Your Grandma’s Cookbooks

      96 Comments on Your Grandma’s Cookbooks

When we bought our little farm, we told the elderly woman who’d been living there she could leave behind any junk she didn’t want to move and we’d deal with it.  In addition to quite a few tools and farm implements, she left behind two shelves full of books, including some old, faded cookbooks published in the 1950s.  Chareva looks up recipes in those books now and then and noticed some interesting entries recently.

The first was the opening of the section on poultry in a Better Homes & Gardens cookbook.  The section was titled To Clean Poultry:

Pick poultry dry or dip into hot, not boiling, water until water penetrates the skin.  Grasp feathers close to skin and pull in the direction they grow, not against it.  Cut off wing tips if desired.  Singe by holding dry bird over direct flame, turning to expose all parts of the body.  Remove pinfeathers with tweezers, or use the dull edge of a knife.

Cut around vent and make slit almost to the breastbone.  Insert hand and carefully loosen entrails from back and sides; pull out, making sure lungs are removed.  Push back skin of neck; cut off neck close to the body and remove windpipe.  Separate gizzard, heart, and liver and cut away gall bladder attached to liver, being careful not to break it.  Cut through thickest part of gizzard; open and pull out sac.  Remove oil sac from tail.

Gizzard?  Gall bladder?  Lungs?  How many cooks these days would even know what those look like?  I don’t think I could identify a gall bladder.  We’re so far removed from our food these days, it’s actually surprising to find a cookbook that describes how to clean a chicken.

Another interesting section in the same cookbook is titled Your Daily Food Plan.  Here are the recommendations:

  • Leafy green and yellow vegetables:  one or more servings per day.
  • Eggs:  preferably one each day, at least four per week.
  • Milk and cheese:  Children through teens, 3 ½ cups to one quart of milk.  Adults, 2 ½ to 3 cups.  (There are conversions listed for cheese.)
  • Potatoes and other vegetables: two servings per day.
  • Citrus fruits:  one per day.
  • Meat, poultry, fish:  one serving every day.  Include liver, heart and other organ meats.
  • Breads, cereals:  some each day.
  • Dry beans and peas, nuts:  one or more servings per week.
  • Fats and oils:  some every day and as needed in cooking.

We went from those recommendations in the 1950s to being told to avoid eggs, butter and whole milk and to consume 6-11 servings of grains per day in the 1970s.  Boy, that sure worked out.

In an old Betty Crocker cookbook, Chareva found this introduction to the Meat section:

Meat has been the backbone of man’s diet from the beginning of time.  Wild fowl and fish were devoured with the deer and wild boar which the caveman brought from the hunt.  The great feasts of medieval times were made up of meat and very little else.  It is not strange that food in those times was referred to merely as “meat.”

Less than fifty years ago in our own country, any dinner or banquet worthy of the name included a separate fish course, a main course usually referred to as “the roast,” an “entrée” or made-dish such as creamed sweetbreads or chicken patties.

Family and guests in a famous Washington mansion at the beginning of this century started Thanksgiving Day with a Porterhouse steak and codfish balls for breakfast.  The dinner a few hours later began with oysters on the half shell, followed by cream of chicken soup.  Next came fried smelts with tartar sauce.  All this was the prelude to the roast turkey with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, baked squash, boiled onions, and parsnip fritters.  Following was chicken salad, then a venison pastry.  The traditional mince and pumpkin pie shared honors as dessert with ice cream and hickory nut cake.  Fruit and cheese topped off the meal.  In the even, a supper was served including cold roast turkey and scalloped oysters.

Today we are content with a serving of meat, poultry or fish for dinner.  Without one of these three, it is an unsatisfactory meal for most people, undoubtedly because they miss essential nutrition elements. All three give adequate amounts of high quality protein and B-complex vitamins.  Only fish also gives some vitamin D, and fish is a good source of vitamin A.  Meat is particularly rich in iron and phosphorous for blood and bones. Shellfish and salt-water fish contain more iodine than other common food.  In addition, the fat of these foods is a rich source of energy … it also adds flavor and eating enjoyment.

That’s what your grandmother or perhaps your great-grandmother knew about cooking and how to feed a family.

