Friday, June 19, 2015

Raggedy cookbooks

My first--and still old standby--Better Homes and Gardens, given to me as a wedding gift in 1984. It looks like it might have survived an earthquake or an attack of savage dogs, when in actuality all it had to endure was a painfully insecure teenage cook who learned through a rollercoaster ride of flops, of sawdust cakes and bread like a brick and stew where the carrots still crunched like orange rocks. My sons took their Crayolas to this book, and although I was mad at the time, now those are the pages that make me want to hold their little hands again. Half of the pages in the book have fallen out and most are bumpy with dishwater stains and all manner of mystery food splotches. The book is open to Blonde Brownies, which I have probably made at least a hundred times in my life, and I see I have marked 'Toffee Bars' as 'good', but I've made them so many times that I certainly don't need that reminder anymore. 

The book above is a 1960s version of Better Homes and Gardens, which I ordered used from Amazon. It is a treasure trove of 1970s memorabilia, since the owner, a "Mrs. David E. Hoover" who inscribed the front cover with a flourish, collected magazine recipes and meticulously added them to her cookbook. She most definitely did NOT allow her sons to color all over the 'egg' section, and her book has nary a water stain.

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