What’s Cooking? Old Recipe Pamphlets and Cookbooks [Part 1 Of 2]

Today it’ll be Show & Tell + Discussion. Tomorrow it’ll be Think & Do + Poll Question.

THERE IS A PLACE BETWEEN TRASH AND TREASURE WHEREIN ONE CAN FIND STUFF

STUFF being defined as interesting things, unique things, obscure things that are worthy of conversation but not much more.

In this case the STUFF is from a box I inherited that contains my grandmother’s handwritten cookbook, a couple of printed cookbooks, and other bits of information about food and drink.

Thus I give you Show & Tell.

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SHOW & TELL

The STUFF featured in the above photograph has one noticeable thing in common: these recipe pamphlet and cookbook covers have the color red on them.  Other than that they are about as random as can be.

They are in order of publication year:

1933 – The Art Of Mixing by Wiley and Griffith

1941 – Quick•easy RECIPES from MUELLER’S

1942 – THIS IS MY BOOK OF MAGIC RECIPES from The Borden Company

1943 – How to bake by the Ration Book from Swans Down

1949 – Aunt Chick’s Pies by Nettie McBirney

1963 – Joys of Jell-O from General Foods Corp.

1960s [?] – TRUDY TENDERFOOT MEETS REDDY KILOWATT from Ohio Edison Company

~ ~

DISCUSSION

Anyone else feeling less guilty about not following through on Marie Kondo’s advice about getting rid of STUFF that doesn’t spark joy?  Especially in light of the fact that STUFF often makes for good conversation starters?

Anyone know why red was [or is?] a popular color for the front of cookbooks?

Anyone try a new-to-you old recipe lately?

~ ~ ~ ~

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Charmingly cynical. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Fond of words.

134 thoughts on “What’s Cooking? Old Recipe Pamphlets and Cookbooks [Part 1 Of 2]”

    1. Joyce F in Kansas, no kidding! It’s a beautiful cookbook, the colorful photos in it are great. Tomorrow I’ll be talking about a recipe from it… for better or worse. 😉

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  1. Who is this Marie Kondo? Just kidding…I’ve heard of her, but I don’t have any interest in her advice. I love that you have these books, ABean! I would definitely hold on to them no matter what Marie says. Just knowing that once up a time, your grandmother searched those books for the perfect recipe to make for her family is so special. And who knew one could be so joyful about Jello!

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    1. Jill, last year when Marie Kondo was all the rage, I took her advice with a grain of salt. [No pun intended] As a result I kept many boxes of STUFF that I’m now going through. You’ve explained perfectly why I’m pleased that I did keep this box: I didn’t know my grandmother but at least I have a little insight into her via this STUFF.

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  2. Aunt Chick’s Pies caught my attention. I have a set of Christmas cookie cutters that were marketed by Aunt Chick. They’re large, and when you press the dough into them, you get embossed cookies: Santa with eyebrows, a beard, and hat, and so on. They’re also red plastic, so there’s that color again. They originally were produced in the 1940s, so the time frame is the same, too. Mom made the Santa cookies for me every year, and we left a couple out for Santa himself. They’ve been re-released — here’s the whole set.

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    1. shoreacres, those cookie cutters are wonderful! What a cool memory about them. Aunt Chick’s little cookbook is a plethora of pie recipes. I’ve never seen such a variety of recipes and the instructions for how to make them are clearly written. Aunt Chick must have been a woman on a baking mission.

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  3. No guilt at all! I love old cookbooks and have my share including my grandma’s handwritten ones that I have shared on my blog as well. It’s all part of who we are. The Jello one brings back memories—I don’t think I have this one but I do have a jello one. Not quite such a staple in our house as it was in my childhood home but it certainly brings back memories!

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    1. Beth Ann, I enjoy reading cookbooks from all eras, so finding this particular bunch in a box brought a smile to my face. I like Jell-O but will admit that the recipes in this particular cookbook are a bit much for me. Still, the book is worth looking through.

