Let’s Get Cookin’

I know that there was a flurry of posts last spring about cookbooks, but I was new to the book blogging game and missed that parade.  So, strike up the band because today I’m posting about my two favorite cookbooks in the world.  I’m not entirely sure if they are the best cookbooks on the market, but the nostalgia factor alone is enough for me to sing their praises.

Behold! My favorite cookbooks. (Yes, that's a fondue pot on the cover.)

These little bijoux are friends from childhood and bring me more happiness that I can impart.  My mother is the keeper of these treasured possessions and when my sister and I moved out to our own homes, we were adrift without our dear Betty.  You can’t just pick up these old-school cookbooks at every Barnes & Noble or Borders!  These are the real deal–circa the late 60s, early 70s.

Let yourself be swept away by the wave of nostalgia!

As kids, my sister and I would pour over the pages of these two books fighting over the cakes and cookies.  Our dreams were filled with fluffy icing, mile-high meringues, drunk on the notion that we could actually make donuts in our own kitchen!  Later, I used this cookbook to whip up a delicious dinner that snared the man who would become my husband.  He still talks fondly of, “that one time you made twice-baked potatoes for me…”.

Does it get classier than a tic-tac-toe cake???
A few years ago, my father logged onto eBay and tracked down two copies of the cookbook–no easy feat.  There are many editions of this cookbook and with each the photos and recipes change.  My dad scored the exact version our mom owns and my sister and I were insanely happy.  Our cookbooks are worn with stains on their pages but that only adds to the character!

Hello, 1960s!

A few years later, Betty Crocker’s people must have realized the value of nostalgia and they re-released a 60s version of The Cooky Book.  My sister and I both saw it at different book stores and freaked out.  Unknowingly, we bought copies for each other for Valentine’s Day.

And so, even though between the two of us, my sister and I own somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 cookbooks, these two are the ones we cherish most of all.


  • At 2010.01.27 05:20, vivienne said:

    What a lovely story. I was given my husband’s later mothers cookery books which maily feature Marguerite Patten – a British institution – and I love baking things for them.

    I just saw your nightstand read – are you off to Disney this year. If you are, I am insanely jealous!
    .-= vivienne´s last blog ..9) Persepolis 1 / 10) Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi =-.

    • At 2010.01.28 02:09, nat @book, line, and sinker said:

      we are off to disney next month–my parents have a home in florida for the winters and i visit 3 or 4 times a year. this year i am spending a day volunteering locally and in return will receive 1 day of free admission. 🙂 i love disney world!

    • At 2010.01.27 09:20, Kathy R (Bermudaonion) said:

      What a great post! I love the pictures of the cakes because they look like something you could actually create – unlike you see in some of today’s cookbooks.
      .-= Kathy R (Bermudaonion)´s last blog ..Wondrous Words Wednesday =-.

      • At 2010.01.27 09:37, Hayden Tompkins said:

        I’m all about The Joy of Cooking. When I finally went to buy my own, I discovered they had “updated” the book and recipes. My howls of outrage could be heard throughout the store!

        Apparently I wasn’t alone because they ended re-releasing the original version.

        Anyway, The Joy of Cooking is THE REASON I make amazing pancakes.

        • At 2010.01.27 10:13, Meg said:

          Love them — so retro and cool! And how funny that you and your sister each got a copy for each other… that’s something Kate and I would do. 🙂

          No one in my family enjoys cooking, so we really don’t own cookbooks… I think I’m going to be the first one who actually tries to make good food on an occasion other than Christmas or a birthday! I’m now the proud owner of two cookbooks: one of Rachael Ray’s monster big books and The Pioneer Woman’s cookbook. So far, I’ve made exactly one recipe out of each… but that will all be changing soon! …hopefully!
          .-= Meg´s last blog ..Where In The World Wednesday: Chicago, Illinois =-.

          • At 2010.01.27 14:55, Connie said:

            okay I’ll say it…I started cooking in the 70’s 🙂 Betty Crocker cookbooks are my friends…I have the very one in the photo!
            .-= Connie´s last blog ..Life’s Simple Pleasures =-.