Too bad we decided Grandma didn’t know as much as all those experts in the 1970s.

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96 thoughts on “Your Grandma’s Cookbooks

  1. Bradlee C.

    Well, my grandma smoked 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day. I’ll defer to Betty Crocker.

    Probably a good idea in that case.

    Reply
  2. Michael Cohen

    I am a cook and have many cookbooks. One is a Chinese food cookbook from the 1930’s. All of the stir-fry recipes call for lard.
    Another is “The Yankee Cookbook” 1939 edition. The classic Boston baked bean recipe calls for a Quart of pea beans (almost 2 lbs), 1 1/2 TBL Brown Sugar and 1/4 C of molasses. “Cape Cod cooks add 1/2 C cream in the last half hour of cooking”
    A modern book called “Barbecue USA” has a recipe called “Beanhole Beans” which calls for 1 Lb beans 1/2 C molasses,1/2 C Ketchup, 1/3 C Brown sugar (or more to taste). That would roughly equate to 2 2/3 C of sweeteners in the older recipe or roughly 10 times the sugar.

    Yikes.

    Reply
  3. JK

    Ah, our grandparents knew what a good diet was as you can see from your books. This knowledge was passed on from mother to child and the girls were thoroughly instructed what to do and how to cook such meals whenever affordable. Home cooking was something to be proud of. Making sure that sufficient food was preserved and stored for the winter was an essential job for the whole family. That included slaughtering animals and preserving the meats in autumn. I have helped as a child. Until food became too easy to buy in the supermarkets, almost cheaper then home grown food. And preserving food was left to the industries. Industries who started to use science to bamboozle us about what was in our food. And to use this science to bamboozle us about the “health” benefits of their food. Scientific Correctness became the order of the day. And still is. This SC stops us now often from being able to buy wholesome, healthy food. Like it’s sibling, Political Correctness, SC is being used to blackmail people into believing that deviation from the rules set by the food industries employed scientists would be akin to blasphemy. The law makers followed to make sure we would not deviate and now we see too often that growing one’s own food has become a sort of crime. What interesting times we live in…

    Yes, and we have many interesting years ahead of us.

    Reply
  4. Bradlee C.

    Well, my grandma smoked 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day. I’ll defer to Betty Crocker.

    Probably a good idea in that case.

    Reply
  5. nonegiven

    I remember my grandma saying she was going to have chicken for dinner. Then she walked out the kitchen door, grabbed a chicken and jerked its head off with her bare hands.
    My husband remembers when his grandparents split a hog with another family. He walked into the kitchen one day and there was half the hog’s head sitting on the table, it had been cut right down the center and his grandma was about to make headcheese. (Headcheese is gross)

    My mom remembers her grandmother walking out back, selecting a chicken for dinner, and breaking its neck with one twist of her hand. She also remembers none of them ever gave grandma any backtalk after seeing that.

    Reply
  6. Michael Cohen

    I am a cook and have many cookbooks. One is a Chinese food cookbook from the 1930’s. All of the stir-fry recipes call for lard.
    Another is “The Yankee Cookbook” 1939 edition. The classic Boston baked bean recipe calls for a Quart of pea beans (almost 2 lbs), 1 1/2 TBL Brown Sugar and 1/4 C of molasses. “Cape Cod cooks add 1/2 C cream in the last half hour of cooking”
    A modern book called “Barbecue USA” has a recipe called “Beanhole Beans” which calls for 1 Lb beans 1/2 C molasses,1/2 C Ketchup, 1/3 C Brown sugar (or more to taste). That would roughly equate to 2 2/3 C of sweeteners in the older recipe or roughly 10 times the sugar.

    Yikes.