      [I wasn’t ignoring you. I just found your comments in my spam file. I don’t know why they went there, but I’m hoping that now your comments will come straight through.]

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    1. Writer McWriterson, I hesitated about posting this, but decided that these old pamphlets and cookbooks were charming enough to warrant a blog post. I’ve no use for the recipes, but I do like having them. Call me weirdly sentimental.

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  4. Red, Black & White were probably the cheapest inks . . . and food coloring (think Red Dye #5). Not sure I’d keep the whole set (unless there were recipes I wanted to try), but I would keep your grandma’s handwritten recipes and The Art of Mixing.

    I look forward to seeing what you cook for us tomorrow.

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    1. Nancy, I bet you’re right about the reason for the color red. If it was cheap it was perfect, especially for free recipe pamphlets promoting a particular brand. The Art of Mixing has some amazingly unusual drink recipes in it, btw. Kind of trippy little cookbook truth be told.

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  5. The colour red – the better to hide the bloodstains with. At my house, the cooking gods will demand a blood offering from time to time. Especially when I drag out the mandolin. No matter how careful I aim to be, their appetite for my flesh must be and is met with personal sacrifice.

    Deb

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    1. Deb, now yours is a perfectly reasonable explanation for the use of the color red on cookbook covers. I, too, have my issues with anything that requires grating or systematic slicing. Yes, this explains it all vis-à-vis these covers.

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  6. Oh, wow! Retro Ruth over at The Midcentury Menu would LOVE those. Especially the Jell-O one.

    Have you ever gone over to James Lilek’s Gallery Of Regrettable Foods? He takes old cookbooks like this and recaptions them. It’s hilarious.

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    1. nance, I don’t know about Retro Ruth, but now that you mention it I vaguely remember years ago a blog about regrettable foods. Tomorrow I’ll be going a bit in that direction with my Think & Do post. Stay tuned.

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  7. Ha Ha, I like the bloodstains answer! I’ve no idea, but the theories sound good. A lot of my old cookbooks are also green, which I suspect was also a cheap dye. I love the Elsie and Elmer Borden cookbook, What magic recipes did they offer? I’ve made lots of recipes from old cookbooks, some are marvelous, most need a makeover!

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    1. Dorothy, some of my mother’s old cookbooks have green covers, now that you mention it. I’ve lots of old cookbooks around here and like you said about the recipes in them: some are marvelous, most need a makeover!

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    1. Maggie, I wonder how many of us have collections like this. 🤔 I looked through the How to bake by the Ration Book, but didn’t find any recipes that I wanted to try. Yet. Your depression bread will be an interesting experiment.

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  8. On a slight tangent, I just read a book, Recipe for a perfect wife. It’s one of those books told in dual perspectives, a 40s housewife and a modern women, both who lived in same house. The modern woman finds the others trove od ladies home journals, and her cookbook with notes. I didn’t like the book because the ending pissed me off, but it was interesting to read the old stuff…as for the stuff…frame something for a wall, put something else in a display case, and then donate the other stuff to a library or university for archives. Or write a book based on what you find, or a blog series where you go through everything

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    1. LA, the novel you read sounds interesting. I enjoy any book that bounces around with different timelines in different eras.

      I don’t mind having some STUFF around in our house. It causes no harm and suddenly seems like a fun way to pass my time. ‘Tis a process to process it. So far I’ve donated stuff to museums, given stuff to charities, destroyed some stuff, mailed stuff to family, and kept some of the STUFF because it’s cool to have it.

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      1. The premise of the book was awesome. I didn’t like it’s far winding implications, and I don’t like the “point” she was trying to make because I think it was just as bad as the other side of the argument

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  9. These are cool books! They don’t bring you joy?? I don’t need Marie Kondo to make me feel guilty about having too much stuff. I have Sean Kondo for that!

