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 until they fell apart.  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.

,

65 Responses to 1961 Betty Crocker

  1. 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

    • December 1, 2014 at 10:39 am #

      Sandra, it’s on the way!

  2. 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

    • November 27, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

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

  3. 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.

    • 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. December 21, 2017 at 12:19 pm #

    Does this book have an applesauce cake recipe?

    • 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.

    • July 20, 2018 at 7:38 pm #

      Yes it does. I will ask my mother if she still has it.

    • November 20, 2019 at 11:14 pm #

      Hi Billie! I have the recipe for the applesauce cake in case you’re still interested (: please email me if so! [email protected]

      • November 21, 2019 at 8:54 pm #

        Thank you, Megan! How sweet of you to write and offer the recipe. I’m sure Billie will be very happy!

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

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

    • 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.

    • November 7, 2018 at 2:56 pm #

      Old-fashioned Oatmeal Cookies (from 1961 Betty Crocker New Picture Cookbook)

      1 cup seedless raisins
      1 cup water
      ¾ cup soft shortening
      1 ½ cups sugar
      2 eggs
      1 tsp. vanilla
      2 ½ cups sifted GOLD MEDAL Flour
      ½ tsp. baking powder
      1 tsp. soda
      1 tsp. salt
      1 tsp. cinnamon
      ½ tsp. cloves
      2 cups rolled oats
      ½ cup chopped nuts

      Simmer raisins and water in saucepan over low heat until raisins are plump, 20-30 min. Drain raisin liquid into measuring cup. Add enough water to make ½ cup. Heat oven to 400 degrees (mod. Hot). Cream shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in raisin liquid. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt and spices; stir in. Add rolled oats, nuts and raisins. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls about 2” apart onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8-10 min., or until lightly browned. Makes 6 to 7 doz. Cookies.

  6. September 24, 2018 at 7:20 pm #

    Hi. Is there a grape pie recipe in this cook book? My grandmother had at least 3 Betty Crocker cook books and her house burnt down and has been looking for the recipe.

    • November 7, 2018 at 3:09 pm #

      Grape Pie
      Make Pastry for Two-crust Pie of desired size. Line pie pan. See pp. 357-358

      For 9” Pie
      5 ½ cups Concord grapes
      1 ½ cups sugar
      ¼ cup GOLD MEDAL Flour
      1 ¼ tsp. lemon juice
      Dash of salt
      1 ½ tbsp. butter

      For 8” Pie
      4 cups Concord grapes
      1 cup sugar
      3 tbsp. GOLD MEDAL Flour
      1 tsp. lemon juice
      Dash of salt
      1 tbsp. butter

      Heat over to 425 degrees. Remove and save skins from grapes, pinch grape at end opposite stem –fruit pops out. Put pulp into saucepan without water and bring to roiling boil. While hot, rub through strainer to remove seeds. Mix strained pulp with skins. Mix sugar and flour lightly through grapes. Sprinkle with lemon juice and salt. Pour grapes into patry-lined pie pan. Dot with butter. Cover with top crust which has slits cut in it. Seal and flute. Cover edge with 1 ½ inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake 35-45 min., or until crust is nicely browned and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust. Serve cool or slightly warm, not hot.

  7. October 6, 2018 at 2:48 pm #

    Need oatmeal cookie recipe.

    • October 7, 2018 at 12:39 am #

      I’m sorry I can’t send you the oatmeal cookie recipe, Pat. My copy of this book was destroyed in a flood.

      • November 7, 2018 at 2:30 pm #

        Hi, I have this cookbook in PDF format (as well as the hard copy, of course! :-)). I am going to put it on my Google Drive for everyone to download:

        https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_xvb7WaXpIiYmhvV3hfOTRfSlU/view?usp=sharing

        I grew up with this cookbook and have so many fond memories of using it. My Mom received it as a wedding gift back in 1965. I love looking through it as much today as I did back in the early 1970’s as a young aspiring cook.

