I was at Costco over the weekend, (on my cheap "international buffet" date with my husband…or in other words, free samples!) when I walked by the book section, and this caught my eye…
Isn't the familiar red and white gingham cover a beautiful sight to behold? Why, you ask, is this such an amazing thing, something that a cook might desire when there are soooooooooooo many beautiful, amazing cookbooks out there? Well, let me tell you!
Lots of cookbooks have great recipes, but my old Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book is filled with basic cooking information: weights and measures, basic white sauce recipe, broiling times, emergency substitutions, pastry for pie recipe and ingredient equivalents – all on the inside covers!
As I was looking with fond memories at my old cookbook, an ingredient caught my eye…LARD!
Yep! Right there in the Pastry for Pie recipe it calls for 1/3 cup shortening or lard. (dictionary.com defines lard as: The rendered fat of hogs, esp. the internal fat of the abdomen…YUCK!) I imagine that there are fewer and fewer young people entering the wonderful world of cooking that even know what the heck lard is and hopefully fewer still that would even think about using it! Which got me to wondering…is it time to move on – not to TOTALLY abandon the recipes in my old cookbook that are favorites, but to update my "encyclopedia" for the newest and improved edition. It is, however, too close to Christmas for me to be buying anything for myself, so I will have to just make sure that the hint makes its way to the Dad.
Let me share a few excerpts from the All About This Book, page 4 from my 1981 edition:
"Selecting recipes for this revised edition has been a great challenge because we wanted our book to be a collection of the very best. As we made our selections, we tried to reflect the growing number of new food products, trends in cooking and important changes in your tastes, preferences and attitudes about food…
"Because food cost are on the rise, most of our recipes are prepared "from scratch" to help you stretch your food dollar…
"And because gardening and preserving your own fresh vegetables and fruits are once again popular, we help you successfully and safely can or freeze at home with an extensive chapter on the basics of food preservation."
So regardless of how modern we think we are today, the people that wrote that cookbook almost 30 years ago were just as current at the time. Do you think they even imagined that you could find such a wealth of information on something called the Internet?
I am finally ready to make some of those yummy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. The weather has finally cooled enough for me to be able to stand in my kitchen and work while I bake cookies. I go to that little corner in my kitchen that houses a half dozen or so cookbooks…I have bunches more, but these are the ones that I always find myself using…to pull out my 1981 edition of the BHG "New Cook Book". It has the recipe that is the basis for the pumpkin cookies. But the original recipe calls for walnuts and raisin (no chocolate chips mentioned!) and my kids will have none of that, so I use chocolate chips instead. When I read the recipe I realized that I had forgotten to let my butter sit out and soften. Hopefully, in the time it has taken for me to write this post, it will be ready. Pictures of the cookies will just have to wait!
Here's a question for you: Do YOU have a Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book? If so, what edition do YOU have? Finally, what is YOUR favorite recipe in it? Want to share?