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    1. I love your collection of cookbooks. There’s definitely no shame in hanging on to them. They have already sparked interesting conversations here. I still have the cookbook you gifted me back in 1976. It’s Betty Crocker’s All Time Favorites. It is well worn. You wrote inside the front cover, “Practice makes perfect.”

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      1. Beth, these pamphlets and cookbooks are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to old cooking information. Mom and Dad were foodies so I have many more items in this collection– even though I’ve sold many books already. 🙄

        I don’t remember giving you that cookbook, but I’m charmed that you’ve kept it so long. I wrote that in it? I do hope you took it as inspiring and not insulting. Well, I guess you did considering you’re still talking to me.

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        1. Your parents were cool! And no, the gift of the cookbook was not insulting at all. I’ve used it many times over the years. Hopefully, it will be passed down in the family somewhere.

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    2. Pam, Marie Kondo’s approach to tidy living is too extreme for the likes of eclectic me, so while I’m getting rid of things around here, I’m not rushing into it. I have lots of old cookbooks, larger ones, bound ones. The ones here are cute, but of less value to me. Still, they make for a good blog post so I love them, I do.

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  10. Just because something does not bring joy at the current time, doesn’t mean it will not create marvel and wonder many years down the road when it is rediscovered. I love going through the many collections of…. well, stuff I have saved over the years. Future joy is what makes being a hoarder so rewarding…

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    1. evilsquirrel13, well said. I’m not a hoarder by a long stretch, but I’m pragmatic and getting rid of things to jump on a trend seems shortsighted to me. Now getting rid of things because you know you no longer need them makes sense to me. That’s how I let go of things, with thought and confidence. When I’m ready.

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  11. Now that’s a treasure trove! I LOVE old cookbooks.
    Please tell me you’re going open some of these jewels and share the joy.
    I need to know what Trudy Tenderfoot has been up to!

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    1. Rivergirl, these are a few of the many, many examples of cooking-related informational STUFF I have around here. Tomorrow I’m going to share a bit of what’s inside some of these, but Trudy isn’t part of that post. She’s way too cool to share a post with other pamphlets and cookbooks.

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  12. Yes, blood sacrifices are definitely the reason for red covers! Haha!

    What a fun little collection. I don’t think I’m familiar with any of these titles, but it wouldn’t surprise me if my mother had the Jello one.

    I was looking for last year’s diary yesterday (where I found the Brunhilde story), and looking in all my drawers made me realize it really is time to go through ALL my STUFF to do another purge. Not that I’m bored enough to do it right now.

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    1. Eilene, I agree that Deb’s explanation of why there’s red on the covers of these cookbooks is the best one. So rational.

      Of this collection I remembered the ones from the ’60s but the others were a surprise. They seemed destined to be a blog post.

      There’s always more STUFF around here but I’ve come to realize that I enjoy taking my time with it. Every month or so I let go of STUFF because I feel like doing that, not because of some externally imposed ideal.

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  13. I love conversation starter stuff. The more obscure the the better. I had lots of that kind of stuff before I started downsizing to move. Marie might enjoy her sterile living spaces but I could never live that way.

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    1. Jean, I’m like you. We’re far from cluttered around here, but we do hang onto STUFF so that we can enjoy it and use it to decorate our rooms and have a sense of connection to the past, I guess. Marie Kondo’s aesthetic seems harsh to me, but to each their own, of course.

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  14. I like your stuff! (Err…you know what I mean.) Old cookbooks are especially fascinating. Some of the recipes you find definitely have NOT stood the test of time! I once had an idea to buy an old cookbook and randomly make some of the weirdest dishes I could find in there. But, do I really want to make (and consume) a liver loaf?!

    No. No, I do not…

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    1. Swinged Cat, while I applaud your whimsical idea of jumping into old-time cooking, I respect your common sense when it comes to dishes like liver loaf. In fact, if you stop back tomorrow I might be featuring something that’ll give your liver loaf recipe a run for its money…

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  15. I’ll have to disagree with the bloodstains excuse for using red in cookbooks – or the idea of cheap ink. Red is the color of appetite and energy, one reason you see restaurants with red painted somewhere in the exterior.