    Reply
  7. JK

    Ah, our grandparents knew what a good diet was as you can see from your books. This knowledge was passed on from mother to child and the girls were thoroughly instructed what to do and how to cook such meals whenever affordable. Home cooking was something to be proud of. Making sure that sufficient food was preserved and stored for the winter was an essential job for the whole family. That included slaughtering animals and preserving the meats in autumn. I have helped as a child. Until food became too easy to buy in the supermarkets, almost cheaper then home grown food. And preserving food was left to the industries. Industries who started to use science to bamboozle us about what was in our food. And to use this science to bamboozle us about the “health” benefits of their food. Scientific Correctness became the order of the day. And still is. This SC stops us now often from being able to buy wholesome, healthy food. Like it’s sibling, Political Correctness, SC is being used to blackmail people into believing that deviation from the rules set by the food industries employed scientists would be akin to blasphemy. The law makers followed to make sure we would not deviate and now we see too often that growing one’s own food has become a sort of crime. What interesting times we live in…

    Yes, and we have many interesting years ahead of us.

    Reply
  8. nonegiven

    I remember my grandma saying she was going to have chicken for dinner. Then she walked out the kitchen door, grabbed a chicken and jerked its head off with her bare hands.
    My husband remembers when his grandparents split a hog with another family. He walked into the kitchen one day and there was half the hog’s head sitting on the table, it had been cut right down the center and his grandma was about to make headcheese. (Headcheese is gross)

    My mom remembers her grandmother walking out back, selecting a chicken for dinner, and breaking its neck with one twist of her hand. She also remembers none of them ever gave grandma any backtalk after seeing that.

    Reply
  9. Dan Hall

    Rant Alert! Look at all of the whole foods listed in that recommendation. How could that not be better than what is recommended now. I doubt that even the bread, cereals and oils were as bad, as they are now. At least animal derived fats were included. Even the grains were not the mutated dwarf wheats, that most breads and cereals are made from today. I know correlation does not prove causation, but why don’t the health experts see at least a possibility of relationship between the mutated, processed, low fat and sweetened foods people eat and are told to eat and the myriad afflictions that are prevalent today.

    I know that I’m preaching to the choir, but I needed to get that out. Unfortunately, I’m probably angrier now, than when I started.

    Now, I’ll just bang my head against my iPad. I’d like to rap my knuckles against the heads of people in the USDA and FDA and ask if there is any intelligent life in there.

    Thanks for reading.

    PS, Tom, “Telling Writing” is on the way. Will it provide guidance on proper punctuation? I’m the most confused person in th world, when it comes to using commas, colons, and semi colons. Do you have any other recommendations. Thanks

    “Telling Writing” is mostly about turning dead “Engfish” prose into lively prose. I can’t think of any good books on punctuation.

    Reply
  10. Justin B

    In a weird coincidence, the season premiere of The Looney Tunes Show a few weeks ago was about “grandma’s cookbook” as well. Sadly, it went entirely in the wrong direction. Bugs Bunny got fat off of the recipes from the cookbook, and the catchphrase of the episode that everybody kept telling him was “Nobody should eat that much butter”. You know, because our grandparents were much fatter than we are now, right?

    Well, they did have a point: bunnies shouldn’t eat butter.

    Reply
  11. Pierce

    I found a cookbook at my grandmother’s beach house (to be fair, I think she’d picked it up a few years ago in a yard sale, but it was of her generation) that was a very mainstream one. It may even have been Betty Crocker. It had all the normal stuff and then a section on “game,” with recipes ranging from squirrel to bear. Yes, bear. Nowadays there are people who won’t even eat chicken unless it’s boneless and skinless breasts. I guess times have changed.

    Wow … it would take a brave hunter to go after a bear.

    Reply
  12. Brian Schultze

    Google Books is a great place to find old cook books from the mid 1800’s. I looked up how to make butter in one of them, the recipe started out “First make sure the cow’s udders are clean…”.

    I love it.

    Reply
  13. Trina

    My husband and I were just lamenting that when my grandmother cooked chicken or turkey it always came with the neck, liver and other “stuff”. The organs were wrapped up inside the cavity of the bird and she would take them out and put them in the pan with the bird to cook. I haven’t seen those things come with the bird in years. As a young child, I always wanted the liver – they tasted so good cooked that way. She also told us stories of how her mother (my great grandmother) managed a farm with my great grandfather in Saskatchewan. She had 15 farm hands to feed two meals a day. She got up before the sun and made everything herself. She went out and killed the chickens and plucked them and cooked them. I would listen to these stories and wonder how she did it – I couldn’t imagine it … we’re spoiled today.

