new version of this cookbook.
The crop of this photo forms the background of this lens. Enjoy!