    Yes, I have a strong feeling about this. Also, I applaud you have finding a topic that can cascade into 2 or more posts, very ABean-like. 😀

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    1. Marian, I’m starting to recollect restaurants I’ve been in and you’re right. Many have red exteriors or a color scheme inside that involves red/maroon/burgundy. In fact I’m getting hungry just thinking about them– or that could be because it’s 11:50 a.m. and lunch is on the horizon.

      I rarely do two-part posts because it can come across as gimmick-y, but we’re living in different times now so why not string y’all along for a part 2? 😊

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    1. Kate, that’s a great point. I bet there is something to the psychology behind the color red and how it makes you get hungry. I couldn’t find any meaning in it the use of red… until now. Thanks.

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        1. Huh. I guess because blue is a calming color? We had a burgundy dining room at one point, but I don’t remember that we ate any more or less because of it. It just looked pretty.

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  16. Red for hot, representing cooking? I am intrigued by that one about rationing. There was somewhere I saw a bunch of recipes that were from the Depression era and the ingredients used were very interesting. Jello, ugh. It’s what I always got when I was sick, so now I can’t stand the stuff. (or the texture)

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    1. Margaret, that’s a good explanation for the use of the color red on these covers. Heating things up, fire, coals, cooking. Sure I can go with that. The rationing recipe pamphlet I have uses normal ingredients but tells you how to rework recipes to stretch them by reducing shortening or saving canned fruit juice to make a dessert sauce, for instance.

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  17. Sparking a good conversation IS sparking joy so technically, sticking with the Kondo advice there. (She’s overrated anyhoo…. YES, I SAID IT!) I like THIS IS MY BOOK OF MAGIC RECIPES. I’m going to call my personal cookbook that from now on.

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    1. Tara, thank you for saying what I felt all along about Marie Kondo. She seems like a lovely woman with a good heart, but the whole trend that popped up around her I found baffling. For instance, the turkey roaster sparks no joy for me, but when I need it every few years I don’t want to have to buy a new one. That’d be wasteful, says the pragmatic Ms. Bean, Sparker of Conversational Joy.

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  18. I follow the, “Is it beautiful, useful or valuable?” rule. Your collection fits into the valuable category – sentimentally valuable, that is. I am more ruthless about getting rid of things than my husband is, so there’s probably a healthy balance in our household. As for old-new-to-me, recipes, I receive them through the A Hundred Years Ago blog. Very interesting. https://ahundredyearsago.com/

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    1. Arlene, I know that rule. Thanks for reminding me of it. It is how my mind sorts through items in the house. I’m getting more inclined to have less STUFF but am not inclined to rush into things.

      Thanks for linking to Sheryl’s blog. She reads and comments here occasionally, so I hope she sees this post. I’ve tried some of her recipes and they’ve all been good. We especially liked the creamed radishes, which was a shock to us.

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  19. I have my grandmother’s Junior League cookbooks and they are, um, yeah, filled with terrifying combinations of nuts logs and meatloafs.

    On the other hand, I have a Pillsbury baking book from the 50s that has a fantastic recipe for a chocolate cake using instant mashed potato flakes. I won the local cooking contest with it!

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    1. AutumnAshbough, I can imagine about those Junior League cookbooks. I have my mother’s Presbyterian Church cookbook and the recipes in it are… different.

      I’d figure that Pillsbury would know what it was talking about when it comes cakes, regardless of the era. Instant mashed potato flakes in a cake? I’ve never heard of that but it’s cool that you won a cooking contest with the recipe. Your skillz know no limit.

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  20. Ooh that looks like it could be interesting and lots of fun too. I love old recipe books and now that we have more time than ever, we’ve started reviewing our own backlog of recipes we wanted to try but never had time for.
    Have you found anything in there yet that you wish you’d made sooner?

