Tuesday, June 19, 2012
This little baby was published in 1951 and it is both a wealth of knowledge and and a source of amusement. It's a five-ring binder, divided into sections which sometimes baffle me; I often find that recipes are in sections where I wouldn't expect to find them.
I'm impressed with the fact that the very first section is one on nutrition. It has a table for the recommended daily allowances, broken down by men, women, pregnancy, children, male adolescents, female adolescents. Would you like to know what they figured as the average weight of the men and women they were calculating caloric intake for? For men, 154 pounds; for women, 123 pounds. Yikes! I know we're taller than people were in 1951 but for a society so obsessed with body image and healthy lifestyles, we really have let ourselves go! And these were people for whom Better Homes & Gardens recommended "butter and other spreads" be eaten every day for their vitamins. By the way, American cheese slices are listed under desserts on the calorie chart.
Just as I did with the first two sections, I found the section labeled "Special Helps" to be both helpful and ridiculous. There is actually a page titled "Gay garnishes." Apparently you're meant to surprise your baked ham with a new garnish - pineapple and cloves. The spice list has about half of the spices shown that I use in my kitchen and the recommended list for things needed to start a kitchen includes only one spoon for cooking. ''Cut your cooking corners" includes a tip on getting onion juice (have you ever seen a recipe that calls for onion juice?) and a suggestion to "spank that cooky with a fork."
I have a lot of cook books but, to be honest, I've never really "read" them. I pull them out when I'm looking for recipes. That changes as of yesterday - I have a couple of dozen books in my kitchen that are begging to be read and discovered! Do you read cook books?