    Are are indeed. Chareva wants to learn to clean and cook an actual chicken. Among our future plans for the farm is getting a rooster, expanding the flock of chickens, and plucking out some males for dinners.

    Reply
  14. Linda R

    Yup, I have that exact copy of Betty Crocker’s Cookbook sitting here in my kitchen.
    When I was still married and living on a farm in Nebraska, I cooked from scratch and used those recipes a lot, mainly to feed hubby who never had a weight problem, held down a full time job and kept the farm going as well. Unfortunately that was back during my low fat/count calories/walk my butt off outside days, struggling to lose 30 pounds and hungry all the time because I also baked tons of homemade bread with regular white flour. This was during the 80’s and 90’s, I was just starting to hear about Dr. Atkins, no internet to learn from, lots of frustration.
    If I only knew then what I know now……………………………………………….

    My thoughts exactly.

    Reply
  15. Craig

    I have a friend who is an avid hunter and one of his favorite cookbooks is an old edition of “The Joy of Cooking.” Apparently hunters seek out the old editions because they are full of wild game recipes that got removed a couple decades ago.

    I may have to find one of those. We see deer on our land and I may decide to bag one someday.

    Reply
  16. Reeda

    I have a soft spot for old cookbooks. The thing that jumps out at me in my 1965 Better Homes & Gardens Meat Cook Book is a section on the different cuts of meat and the methods one should use to prepare them. In all the pictures, the cuts of meat are insanely fatty (even to my low-carb eyes). In fact, almost all of the photos throughout the book show the meat cooked in all its fatty glory. No trying to make anything look lean here. Even the recipes that call for chicken breasts are full of butter and cream.

    And yet we weren’t talking about an obesity epidemic back then.

    Reply
  17. Dan Hall

    Rant Alert! Look at all of the whole foods listed in that recommendation. How could that not be better than what is recommended now. I doubt that even the bread, cereals and oils were as bad, as they are now. At least animal derived fats were included. Even the grains were not the mutated dwarf wheats, that most breads and cereals are made from today. I know correlation does not prove causation, but why don’t the health experts see at least a possibility of relationship between the mutated, processed, low fat and sweetened foods people eat and are told to eat and the myriad afflictions that are prevalent today.

    I know that I’m preaching to the choir, but I needed to get that out. Unfortunately, I’m probably angrier now, than when I started.

    Now, I’ll just bang my head against my iPad. I’d like to rap my knuckles against the heads of people in the USDA and FDA and ask if there is any intelligent life in there.

    Thanks for reading.

    PS, Tom, “Telling Writing” is on the way. Will it provide guidance on proper punctuation? I’m the most confused person in th world, when it comes to using commas, colons, and semi colons. Do you have any other recommendations. Thanks

    “Telling Writing” is mostly about turning dead “Engfish” prose into lively prose. I can’t think of any good books on punctuation.

    Reply
  18. Justin B

    In a weird coincidence, the season premiere of The Looney Tunes Show a few weeks ago was about “grandma’s cookbook” as well. Sadly, it went entirely in the wrong direction. Bugs Bunny got fat off of the recipes from the cookbook, and the catchphrase of the episode that everybody kept telling him was “Nobody should eat that much butter”. You know, because our grandparents were much fatter than we are now, right?

    Well, they did have a point: bunnies shouldn’t eat butter.

    Reply
  19. Marilyn

    Gizzards! I just bought a package when I ordered some kosher chicken a while back. They’re waiting for me in the freezer.

    You do’t have to go back to the 1950s to see how things are changed. My 1970s cookbooks show cuts of meat with FAT on them!

    If you want a hilarious book about how NOT to write, take a look at “Anguished English.”

    Reply
  20. Bevie

    I love old cookbooks! I cook often out of the 1940 Better Homes cookbook and people wonder why meals at my house taste so much better that they are used to. It is the real food ingredients! I was shocked a few days ago that a fairly intelligent individual that I work with had no clue what part of a pumpkin got eaten. I think it had not occurred to me that it was no longer common for people to cook it from scratch. I don’t think I have even seen a new cookbook with instructions for cooking a whole pumpkin in a long time.
    For those who do not have access to a real live heritage cookbook, many old editions are available digitally through Gutenberg Project and the like. I have a 1912 edition of the Boston Cooking School cookbook on my Nook with recipes for things like lamb kidney and real bone based broth, right alongside chops and roasts like it was normal everyday food. Let’s face it, it WAS everyday food then. Those lucky bums.
    –Dan Hall, go find a copy of “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” for punctuation advice, concise and amusing.