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    1. Norm, the recipes in these particular pamphlets and cookbooks are not ones that call to me– except for Trudy’s book from the 1960s that has some interesting recipes in it.

      We have, like you, been trying modern recipes that I’ve saved over the past few years but never tried. So we’re cooking, but with our feet firmly planted in this century.

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    1. Anne, that’s wonderful. I haven’t tried many Jell-O recipes that weren’t family ones. I’m a midwesterner and we eats the Jell-O but not quite as doctored up as the recipes in this cookbook suggest.

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  21. We had the Joy of Jello but it didn’t have the spiral binding. Some really good recipes in there if I remember. These are absolute treasures and I would put them in some kind of scrapbook album for sure (but that’s just me and how I think about some stuff). When you said you were posting again tomorrow I thought you might have changed your mind about doing the A to Z 🙂

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    1. Janet, I’m guessing that there are different editions of the Joy of Jell-O because I could swear I saw one recently for sale in B&N. Your edition might be one that’s newer than this older one. No, I won’t be doing the A to Z challenge this year. I’m going to watch from afar and cheer you all on as you go for it.

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  22. I saw one episode of Marie’s show. While I respect her advice, much of it isn’t for me. I have way more than 30 books and don’t plan to cut all the way down to that amount.

    Your random items made me smile. I have some random things in my menu/recipe drawer.

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    1. L. Marie, I forgot Marie Kondo had a TV show. I read excerpts from her book and saw her interviewed somewhere. Marie seemed delightful, but her ideas are too strict for freewheeling me. Glad you liked the STUFF I found. It made me happy that I’d saved it.

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  23. I am not a foodie … well, except to the extent I really like to eat. Cookbooks, cooking shows, cooking in general has no attraction for me.

    … and that’s why I would never find anything interesting like this in my house. I would have thrown it away a long time ago.

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    1. Joanne, I come from a long line of foodies who like to shop and cook and bake. It’s part science, part art. Hence I saved these items and many more like them. To what end? Not entirely sure other than they make a good blog post.

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  24. I tried a new recipe a couple of days ago and it was delicious! As for Marie Kondo, let’s just say she isn’t very environmentally conscious. Although some things moved on to the secondhand stores, my books were all safe. I have given a few away, and loaned a few out. But I see no need to trim my collection to use a few.

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    1. KDKH, I hadn’t thought about Marie Kondo in the sense of environmental impact. Fascinating to contemplate. I think that her advice is idealistic and sometimes silly for the majority of us, hence we have STUFF around here that is somewhere between trash and treasure. 🤷‍♀️

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      1. And what about the stuff that is quite functional and we need it, even if very little joy is involved. My plunger does not spark joy, but if the toilet clogs, I will reach for it with gratitude!

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  25. Like anyone’s advice, I took Marie Kondo’s and used what I thought would actually help.
    Stuff! There are sure to be some goodies among the recipes in there! No doubt I will enjoy reading about them.
    I’m guessing the red is because appetite? but I do kinda wonder if they used radioactive red ink in printing. I could Google it, but I have 140 emails left 😉

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    1. joey, I agree about MK. I liked her idea of simplify, but maybe not to the extremes she advocates. I like all recipes and cookbooks and such. Food is good, reading about food is good. Red to stimulate appetite makes sense, considering. I don’t know a thing about radioactive red ink, but I’ve touched these items enough that if it’s there it’s now on me, too. Oh joy! 🙄

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        1. Well, as a kid that’d be something to look forward to. You’d have to ride along to the gas station to see it. I’m almost green with envy about your neon Reddy, but I do have Trudy’s little cookbook so there’s that.

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    1. Donna, no kidding? I rather like the look of Elsie on the cover of it. If I’d seen her as a child I’d remember that cookbook, too. Makes sense.

