Let me just say, in preamble to this post, that this entire update is a precursor to almost any of my upcoming cooking posts.
This is “The Book”, it’s a copy of the Betty Crocker Cookbook circa 1980. The copyright dats read: “Third Printing, 1980 Copyright 1978, 1969 by General Mills, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota.”
This is the cookbook I learned the basics: Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pancakes, Cheesecake, Stuffing and many others. This is the cookbook which is my holy grail.
Growing up, my mom had (and still does have) a copy of this cookbook. It’s spiral bound and well loved, in fact by this point, both the front and back covers have fallen off and it’s just a spiral bound ream of paper basically. When I moved out on my own, I “borrowed” her copy so that I could copy down all the recipes which loved and then I would return it to her. Well, living on my own for the first time ment I had to learn to provide for myself and I wanted something more than mac & cheese, ramin, and scrambled eggs from time to time. Needless to say, mom started having to ask when I was going to send her cookbook back, and even from time to time, having to call and ask for a recipee from it.
In my panic that I may lose the book forever, I started stalling. I also began scouring the internet and used book stores everywhere in hopes that I might find a copy of my own.
A couple months later, I hit pay dirt. I walked into Half-Priced Books at 410 and San Pedro, and not only was there a copy there was a whole shelf of copies! I had no idea where they had come from, or why the book fairy decided to smile on me that day, but I was delighted. I got to pick between the spiral bound copy my mom had (and I had booknapped), a hard bound, and I think even a soft cover version! I was in Betty Crocker Heaven! Taking a mental note of the poor condition of my mothers (at that point, the front cover was only just hanging on) I opeted for a hard bound copy.
I then returned my mom her old banged up copy.
From that time on I have never seen another copy of this cookbook for sale, and I do look from time to time so that I could have a back up, in case one of my kids decides they need it some day and it disapears from my kitchen.
I can’t tell you the number of times I have called my mom and asked for a recipe and she simply says “it’s in The Book”. I also can’t begin to number the times I have simply sat down and leafed through it looking at all the differant things in there. Since it’s as old as I am, some of the recipes are a bit… interesting, but the number of them that are amazing and delicious is just huge! Not to mention that since it’s from back in the days when people didn’t know or care about things like trans fat or cholestoral, but where just starting to explore more vegitable options, the foods are rich and delicious and would be shuned in todays market of cookbooks.
If I am in the mood for something in particular but don’t have a recipe and my computer isn’t throwing me any bones, The Book usually has an answer for me. In fact, later today I’ll be posting about some amazing looking Chocolate Chip Cupcakes I just took out of the oven, the recipe came from The Book.
On top of all that though, it’s got other great information and how tos, like how to make jams, jellys and canning. Where the differant cuts of beef and such come from, and how to carve a whole bird. It’s just a great resourse, and I’d highly recomend this cookbook to almost anyone. It’s by far better than any newer copy of a Betty Crocker cookbook I’ve seen in the past few years.
Everyone should have a copy of The Book, you just can’t have mine. 😀