    Reply
  21. Marilyn

    The woman who played Betty Crocker from 1949-1964, “. . . moved to the Pacific Northwest with her second husband, Naval Air Cmdr. Laurence Gordon Cumming, and taught English as a second language, which she continued until December 18, 1998, giving her final class three days before her death. Cumming died on December 21, 1998 at Harrison Hospital, Bremerton, Washington, aged 93.

    Maybe she ate plenty of those fatty cuts of meat pictured in those cookbooks ? ? ?

    Judging by the recipes, yes.

    Reply
  22. Susan

    With few exceptions, I cook all of mine and my husband’s evening meals. This, on rare occasions, will include venison from deer that my husband shoots. He is an awesome “crack” shot! I am always impressed when I watch him hunt. I am hoping he bags a elk this year. Anyway, one year we decided to butcher the venison ourselves instead of having to pay to have it processed. We happened to have a elderly couple at our home who were helping us butcher our deer and we were helping them butcher the one that my husband had shot for them. We were quite a sight! All four of us had knives in our hands. Our older lady friend actually had a small hatchet in hers as all the good knives were already spoken for. We had surgical gloves on, the deer was gutted and laid out on our dining room table and there was blood on everyone. I had to laugh at the sight of us, because it was actually Halloween evening! Fortunately, we had not had a “Trick ‘R Treater” in years!

    That sounds a bit messy.

    Years ago I had a comedy gig in Montana. The club put us up in an awful hotel. There were signs on the doors: Hunters, do not clean game in your hotel room. So I knew the reason there were big dark spots on the carpet in my room.

    Reply
  23. Pierce

    I found a cookbook at my grandmother’s beach house (to be fair, I think she’d picked it up a few years ago in a yard sale, but it was of her generation) that was a very mainstream one. It may even have been Betty Crocker. It had all the normal stuff and then a section on “game,” with recipes ranging from squirrel to bear. Yes, bear. Nowadays there are people who won’t even eat chicken unless it’s boneless and skinless breasts. I guess times have changed.

    Wow … it would take a brave hunter to go after a bear.

    Reply
  24. Derper

    Wow… that’s a messed up cookbook… torture a chicken like that without the decency to kill it first?

    That was the CIA version, I guess.

    Reply
  25. tess

    🙂 coincidentally, i wrote on this subject a few months ago….

    but while reading your posting, i became irresistibly tempted to tell about a book of MY grandmother’s. she was in college studying home economics about the time of the Great War, and i have a couple of her textbooks. 😀 one, entitled “Textbook of Cooking” kept pointing out what an important nutritional source of energy sugar is!

    she was an outstanding cook, my grandmother … but unfortunately obese. she died of cancer at 86.

    Apparently future generations took that message to heart.

    Reply
  26. Brian Schultze

    Google Books is a great place to find old cook books from the mid 1800’s. I looked up how to make butter in one of them, the recipe started out “First make sure the cow’s udders are clean…”.

    I love it.

    Reply
  27. LXV

    I was telling my mom about some new recipes and foods I was trying. After I told her about my new liver recipe and my husband’s penchant for eating buttered brussel sprouts as an after work snack, my mom laughed and told her I eat exactly the way my great-grandma did.

    Reply
  28. LCNana

    For Dan Hall above, just google something like “Pocket Guide for Correct Grammar” and you’ll get something. Or look for grammar books used by journalists – they would show you the kind of grammar you are used to seeing in papers and magazines. Google “style and usage” and lots will show up.

    Tom, Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking also shows how we used to cook in the 50s. Lots of meat/fish/poultry, and most of the veggies are cooked – not the huge amounts of “roughage” aka salad that we choke down now. And of course her favourite BUTTER.

    Thanks for getting us to think of the good old days when food was just, well, FOOD!