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    1. Betsy, I thought these items were STUFF of the highest order so I turned them into a blog post because what else would I do? Cheap red ink sounds plausible. Especially for the pamphlets and cookbooks printed in the ’30s and ’40s.

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  26. I’m sure I have seen “The Joys of Jell-o” back in the day and I recognized Elsie the Cow on the Borden’s Cookbook. I don’t bake or cook (no talent at all), yet I still have a drawer filled with skinny specialty cookbooks collected by my mom for sending in UPC codes or something similar from favorite products. There was one cookbook by Land O’ Lakes butter for Easter treats that seemed to be a favorite. My mom took all her favorite recipes and taped them onto notebook paper and separated them by categories into a looseleaf binder. I wrote a post about it before we followed each other – if you want to see the binder and recipes, it is here: https://lindaschaubblog.net/2018/12/19/we-all-need-a-little-wiggle-room-sometimes/

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    1. Linda, I know I’ve seen an updated version of The Joys of Jell-O for sale in recent years. It might be one of those cookbooks that is a perennial bestseller.

      My mother did the same thing with her favorite recipes as have I. Years ago in the early ’90s my first project on a computer was to input recipes then print my own cookbook. It was a nightmare of a project considering what computer programs were back then. If we end up stuck inside the house for many more months I may type all our current recipes and print out my own *revised* cookbook again.

      Thanks for the link to your post. I’ll check it out, sounds like fun.

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      1. I hope to learn how to cook and bake when I have more time once I retire. That sounds odd since I work from home, you would think I could do more for dinner during the weekdays, but I don’t. I’m late enough getting here sometimes. I used to spend all day Saturday making meals and freezing them for the upcoming week. I didn’t really care for the frozen taste when I microwaved them and when I started walking, then blogging, so the idea of spending all day cooking lost its appeal. That sounds like a good project of all your favorites and a revised cookbook.

        I never used a computer until the early 90s and we were on at that law firm was what was referred to as “dummy terminals” – we were linked together and could view one another’s personal directories as well as all work directories but had no intranet. We were not on Windows and had no e-mail and were on a Unix-based system. Sounds primitive doesn’t it? Just before Y2K, the Firm upgraded to avoid the massive crash (that was anticipated) and we went to Windows 98. When I was in college, I was in community college before transferring to a four-year university. I was the Editor of the school’s “Welcome to Henry Ford Community College” handbook. I had to type and lay out the book with photos, then took it to the printer. But I had no computer then – it was around 1974-1975 and I used a typewriter with proportional spacing. I worked at the diner all Summer and went to the school three nights a week on this silly typewriter which you had to calculate how many spaces each letter would be to have a justified right margin – unbelievable. I would calculate it on non-work nights so I knew how many space bar taps in between the letters. It was a nightmare! So, the letter “m” was three increments, “n” was two increments and “i” or “l” was one increment and it took several hours to type one paragraph. Imagine doing that today. Needless to say, I wrote fairly short and snappy paragraphs, as brief as possible for this handbook. (Contrary to my current style!!)

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  27. I am an old school and love to treasure all those things which are attached with emotions-smaller or bigger. Cook-books by grandparents is absolute jackpot in today’s digital world. The red color of the cook-book might be for the reason – it looks attractive!? What have you been cooking, recently?

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    1. Nanchi.blog, I hadn’t thought of it but in today’s digital world these old pamphlets and cookbooks are a treasure. Good thinking. That’s why I stopped to look through them because it is different to see a recipe printed on paper instead of on my screen. I like your theory of why the covers have red on them: it is attractive. As for our cooking of late, it’s pasta in all its various shapes and sauces.

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  28. I love old cook books and have a few on my kitchen shelf that I got from my mother and my mother-in-law. I’ve been using some of the recipes from them for years, especially some of the classic Italian recipes (because they remind me of what I grew up with). One thing that’s struck me lately is how much we’re learning about the importance of what we already have. My mother and grandmother certainly knew that, and I’m grateful to my mother for teaching me how to stretch and get the most out of what I have.

