At some point my mother decided this book was old and unnecessary and she handed it down to me. Betty Crocker’s Cookbook – published first in 1969, the year I was born, and then revised in 1978.
The best kick-ass brownie recipe ever is in this book. Other recipes … not so much. Toasty tuna casserole (yes, I tried it) calls for sliced sandwich bread, mayonnaise, processed American cheese (yes, processed, please), frozen vegetables and canned, condensed cream of celery soup. It does ask for a fresh onion, but alas, was not a success.
Despite the failed tuna casserole, there’s a nice table of herbal correspondences on the inside cover of the book (photo above). And so tonight, when I was making chicken soup with a left over roasting carcass I noticed that I could add marjoram – which can be substituted with a bit less oregano- since the flavors are similar; oregano being stronger –or sage. Both oregano and sage are growing next to the kitchen and are in the soup. It smells great.
I can’t help feeling that this style of marketing – asserting to the audience who they are – couldn’t have been entirely successful, but 75 million copies sold so who am I to say? I was a generation behind the buyers of “Big Red.” My copy *still* sells for $18.25.
Regardless of social, cultural, or feminist commentary, this book has a few gems, not the least of which is the table of herbal correlations. Yay, Betty!