    Yup, she was big on butter.

    Reply
  29. Trina

    My husband and I were just lamenting that when my grandmother cooked chicken or turkey it always came with the neck, liver and other “stuff”. The organs were wrapped up inside the cavity of the bird and she would take them out and put them in the pan with the bird to cook. I haven’t seen those things come with the bird in years. As a young child, I always wanted the liver – they tasted so good cooked that way. She also told us stories of how her mother (my great grandmother) managed a farm with my great grandfather in Saskatchewan. She had 15 farm hands to feed two meals a day. She got up before the sun and made everything herself. She went out and killed the chickens and plucked them and cooked them. I would listen to these stories and wonder how she did it – I couldn’t imagine it … we’re spoiled today.

    Are are indeed. Chareva wants to learn to clean and cook an actual chicken. Among our future plans for the farm is getting a rooster, expanding the flock of chickens, and plucking out some males for dinners.

    Reply
  30. Linda R

    Yup, I have that exact copy of Betty Crocker’s Cookbook sitting here in my kitchen.
    When I was still married and living on a farm in Nebraska, I cooked from scratch and used those recipes a lot, mainly to feed hubby who never had a weight problem, held down a full time job and kept the farm going as well. Unfortunately that was back during my low fat/count calories/walk my butt off outside days, struggling to lose 30 pounds and hungry all the time because I also baked tons of homemade bread with regular white flour. This was during the 80’s and 90’s, I was just starting to hear about Dr. Atkins, no internet to learn from, lots of frustration.
    If I only knew then what I know now……………………………………………….

    My thoughts exactly.

    Reply
  31. Craig

    I have a friend who is an avid hunter and one of his favorite cookbooks is an old edition of “The Joy of Cooking.” Apparently hunters seek out the old editions because they are full of wild game recipes that got removed a couple decades ago.

    I may have to find one of those. We see deer on our land and I may decide to bag one someday.

    Reply
  32. Reeda

    I have a soft spot for old cookbooks. The thing that jumps out at me in my 1965 Better Homes & Gardens Meat Cook Book is a section on the different cuts of meat and the methods one should use to prepare them. In all the pictures, the cuts of meat are insanely fatty (even to my low-carb eyes). In fact, almost all of the photos throughout the book show the meat cooked in all its fatty glory. No trying to make anything look lean here. Even the recipes that call for chicken breasts are full of butter and cream.

    And yet we weren’t talking about an obesity epidemic back then.

    Reply
  33. Marilyn

    One thing missing from this discussion of old cookbooks: Tell us where to get the good meats we used to be able to get. Everything’s been wrecked. Chicken thighs are no longer dark meat; they’re white and dry like chicken breast — even the “organic” or “free range” chickens. Pork chops (“the other white meat”) are like so much cardboard. . . No matter how much fat one adds, they simply don’t taste good like they used to.

    Reply
  34. Reeda

    @Dan Hall: Consider ordering The Writer’s Digest Grammar Desk Reference. I have the 2005 version, but there is one that is more recent. It covers punctuation, grammar, and basic errors in style. It uses examples from published sources (so you don’t have to feel bad about making errors–even the pros do it!), shows you the error, and shows you what the correction should be. Very straightforward and useful. Easy to use.

    Reply
  35. Drew @ Willpower Is For Fat Pe

    @Bevie – You’re right about Project Gutenberg. Here’s the bookshelf: http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Cookery_%28Bookshelf%29

    @Tom – Those stains on the hotel rug sound like a setup for an episode of Dexter.

    And my own favorite old cookbook described an interested way to preserve sausage: http://cooklikeyourgrandmother.com/2008/10/more-remarkable-danish-recipes/

    That same night, I stepped out of bed to go the bathroom and something grabbed my toe. Not exactly the best gig of my life.

    Reply
  36. Marilyn

    Gizzards! I just bought a package when I ordered some kosher chicken a while back. They’re waiting for me in the freezer.

    You do’t have to go back to the 1950s to see how things are changed. My 1970s cookbooks show cuts of meat with FAT on them!

    If you want a hilarious book about how NOT to write, take a look at “Anguished English.”