        Enjoy!
        Charlene

        • November 9, 2018 at 8:14 am #

          Hi Charlene! Thank you so much for the download and the recipes for Sharon, Pat, and Jodie – and me too since I haven’t replaced that cookbook yet. So many people love that book. Great recipes and memories! Thanks again for taking the time to share.

          • November 9, 2018 at 9:19 am #

            My pleasure. The electronic version of the cookbook is not perfect. I found it online years ago and a few pages were blurry, but overall, it’s great to have on your computer and just print the page you need at any given time (assuming you don’t already have the book).

        • November 9, 2018 at 9:09 am #

          Charlene, you are wonderfully generous for making that cookbook accessible for everyone. So many people (myself included) have tried to find and then buy that cookbook without mortgaging our homes for the purchase price!
          I appreciate your spirit of sharing and caring, and I will be visiting your link.
          Thank you a thousand times!
          ~~ Mary Huber

          • November 9, 2018 at 9:30 am #

            Hi Mary, I’m planning on scanning an even better copy from my personal 3-ring binder. The PDF file on my Google Drive was done by someone else and I found it online years ago. It may take awhile, but I will post here and let everyone know when I am finished. In the meantime, please enjoy. 🙂 I’m super excited to find other fans of this particular cookbook.

        • January 15, 2019 at 8:55 pm #

          Thank you so much! My Mom received this book in 1967 as a wedding present. Many of my food memories are from this book!

          • January 16, 2019 at 8:20 pm #

            One of the classics! I need to find a copy. It was one of my favorites too, but I lost it in the flood.

          • January 16, 2019 at 9:02 pm #

            Yes, it seems to be s favorite wedding gift of that era. It always gives me pleasure to flip through the pages and remember happy days of aprons and batter!

        • May 8, 2019 at 5:24 am #

          Thank you so much! My mother had this cookbook as a wedding present, and I grew up learning how to cook from it–as a kid I would sit and read it like a novel! I’ve been looking for recipes from it for years!

          • May 8, 2019 at 11:51 am #

            I love my generous readers! Thank you again, Charlene, for the link. I’m going to use it too! Enjoy, Karen!

        • July 1, 2019 at 5:13 pm #

          Thank you for this! You’re an angel for posting for everyone to download.

        • August 7, 2020 at 7:15 am #

          Thank you! This is a treasure!! I was looking for a chicken and apple crepe recipe for a different publication and found this! I appreciate you sharing!!

        • August 28, 2020 at 8:22 am #

          My god! Thank you very much. You have no idea you made my 80 yrs old mom so happy! Thank you.

        • November 24, 2021 at 8:48 am #

          Thank you so much for sharing the cookbook. I’ve been trying to find several of these recipes for years. I hope to provide many fond memories to others that they gave me baking with my mother.

    • November 7, 2018 at 2:57 pm #

      Old-fashioned Oatmeal Cookies (from 1961 Betty Crocker New Picture Cookbook)

      1 cup seedless raisins
      1 cup water
      ¾ cup soft shortening
      1 ½ cups sugar
      2 eggs
      1 tsp. vanilla
      2 ½ cups sifted GOLD MEDAL Flour
      ½ tsp. baking powder
      1 tsp. soda
      1 tsp. salt
      1 tsp. cinnamon
      ½ tsp. cloves
      2 cups rolled oats
      ½ cup chopped nuts

      Simmer raisins and water in saucepan over low heat until raisins are plump, 20-30 min. Drain raisin liquid into measuring cup. Add enough water to make ½ cup. Heat oven to 400 degrees (mod. Hot). Cream shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in raisin liquid. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt and spices; stir in. Add rolled oats, nuts and raisins. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls about 2” apart onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8-10 min., or until lightly browned. Makes 6 to 7 doz. Cookies.

