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Posts Tagged ‘cookbooks’

One More Thing…

Enough with the cookbooks. Why must there be a buy-one-get-one free sale while I’m grocery shopping? Why are the recipe books so strategically placed in the aisle? Why am I a sucker for good merchandising?

Now added to the collection…Company’s Coming’s 30-Minute Weekday Meals and Perfect Pasta and Sauce. ūüėź

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Cook Books

(warning – I was tired, so lazy webcam pictures are ahead!)

So one of my new things is to dig up old cookbooks – preferably anything older than the early 60’s. I’ve come across a couple good finds and figured I would stick to just buying from thrift stores and antique shops, but the shopaholic in me can’t resist a really good sale. So I’ve also picked up a couple new ones¬†recently that were on clearance. Here’s what I have so far! Watch for some posts in the near future that show off some of the oldest ones – they’re a lot of fun to check out.

Got these today:

A “facsimile copy” of Betty Crocker’s 1963 Cooky Book. On sale for just $12, instead of $40! They haven’t changed a single thing since it first came out, so it was a neat find in a bookstore. Obviously I haven’t made anything out of it yet, but I leafed through it and picked out some great Christmas cookies. The plan this year for part of my Christmas gifts is to find some cute boxes and fill them with four or five different kinds of cookies and squares. I’m probably going to brave making them over a single weekend, so it will be a lot of baking at once! This book will definitely be my main resource, I think.

I couldn’t find a link for this, so just a picture – The Home Baker – The Guide To Baking All Things Sweet And Savory. $10 for a hard cover, with full-page full-colour photos for every recipe…I’ll take that! It’s definitely a great collection of recipes but also a big challenge. There’s a few items that I will be working up to…over a very long period of time! I also don’t understand some of the instructions. A lot of recipes call for “scant 1 5/8ths cups flour”. What? Are they saying “just over 1.5 cups flour?” How am I supposed to measure that? Some of this seems too finicky for my tastes. But then I look at the photos and think…well if I get THAT out of it, it’s probably worth it. Haha.

I already briefly mentioned this one, but Company’s Coming’s Choosing Sides was another good deal. Some of the recipes are a little weird, and there’s a whole section dedicated to beans (you will quickly notice that I HATE beans and they will NEVER make an appearance on this blog, unless in the form of jelly beans or Mr. Bean. Otherwise – NO BEANS), but other than that it’s pretty straightforward. I’ve tried a couple of the potato sides and they’re really good.

Already in my collection:

Rosemary A. Sablack’s Cookbook for Teens. This is a slightly strange little book from Michigan, 1983. I forget where I got it. And to be honest, I haven’t made much out of it because the recipes are that easy. If it’s too easy for me even, it’s almost guaranteed to be boring (as an example – peanut butter pudding. 1 package instant pudding, 2 cups milk, 1/2 cup peanut butter. Mix. Serve.) But to it’s credit, there are a couple neat recipes (coca-cola cake, some good sandwiches) and it’s a pretty cute book.

The all new Purity Cookbook. Apparently this is the book that Jean Pare (author of all those Company’s Coming books) grew up on. The copy I have looks like just a reprint of the original 1967 version. There’s a ton of promising recipes in this one. Oh, and the book actually belonged to The Royal Taster. I haven’t tried anything yet – and until I got here, the book hadn’t ever been cracked. Haha. No surprise there!

The 42nd printing (omg) of¬†Company’s Coming Casseroles. This book came from a friend of my grandmother’s, I think. This is a definite hit-or-miss. There are some really good casseroles in here, and some really terrible¬†ones. But it’s worth it anyway, because it’s mostly very quick and easy stuff. Better than Hamburger Helper, right? (ok I admit it, I do like that stuff though…)

Taste of Home’s Cooking For One or Two. This was another one that belonged to the RT. It’s a nice collection of recipes from people all across the US. I haven’t made much out of it though, because I usually cook standard dinner recipes anyway (4-6 people) because that leaves plenty of leftovers for lunch or a second dinner if I don’t feel like cooking again.

And a couple older ones that I’m not going to say much about here, as they’ll each have their own post eventually. Betty Crocker’s Party Book¬†from 1960 (cute two-colour illustrations, notes, party-planning ideas that seem woefully outdated now but totally charming at the same time, etc). I’ve also got Muriel Wilson’s Old Fashioned Cook Book. This is a pretty local find, but interesting all the same. It looks like it was originally published by the local papers in 1963 – and if it was “Old Fashioned” then, you know I had to have it! This also has cute little illustrations in a similar style to the Party Book, except there’s no colour here. (secret fact – the header of this website is a photo from this book that I just coloured in Photoshop). Also, there’s a “wise old owl” who pops up with helpful hints throughout. More on these later!

And of course, the old standby that I’ve mentioned before…the¬†12th edition of the¬†Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book.¬†I think we’re up to 14th edition on this one now. Anyway, this is pretty much where it started for me and where I learned a lot. Most of what I make comes out of this, except for a lot of my baking. Up until my two new finds today, I was getting a lot off the net – I didn’t find BH&G to be very¬†inspiring¬†for baking.

Anyway, I’m going to back off the books for now I think. The last thing I want is to have a stack of cookbooks and only use one (sort of my predicament right now). I need to get some favourites going out of each before I can look for more.

That being said, what are your favourite cookbooks?

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So I’ve figured out one of the reasons I like to cook – I get to go shopping! There’s grocery shopping of course, but also discovering new farmer’s markets, browsing cookbooks, choosing new cookware…even just finding a great tablecloth! Yeah, I love to shop.

Yesterday I mentioned needing a springform pan. I found a nice glass-bottomed one for cheap. Trouble is, the pans were in the same aisle as the saucepan sets. I think the pots and pans I’m currently using could be as old as I am, so we need some new ones. Not to mention our dutch oven is dented so the lid doesn’t close properly, and I had a minor “accident” with one of our pots the other day – something about almost melting it to the element? Who knew copper could bubble? I’ll make a post about that as soon as I recover from the trauma.

Anyway, so I wanted¬†needed a new cookware set, and spotted a really pretty Meyer set – copper bottoms, nice handles, glass lids (this is important because I’m forever pulling off the lid going “IS IT BOILING YET?!”), and best of all they were marked down to $79 from $99. We figured this was a good deal so we went for it, and it turns out they weren’t on sale at all, they had been mislabeled! Whoops. Their mistake, our gain!

Then on our way to the checkout I saw a big yellow 50% off sign over the recipe books. What was that I was saying about never buying a recipe book new? Yeah, well…I never said anything about never buying a recipe book 50% off! So I picked up Company’s Coming’s Choosing Sides. I figured this was a good buy considering my side dishes are basically always a Lipton’s Sidekick, and if I don’t have any of those in the house then I just don’t make a side. I should probably work on that. I also need to stay out of the shopping mall.

edited to add: so here’s an odd quote from Choosing Sides – “When deciding what side to serve with your masterpiece entree, there are six easy rules of thumb for getting the biggest gastronomical bang for your buck.” If I’m causing “gastronomical bangs” around the dinner table, I don’t need to be making that recipe again. Yikes.

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