    Reply
  37. Bevie

    I love old cookbooks! I cook often out of the 1940 Better Homes cookbook and people wonder why meals at my house taste so much better that they are used to. It is the real food ingredients! I was shocked a few days ago that a fairly intelligent individual that I work with had no clue what part of a pumpkin got eaten. I think it had not occurred to me that it was no longer common for people to cook it from scratch. I don’t think I have even seen a new cookbook with instructions for cooking a whole pumpkin in a long time.
    For those who do not have access to a real live heritage cookbook, many old editions are available digitally through Gutenberg Project and the like. I have a 1912 edition of the Boston Cooking School cookbook on my Nook with recipes for things like lamb kidney and real bone based broth, right alongside chops and roasts like it was normal everyday food. Let’s face it, it WAS everyday food then. Those lucky bums.
    –Dan Hall, go find a copy of “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” for punctuation advice, concise and amusing.

    Reply
  38. Marilyn

    The woman who played Betty Crocker from 1949-1964, “. . . moved to the Pacific Northwest with her second husband, Naval Air Cmdr. Laurence Gordon Cumming, and taught English as a second language, which she continued until December 18, 1998, giving her final class three days before her death. Cumming died on December 21, 1998 at Harrison Hospital, Bremerton, Washington, aged 93.

    Maybe she ate plenty of those fatty cuts of meat pictured in those cookbooks ? ? ?

    Judging by the recipes, yes.

    Reply
  39. Susan

    With few exceptions, I cook all of mine and my husband’s evening meals. This, on rare occasions, will include venison from deer that my husband shoots. He is an awesome “crack” shot! I am always impressed when I watch him hunt. I am hoping he bags a elk this year. Anyway, one year we decided to butcher the venison ourselves instead of having to pay to have it processed. We happened to have a elderly couple at our home who were helping us butcher our deer and we were helping them butcher the one that my husband had shot for them. We were quite a sight! All four of us had knives in our hands. Our older lady friend actually had a small hatchet in hers as all the good knives were already spoken for. We had surgical gloves on, the deer was gutted and laid out on our dining room table and there was blood on everyone. I had to laugh at the sight of us, because it was actually Halloween evening! Fortunately, we had not had a “Trick ‘R Treater” in years!

    That sounds a bit messy.

    Years ago I had a comedy gig in Montana. The club put us up in an awful hotel. There were signs on the doors: Hunters, do not clean game in your hotel room. So I knew the reason there were big dark spots on the carpet in my room.

    Reply
  40. Derper

    Wow… that’s a messed up cookbook… torture a chicken like that without the decency to kill it first?

    That was the CIA version, I guess.

    Reply
  41. tess

    🙂 coincidentally, i wrote on this subject a few months ago….

    but while reading your posting, i became irresistibly tempted to tell about a book of MY grandmother’s. she was in college studying home economics about the time of the Great War, and i have a couple of her textbooks. 😀 one, entitled “Textbook of Cooking” kept pointing out what an important nutritional source of energy sugar is!

    she was an outstanding cook, my grandmother … but unfortunately obese. she died of cancer at 86.

    Apparently future generations took that message to heart.

    Reply
  42. LXV

    I was telling my mom about some new recipes and foods I was trying. After I told her about my new liver recipe and my husband’s penchant for eating buttered brussel sprouts as an after work snack, my mom laughed and told her I eat exactly the way my great-grandma did.

    Reply
  43. Pat

    “Food that really Schmecks” is an old Canadian Mennonite cookbook – and the recipes are wonderful. I gave away my paperback when I went low-fat and regretted it, but now I have the e-book.

    Reply
  44. LCNana

    For Dan Hall above, just google something like “Pocket Guide for Correct Grammar” and you’ll get something. Or look for grammar books used by journalists – they would show you the kind of grammar you are used to seeing in papers and magazines. Google “style and usage” and lots will show up.

    Tom, Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking also shows how we used to cook in the 50s. Lots of meat/fish/poultry, and most of the veggies are cooked – not the huge amounts of “roughage” aka salad that we choke down now. And of course her favourite BUTTER.

    Thanks for getting us to think of the good old days when food was just, well, FOOD!

    Yup, she was big on butter.

    Reply

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