  8. March 26, 2019 at 10:52 am #

    Love this book! I was born ten years later, but my Mom still had this as her main cookbook when I was a child. She eventually gave me her copy about 15 years ago, but the cover had deep burns on it from when she set a pan down on top of it(!) and it eventually fell apart. So I ended up biting the bullet and buying a copy on eBay for around $75. It’s worth it. I still remember so many of the drawings and quotations in it.

    Thank you for putting this here. I was looking for someone who had created an online tribute to the book. I love all the little gossipy intros before some of the recipes.

    • March 27, 2019 at 12:36 am #

      I love it too! One of the all-time great classics.

  9. April 28, 2019 at 7:31 pm #

    I’m looking for the strawberry tunnel angel food cake recipe please !

    • April 29, 2019 at 3:56 pm #

      Here’s a link to the entire cookbook as a .pdf file, you can save it to your computer:

      https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_xvb7WaXpIiYmhvV3hfOTRfSlU/view

      • April 30, 2019 at 1:54 am #

        This is great, Charlene! Thank you so much for posting. I think you just made Jenah very happy, and probably many others including me.

      • July 1, 2019 at 5:39 pm #

        Charlene: I was looking through the file, and found the recipe for Sour Cream Twists. I made these frequently when I was in my 20’s. What a great memory! Of course, I’ll make them again – I’m 71 now!

        • July 1, 2019 at 9:09 pm #

          Awwh, it’s stuff like this that makes the Internet so great. We can all share our memories of this great cookbook and what it meant to us. I’m pleased to find a place to share it and I’ll check out that recipe Linda, it is one I haven’t made in the past! Happy baking!

      • April 17, 2020 at 10:56 am #

        Thank you so much! Now I don’t have to keep pestering my sister to scan a page and send to me.

    • April 29, 2019 at 3:56 pm #

      Hi Jenah- I wrote this blog back in 2010 when I had this great cookbook on my shelves, but since then, a flood destroyed all my cookbooks and I sadly no longer have it. Maybe someone else reading this has the book and can send you the recipe. If down the road I find it again, I will send it to you. It sounds wonderful! I loved that book; a real classic.

  10. July 1, 2019 at 6:58 pm #

    It is so very nice of you to make this cookbook available via PDF!

    • July 1, 2019 at 9:11 pm #

      Would love to hear everyone’s favorite recipes!

  11. October 1, 2020 at 1:18 am #

    Hello Debbie,
    I have just stumbled across this blog while looking for a binder for our 1961 Betty Crocker cookbook that I have ‘restored’. Like many of these books, it was falling apart, and has been handed down through the family.
    My dilemma is that in reinforcing all the page holes, the 400+ pages are now too thick to fit in the original binder. I am trying to source a 2nd binder, so that I can separate the pages out into 2 ‘volumes’, which is proving more tricky than I expected. It’s not like you can even find 5-ring binders off the shelf at the local stationary store.
    If you have any suggestions at all, this would be very much appreciated.
    Thank you.
    Dave Morris.

    • October 1, 2020 at 12:12 pm #

      Hi Dave- I love how you are restoring such a classic and treasured family cookbook. I had the same problem with the old Betty Crocker Cooky Book, but it is much thinner than the 1961 cookbook. All I can think of to find that particular size binder if you can’t locate one at stores like Staples, is an online search. I know how hard it can be to find some items. If that doesn’t work, maybe ask a librarian. They deal with so many book issues that maybe they will have an idea. Good luck. It’s a book worth restoring!

  12. October 4, 2020 at 3:39 pm #

    Hi guys, I might suggest something like this: https://www.bellabecho.com/cookbook-restoration/

    If you scroll down you will see how they saved another Betty Crocker ringed cookbook. Also check Amazon for clear book binding repair tape. I may go that route for mine.

    • October 5, 2020 at 7:26 am #

      Thank you for the link, Charlene!

  13. October 4, 2020 at 3:56 pm #

    Wow! That was REALLY interesting, Charlene.