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    1. Robin, my mother taught me the same thing about cooking and meal planning: use what you have, make it stretch. Being in the situation we’re in at home now, it’s like all that childhood learning about “waste not, want not” is flooding back into my mind. You remind me that I have some of my mother’s cookbooks around here and this might be the time to peruse them for recipes that’d work during the month of April, or maybe longer.

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  29. I cracked up reading Deb Badasswidow’s reply. It’s true though! 😀
    About 10 years ago or so I went from what I call my Blue period to Red in my color scheme in the kitchen and family rooms, but before I did I researched a bit about red in the kitchen and found it relates to appetite and making you hungry, Well, despite that I painted some walls and the upper cabinets red a country red, and tempered it with white for the bottom cabinets.
    I warned He-Man at the time that if I started gaining weight the kitchen would be repainted!
    I didn’t change the color until we got it ready to sell. My kitchen and living room here are still predominately red so I’m still in my red period. ❤

    I love your old cookbooks! Perhaps the red is for the appetite? I like the idea of framing some of them. I plan on leaving my favorite and oldest cookbooks to my daughter. I’ve got handwritten notes in the margins about the recipes I’ve tried. Now, she doesn’t cook, but maybe she’ll like the notes and maybe my Grandson’s will cook?

    I’m looking forward to Part 2.

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    1. Deborah, I bet your red kitchen was pretty. I like red, too, and went through a red [well burgundy actually] phase in our dining room. I don’t know that we gained any more weight because of it, but who knows? We now have what I call splashes of red accents around the house, so if red is stimulating my appetite it’s in every room.

      I hadn’t thought of framing some of these, but it’s a cute idea. I like your idea of leaving your favorite/oldest cookbooks for your daughter or grandson. It seems to me that even if you don’t cook, there’s a warm family connection in knowing a relative used the book you now hold in your hands.

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      1. That’s what I was thinking. Maybe she’d like reading about recipes she or her brother hated or loved, or Dad’s favorite!, or the ones I tweaked with this or that, and Oh, we all loved this one and seeing my dirty fingerprints on the pages, or pages smeared, and splatter with sauce stains. Who knows, but I’m planning on giving them to her.

        I love that you too are in a “Red period”! My red is sort of a New England Red, and burgundy I think. It’s probably close if not the same as yours. Just my kitchen and living rooms are in the red theme the other rooms have different color themes, but two of them are blue and white.

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        1. Our interior walls are now all tasteful shades of khaki gold or creamy white or warm light gray, but I insist on a few touches of red/burgundy in almost every room. It adds energy and joy, imo.

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  30. Great, Ally, Now I want to go through my stuff. Not really. I am overwhelmed with some of my stuff and pretty good about getting rid of certain categories. Yes, guilty on not following through on Marie Kondo’s advice. I actually have a file folder filled with recommendations on how to deal with stuff. Curious on your Part 2 of this series.🙂

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    1. Erica/Erika, I like that you have a file folder about how to deal with STUFF. I’ve read a few books and websites on what to do, have applied some of the ideas, rejected other ideas. I do think that we all sort through our possessions in our own ways, in our own time. No right or wrong about it.

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  31. Red means danger, didn’t you know? At least that is what it represents to me 🙂 I may have a cook book or two but I do have a file of recipes including my mother’s recipe for crunchie biscuits. Mmmm I must look it out. It needs bicarb and syrup and can make a helluva mess if not careful. Meantime looking forward to your next post ..

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  32. I love those vintage advertising cookbooks. I might even have that Jell-O book. The fun thing is that in the midst of recipes you will never make, there lies some true gems. My beloved fudge frosting recipe comes from an old Spry cookbook. I won’t throw away Mom’s old cookbook collection. I’ll never cook from the recipes in those books, but the Spry cookbook or other cut-out recipes that she loved are gold. I suppose they do bring me joy. Could I scan them? Of course. But this is one time that all those people telling me the feel of real paper, the indentation of my mom’s writing, those things are worth more than an image of them.

