I love used vintage cookbooks from the early to mid 20th century and I’m happy with my small but ever-growing collection. When I search online for vintage cookbooks I always narrow my results to ‘used’ books because I want a book with character.
I decided to treat myself and leave work early one day last week to go to a used-book sale at a library in the city where I work (“early bird gets the worm,” as they say). They have two sales a year and I was there for one before but this time I was concentrating on looking through all of the cookbooks for anything vintage. So many of the books looked rather new and appeared as if they weren’t even opened or used and only $2.00 for most books. I found several Better Homes & Gardens cookbooks and Betty Crocker ones too. Most were newer and not the vintage ones I enjoy but I did find a reprint of the 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book. On the inside it states that it is a reprint of the 1950 book and I believe the reprint date was 1988 or somewhere around that time and that it includes all of the original content/recipes from the book. I chuckled to myself as I flipped through it and recognized the pages from my original book which is the First Edition (Sixth Printing). Also, this one had a soft cover and copies of the front and back cover of the original one and it just wasn’t the same for me (many pages seemed distorted as it was “reprinted”).
Here is my original book which I bought last year through Amazon and has the character I’m looking for in a vintage book. It is in very good condition for its age too. I’m not going to get into too much detail about this book in relation to the recipes and content exclusive to this cookbook because Marianne over at Happily Mrs has chosen to cook-through this book for my challenge and she will most likely be sharing much with you as she blogs about her food. I bet you will want to buy one for yourself too! 🙂
These older cookbooks are more then just a collection of recipes. They give us a glimpse into the home life of housewives during the time period they were written and are so valuable in that regard. The newer cookbooks today just don’t compare to these older ones, in my opinion. Everything which I’ve made from this book so far has been really good and a “keeper.” I love all of the photos and how-tos included. I’ve been successful with my white yeast breads using the recipe and photo instructions in here.
I want to share the character of my book with you which makes it so much more special. I am thinking of myself as a safe-keeper of these older books until I pass on into the next life. Hopefully the next person will care for these books in the same manner that I do. They are getting more rare and difficult to find in such good condition. But the antique business has picked up in recent years in the United States and throughout the world more people are beginning to appreciate the value of these vintage items and prices are going through-the-roof for such things.
At one time it lived here although I don’t remember if the seller who sent it to me was from this place.
As I turn the page with the above sticker I am greeted by such a wonderful dedication page.
I’m sure Hilma so enjoyed cooking with this book. It probably brought a smile to her face every time she saw this from her friend, Sarah Fiske.
This book has a section on ‘making work easy’ with short cuts. I wrote about this once before at this link: Unique Discovery.
This book is truly a treasure and has so much it in that I want to make as well. If I could go back to the 1950’s and have a cookbook club I would certainly use this book and have a monthly dinner party to enjoy all of the foods. 🙂 I’ve been wondering though how much this book cost when it was published and sold in the 1950’s. Does anyone know? I’m very happy that I purchased this book as ‘used’ versus a reprint. I would like to read it as a novel but I keep getting distracted or side-tracked with something in the book or something else all together. As I type this post I am sitting here listening to Old Fashioned (Vintage) Christmas music and enjoying my trek through the mid 20th century. If you find one of these used treasures somewhere along your travels in life just hang onto it. There is a lot inside that you will enjoy!