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Friday, January 29, 2010

The Old-Time Brand-Name Cookbook...Review

This cookbook is quite simply fun. I found it in a used bookstore several weeks ago. Sure, some of the recipes are interesting, but more than that, it's a terrific commentary about food and the evolution of cooking. Along with recipes, there are informative stories about the creation of food products like gelatin and the ability to flash freeze food, which was perfected by Clarence Birdseye.

The photos are vintage, as are the recipes. Some are appealing, such as "Orange Bread" and "Baked Pork Chops with Apples". "Beet Aspic" doesn't sound very good, but it was "up-to-date" in 1928!

I love the little excerpts and anecdotes sprinkled through out the book. They share things like this gem from 1895, To keep vegetables fresh, place them in a deep dish in about two inches of cold water. Take a piece of linen, soak it in water and spread over all, letting the corners dip into the water to keep the cloth moist. Place dish in a window where the the air can blow over it.

If you can track down a copy, this is just a fun book to read. That there are good recipes in it is simply a bonus.

Personal copy, but you can purchase your own copy here.

Read 1/10

* * * *
4/5 Stars


  1. I was telling my sons the other day that my favorite birthday cake when I was a kid was a chocolate mayonnaise cake made with a recipe from Hellmann's mayonnaise. My mom also used to make a spice cake with tomato soup.

  2. Old cookbooks are fascinating! It's fun to see how our taste in food and recipes have changed over the years.