            • At 2010.01.27 17:20, Jess - A Book Hoarder said:

              What a great story. I got a retro 60’s cookbook for my wedding (but I think it was Better Homes and Gardens) and I love all the crazy pictures. It is awesome that you have an original and a remake.

              Ok, and how bad do I want that jar of cookies and the glass milk bottle. I am in love with that picture.
              .-= Jess – A Book Hoarder´s last blog ..2010 100+ Reading Challenge =-.

              • At 2010.01.27 19:18, Ti said:

                I love the second pic. It’s so “American” with the pop bottles and the letterman sweater casually tossed aside.

                A co-worker of mine found an old cookbook at the University Library book sale titled “Women of Age” or something like that and it had recipes for us women that are getting on in age. I thought it was hysterical but I handed it back to her and told her she needed it more than me as she was at least 12 years my senior 😉
                .-= Ti´s last blog ..Reading Funk =-.

                • At 2010.01.28 04:15, bybee said:

                  I have the cookbook on the right and have had it since 1982. It was my first cookbook. It’s back in Missouri and I miss it dreadfully.
                  I made the cat cake for a halloween carnival cake walk one year. It was a success.
                  .-= bybee´s last blog ..Maruzen Kinda Rhymes With Susan =-.

                  • At 2010.01.28 23:59, Lisa said:

                    Two of my favorites–the Betty Crocker cookbook that my mom got when she got married and the Betty Crocker cookbook that I got when I got married 27 years ago. The newer one definitely has a better variety but the classics and basics are in that oldie.
                    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..An Interview with Kristen Tsetsi, Author of "Homefront" =-.

                    • At 2010.01.29 09:25, Beth F said:

                      Like others, the Betty Crocker Cooky book was my first cookbook. But I got mine when I was in high school (maybe in 1970?). I still have the book, I still bake out of it. The lemon bars are a great favorite.
                      .-= Beth F´s last blog ..Review: The Book of Fires by Jane Borodale =-.

                      • At 2010.01.29 15:10, Jena said:

                        My mom always whipped out her Betty Crocker Cookbook for a couple of family favorites–including the chocolate chip cookies. I always wanted to make the wacky-looking spaceship cookies pictured on the cookies section.
                        .-= Jena´s last blog ..I think I want an iPad… =-.

                        • At 2010.01.29 18:26, Dishy said:

                          Sorry Nat – read this last night but we were watching a movie & I clicked off before remembering to leave a comment. I’m not sure I have either of these, though it’s possible. I know my mom did not. The two I always remembering her using (and which I of course helped myself to when I left home) are the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book & the Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook. Both probably very similar to yours, def. the same vintage. I LOVE COOKBOOKS! Especially the old ones, since I enjoy reading them as much as actually cooking from them. The photos and recipes in the 50s/60s/70s era cookbooks always crack me up. Some look yummers, others.. maybe it’s the lighting or the fact that so much of the stuff is made with JELLO? Does anyone do a whole lot of molding nowadays? I’d hazard a guess that’s a lost art.
                          .-= Dishy´s last blog ..Simply irresistible. =-.

                          • At 2010.01.29 18:32, Dishy said:

                            OH! Meant to ask you a couple questions while I am here.

                            1) I noticed you’d been reading A.J. Jacobs new book, The Guinea Pig Diaries. I recently finished it and was interested to see whether you’d be reviewing it on BLS? Either way, I’d love to hear what you thought about the book.

                            2) John & I watched Twilight for the first time Weds. night. YES INSTEAD OF THE SOTU. Regardless, to say I was captivated would be putting it mildly. I’d LOVE to talk more w/ you about the series. Or perhaps you’ve already written about it? Inquiring minds!
                            .-= Dishy´s last blog ..Simply irresistible. =-.

                            • At 2010.02.01 02:21, Books We Read said:

                              Thanks for dropping by my blog. I see that you also got a very impressive cookbook here!!

                              (Required, will not be published)

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