Raise your hand if this was your first cookbook:
This edition was published in 1963. I don’t know what year my mother gave it to me but I was seven years old then so probably that year or shortly after.
I don’t remember the first thing I cooked but I know I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with my mother. She is a very good cook and was anxious for us kids to have some skills in the kitchen as well as learn proper table setting and manners.
I do remember using the recipe for stuffed eggs and I’m pretty sure I made the baked apples considering the stains are on that page!
I was in Ollie’s recently and this nearly jumped off the shelf in front of me!
There are some glaring differences between my edition and this new edition, published in 2004. Style is one. This is what the future homemaker looked like in 1963:
In 1963, the recipe for Macaroni and Cheese started with – a boxed mac n cheese mix.
Updated version uses real cheese and makes you move like Mick Jagger!
There’s fruit and salad in the new version …
The older version relies on a lot of packaged foods, reflecting the popularity of “convenience” foods in the 60’s. The Saucy Spaghetti uses canned spaghetti sauce and Vienna sausages. I know for sure I never made that! My mother made most meals from scratch, living on a farm we had an abundance of vegetables, fruits and meats. However, when my sister and I were put in charge of grocery shopping we would come home with things like Shake-n-Bake and Kraft Mac’n’Cheese. Now I know why – Better Homes and Gardens told us to.
The new version has lots of healthy, easy recipes but looks like cooking on steroids. It tells kids how to cook a healthy meal and read food labels, but does it show how to set a “proper” table? Really, if your fork isn’t in the right place ….
What was your first cookbook?