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    1. Zazzy, I’ve kept some of my mother’s cookbooks, too. For the same reasons. I remember Spry but Crisco was more popular in the area I grew up in. I think there are a few different editions of the Jell-O cookbook, some of them more recent. I doubt that they have the same recipes in them though.

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      1. Without pulling it out, I think mine might be from the 50s. It was from the era of tomato aspic and other attempts at making Jell-O savory. I make what I think of as Lutheran salad every decade or so. Green jello, pineapple and cottage cheese. It’s all about the nostalgia but it doesn’t taste that bad either. Takes me back to the mother-daughter luncheons at our church. You couldn’t go to a Lutheran pot-luck without some form of that salad.

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  33. I’ve never considered the fact that many old cookbooks used red. My mother had an old red and white checkered cookbook. I think probably a Better Homes and Garden one. I wonder if the red has to with the psychological fact that the color red supposedly stimulates appetite.

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  34. I’d LOVE to look through those Ally! Just my kind of stuff. I had an old recipe box from a great-aunt and the magazine ads beside he torn-out recipes were a treat in themselves. That Ration Book one might come in handy if we end up locked up in our houses for months, using up all available foodstuffs!

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    1. Joni, these pamphlets and cookbooks are a trip down a rabbit hole. I found myself totally drawn into them, not because I was looking for a recipe but out of curiosity. You’re right that the ration one might come in handy… but I sure hope it doesn’t.

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  35. Red provokes appetites – think bears in the wild when they forage for the fruit to add pounds to their waistline before the long winter. 😉 PS – I have a bunch of old books like that too. Marie didn’t win out in the advice to part with them.

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    1. Shelley, excellent way to think about the color red on these pamphlets and cookbooks. I’m discovering that for many of us Marie didn’t prompt us to part with all the STUFF.

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  36. We had Bubble and Squeak from a recipe sent me by a friend in England. Bubble and Squeak, in case you don’t know, is potatoes boiled with cabbage, all of it drained and mashed and fried in grease/butter/margarine. The name comes either from the sounds it makes cooking or the sounds YOU make after eating it. It’s quick, easy, cheap, and surprisingly delicious.

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    1. Marian, I hadn’t thought of Bubble and Squeak in years, decades maybe. When I was in college I studied in England for a term. Dinner was a formal event in the dormitory dining hall and every so often Bubble and Squeak was on the menu. I don’t remember hating it, so I probably ate it. I’ve never made it but you’ve given me an idea. 🤔

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  37. I’ve done a ton of de-cluttering over the years. Each time I’ve moved, there’s needed to be a clear out due to down-sizing. I can’t say there’s anything I’ve missed, but then I don’t have the riches you do. We travelled a lot overseas and during one particular move, the packing and trash piles became confused, so …

    I absolutely love those old recipe books. Remember when you used to get one with seemingly ever single electrical appliance? I found a fantastic recipe for a hot crap starter in one which was my go-to winter dinner party starter – back in those long ago days when we still did that kinda thing 😀

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    1. Deb, I take your point about all of this STUFF just being that. Of no true importance in my life, other than curiosity. But I gotta say looking through these pamphlets and cookbooks was [is] a hoot. I do remember when every appliance came with a cookbook. Maybe we appreciated those recipes more than we realized at the time, considering how many of those recipe books my family saved and I now have in my possession.

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      1. One of the hardest things I did was cut down my extensive cookbook collection. Now Himself is in charge of the kitchen, they seemed an indulgence. But I do love reading them … I suspect they may be my one future declutting regret. I envy you your family collection.

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        1. When it comes to decluttering we all do what makes sense in the moment, don’t we? So tricky to what the future holds and whether we’ll need something or not. As they say, mistakes were made. 😑

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