Saturday, November 19, 2011

Co-op Cooking, 1940s Style

This week I found a very well-loved 1943 edition of the Better Homes & Garden Cook Book at the co-op.  Since I love books, cooking, and old things, the dilemma of deciding whether or not to bring home something I'll probably never use and will just have to pack in a few months was quickly solved.

It was the "DeLuxe" edition, after all.

The cookbook opened with a special section describing how cookery in wartime America was almost a breeze.  Apparently, shortening could solve just about anything, as I discovered in the cake chapter.

 I don't know about you, but these beef roll-ups look anything but "grand eating."

There was an entire chapter on leftovers.

I love the words and phrases used in these cookbooks.  Where else would you find "Oh Boy" Waffles?

I think this stuff must get its name from all the sugar and heavy cream.  Wow.

And don't forget to "thoroly" scrub your fresh clams.

There were some slightly unusual recipes:

I don't quite understand the fascination with jellied meats, but there were quite a few of them.  And loafs.  Lots of loafs.  (Or is it loaves?)

The meat cut illustrations were actually pretty nice; don't be surprised if one or two of them end up framed in my kitchen.  (I'm a nerd; what can I say?)

Then we come to the salad section, complete with a full-color photograph.

 You have lots of options--the Salad Plate, the Salad Bowl, the Salad Platter...

Somehow, I was envisioning mandarin oranges and crushed Ramen noodles for this one:

More jellies and an aspic.  *shudder*

The soup chapter featured a list of Quick Cooking-esque recipes, 1943 style.

And now we come to my favorite chapter, Table Setting and Special Occasion Menus.  In case you didn't know, "a mirror with a bowl of flowers in its center has grown trite."  Apparently Martha Stewart didn't get that memo.

 I love this labeled diagram and the fact that tomato juice is the first course.

Next, the menus.  There were two whole pages of bridge luncheon menus alone.  Even the guys were included.

Wondering what to eat after an evening out?  How about in the middle of the night?

Now I know exactly what to do with that lovely terrace.  I just need to find a "huge wooden or pottery bowl" and pick up some caviar for a little "swank."

This one is just ridiculous--how many hobos do you know who use silver?  Or lapkins?

I really didn't plan my wedding reception properly at all.  There was no jellied tomato salad in sight, and I completely forgot the potato chips.

And, in case you still need some help in planning next week's feast, here you have it.  "Traditional, with modern touches."  Don't forget the mandatory processed tomato product.

Besides the cookbook itself, there were a handful of advertisements and brochures tucked between the pages, most of them from the 1950s.  You could order these recipes for a quarter.

I've never seen a glamorous meat loaf before, but I'd love to try one.

And finally, some more Thanksgiving inspiration:

I think I'll just stick with a nice brine and some bread stuffing.


Lynne said...

This is the type of item that just keeps giving. Love it.

Adriane said...

I'll be over for caviar and squirrel tomorrow evening. Is six okay?

Audrey said...

It's a plan. You can bring the tomato juice.

Anonymous said...

This post is a "topnotcher." Although, since the cookbook fails to mention butterspray and bags of salad it just isn't speaking to me.