Two “New” Cookbooks For The Shelf

Growing up we didn’t have a lot of cookbooks (but then neither did anyone I knew when I was young!). It wasn’t like today when I have nearly unlimited access to ideas and inspiration. I ‘d also hedge that most of us born in the 1970’s, our Moms had a copy of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, “The Red Plaid” book. It wasn’t gourmet cooking but it could teach the basics if you were willing (and still will). Each time they updated the book things were lost and now the book is no different from most general cooking books. But two versions stand out. My Mom had both, she got the 1968 as a wedding gift and the older 1953 was passed down to her. The 1953 one fell apart when I was young. I have foggy memories of my Mom taking out the recipes that mattered to her and storing them away in her green recipe boxes and a few were in the back of the later edition, tucked in.

By the time my Mom passed away she had downsized a lot. I know the cookbook was not in her items, so did it get tossed? I don’t know, she didn’t cook a lot in the last few years and the book was old/falling apart. The past couple of years it has bugged me to not have those books and I really wanted them again. I had mentioned it to my Mother In Law and she took the time to find not one, but both versions as Christmas gifts for me šŸ™‚

Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook – Published in 1953.

Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book – Published in 1968.

The difference between the two editions is sharp. It is neat to see how food preferences (and the desire to save time) changed in so few years. Wandering through the 1968 edition is seeing most of the meals I ate as a child. There were a couple of recipes I had wanted to find again. I can remember when the Chicken Curry was exotic and gourmet cooking šŸ˜‰ But hey, it wasn’t bad. It was actually really tasty. Not sure if everyone in the family will appreciate going retro but you never know šŸ˜‰



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