    I have some of those old Betty Crocker cookbooks (not in bad condition, but not mint) and that is a route I might take to restore them.

  14. January 30, 2021 at 6:35 am #

    Is it possible to get the index of the new picture cookbook?

    • January 31, 2021 at 9:45 am #

      Eileen, sad to say that since I wrote that blog, I lost this great book in a flood. Maybe someone else here can help you. I miss that book so much. It was my mom’s.

    • February 1, 2021 at 1:51 pm #

      Hi Eileen,

      Here is the digital version. Scroll down to around page 48 for the index. If you find this isn’t correct, let me know and I will scan my actual cookbook. I found this copy on the Internet years and years ago:
      https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_xvb7WaXpIiYmhvV3hfOTRfSlU/view

      Charlene

      • February 4, 2021 at 10:10 pm #

        Thank you for posting this, Charlene. I’m grateful too!

  15. June 8, 2021 at 11:54 am #

    I’m looking for her recipe for eclairs. Can you email it to me. I love this book. I got it as a wedding gift. Thank you

    • June 8, 2021 at 6:41 pm #

      Hi Mary – It’s a great book. I wish I could send you the recipe but it was lost in the flood that destroyed all my cookbooks. It’s one of the books I have to replace. Maybe someone reading this could send it to you.

    • June 8, 2021 at 7:05 pm #

      Mary, I’ve placed a copy of the digital cookbook here and you can save it to your computer: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_xvb7WaXpIiYmhvV3hfOTRfSlU/view

      Enjoy!
      Charlene

  16. August 8, 2021 at 5:27 pm #

    Hi Charlene, I recently won an auction vault that contain cook books. I have a 1st Edition 1st Printing copy of Betty Crocker New Picture Cook Book 1961 in very good condition. Mint on the inside. I am unable to find a book on this condition. Do you have any idea how much this could be worth? Thank you in advance!

    Julie

    • September 29, 2021 at 1:03 pm #

      Julie, somehow, I didn’t see your message earlier. I recall seeing Mint cookbooks (binder style) that went for about $100-150 many years ago on Ebay. I’d try doing a search on there as well as using Google to get an idea what the current market is, as these things fluctuate. Good luck and if you sold us, tell us how much you got for it. Cheers, Charlene

  17. September 28, 2021 at 8:25 pm #

    I was so pleased to find this website and the pdf version of this cookbook! My mother’s cousin worked at the test kitchens, and she is named in this book. She recently passed away, and I wanted to find the recipe associated with her. Unfortunately, I don’t know what became of my mother’s copy of this cookbook, but I was luckily able to find the recipe with the above link! Thank you!

    • September 28, 2021 at 8:57 pm #

      I’m so glad you found me, J.M. What a fun job your mom’s cousin must have had in the test kitchens!

  18. September 29, 2021 at 1:00 pm #

    I love finding people who delighted in this cookbook as much as me. On many a rainy Pacific NW day did I go through the pages like a picture book as a youngster. I also tried many of the recipes as I got older. No cookbook holds as much joy as this one! I’m glad to keep the PDF version up here. It’s no surprise many people no longer have their copies. The paper is so fragile now and the binding on these certainly left something to be desired!

    Still, Hooray for the Internet!

    • September 29, 2021 at 10:16 pm #

      Thank you, Charlene! I feel the same way about the cookbook, as do so many people who appreciate the PDF version.

  19. June 30, 2022 at 8:32 pm #

    Hi,
    Thanks for posting the pdf. Was looking for the Long Island Iced Tea recipe that reportedly appeared in this edition, but I don’t see any cocktails at all in this. Am I missing something?

  20. August 23, 2022 at 6:59 pm #

    Have this cookbook and used it when I cooked my first Thanksgiving. love this book.

    • August 23, 2022 at 8:21 pm #

      It’s one of the best of the classics. Thanks for writing, Jean!

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