1961 Betty Crocker

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Cookbook dealers will tell you that “Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook” of 1951 is a hot commodity.  I have the next one that was published in 1961 called “Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cookbook.”  Even this “new” addition has sold in the past for over $100.  These books are hard to find in mint condition because people used them to death.  The one in my possession was found at an antique store.  It is inscribed with “To Sherry, From Mom and Dad, 1966.  Sherry must have loved to bake with this book, since the cake and cookie pages are nicely spattered with ingredients.  Other than that, the book is in great shape.

The cookbook has wonderful, timeless recipes.  Each chapter begins with a page of culinary history for that particular food item.  The vegetable chapter informs us that the ancient Greeks used vegetables as a tonic, and the Romans excelled in vegetable cookery.  Charlemagne ordered his subjects to cultivate all manner of vegetables from artichokes to watercress.  In the soup chapter,  the origin of the word “restaurant” is explained.   It seems that a popular soup of the 16th century was called “restaurant” because it was believed to have “restorative” powers.  A chef printed the name of the soup over his door to announce that he was serving it, and in time, restaurant came to mean a place where all food was served.

But before the great recipes and interesting historical notes are read, there is a section called “Kitchen Know-How,” which consists of “Hints for the Homemaker.”  One is instructed first to “refresh your spirits.”  Apparently this is done in the following way:  “Every morning before breakfast, comb hair, apply make-up and a dash of cologne.  Does wonders for your morale and your family’s, too!”  We are also instructed to think pleasant thoughts and make our work a labor of love, and if we have a spare moment, we must sit down, close our eyes, and just relax.  In the same thought, we are also told to stand erect to avoid fatigue, while we wash, iron, bake, shop, clean the refrigerator, and wash the floors.  Whew!  I’m tired already.

Under the heading of “Types of Table Service,” the formal way is known as Russian service.  This is supposedly suited to the household with a “servant.”  I don’t know about you, but when I was a child in 1961, I didn’t know anyone who had a servant.  Maybe it was because I lived in the suburbs of Chicago, but the closest thing in our neighborhood to a servant would have been the children helping out to set the table.  I don’t even think June Cleaver had a servant.  I seem to recall seeing the Beaver and Wally set the table here and there, although I doubt Eddie Haskell would have risen to the occasion.

I think I will go now, comb my hair, apply make-up, and dash on some cologne.  Then I will go instruct my servant on what to make for breakfast.  Oh, wait, that’s my husband.  He’ll do.

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10 Responses to 1961 Betty Crocker

  1. Sandra Collver November 22, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

    I need just one recipe from this book. I believe it is near the front in the appetizer section . It is a cracker like breadstick recipe with cheddar cheese and sesame seeds. Would so much appreciate if it could be e-mailed to me , Thanks Sandra

    • Debbie December 1, 2014 at 10:39 am #

      Sandra, it’s on the way!

  2. Sandra November 26, 2014 at 12:14 am #

    There is a recipe in the appetizer section that is a cracker like breadstick with sesame seeds and cheddar cheese . I would So much appreciate it if you could e-mail it to me. Thank you Sandra

    • Debbie November 27, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

      Hi Sandra- I’ll take a look this weekend and get back to you!

  3. ashley December 2, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    I am looking for the sugar cookie recipe from this book, I had taken it out one day to bake and the recipe never ended up back in the book. Would you be able to email this to me. Thanks.

    • Debbie December 4, 2015 at 7:10 am #

      Ashley, I just emailed you the recipes, as there were three for sugar cookies and didn’t know which one you were looking for.

  4. Billie December 21, 2017 at 12:19 pm #

    Does this book have an applesauce cake recipe?

    • Debbie December 31, 2017 at 8:43 pm #

      Hi Billie- I wish I could answer your question, but I don’t know since I no longer have that wonderful cookbook. It was destroyed in a flood we had in July and I haven’t replaced it yet.

  5. Sharon January 14, 2018 at 8:06 am #

    Could you share teh oatmeal cookie recipe from this cookbook? Thank you so much!

    • Debbie January 14, 2018 at 8:19 am #

      Hi Sharon- How I wish I could send you the cookie recipe from the cookbook, but I’m afraid it was destroyed in a flood last summer and I lost almost all my thousands of cookbooks. Perhaps someone reading this post has the book and can send it to you or post it here. I am planning on finding the cookbook again, along with many, many others but haven’t done so yet. I hope you can get the recipe somehow.

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