What on Earth...Is Cooking?

Category: What on Earth!?

The irony of these items found in the house is that I am not the best cook in the world. But...you know. Food! From! The! Fifties! (and even earlier) The forerunner to Poundy's Weight Watchers recipe cards.

First you have to send away for your recipe book. With a postcard that says (and I am quoting)..."Gentlemen: Please send me the big SPRY cookbook containing all those tempting recipes my family will enjoy."

Not "might" enjoy. WILL enjoy. They will be forced to enjoy them. Thank you.

p.s. And click HERE for the full dish on Aunt Jenny, who will flog you with her Spry-i-nator until you are a better cook...

Okay...I used up all of my emotional energy today on the introduction. So here are some more RECIPE BOOKS FROM THE HOUSE...but this is a tiny sample out of, oh, one HUNDRED or so. Yes, that is a lot of cooking that I will not do.

"Rhett, what would you like for dinner tonight?"

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

Behold...the egg.

Jello. THIS I might actually make.

oh, for the love of Pete...WHAT is THIS THING? This looks like something I tried to cook which came out wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

Actually, I think one of my relatives had this very book.

People who know me will also know that I will never EVER need this book. Ever. My mom tried her hand at canning while we were growing up but she also did macrame (large owls) and decoupage. She was crafty. I am not.

Bonus recipe from Pillsbury's Best 8th Grand National (for those of you who have read this far).

If you make this recipe, PROMISE ME THAT YOU'LL TELL ME HOW IT TASTES!! Because, frankly, you are a heckuva lot braver than I am.

    (by Senior Winner Mrs. A. F. Pulliam, Sullivan, Missouri)

      BUTTER.......6 slices day-old bread

      SPREAD......each slice with 1 Tbsp. small-curd cottage cheese, then 1 Tbsp. sweetened applesauce

      SPRINKLE...1 Tbsp brown sugar over each slice. Top each slice with an additional slice of buttered bread, sandwich style. Cut sandwiches into quarters.

      SIFT.......... 1 3/4 cups sifted Pillsbury's Best Flour with 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt, together, into mixing bowl.

      ADD...........3 unbeaten egg yolks, 1 1/2 cups milk and 3 Tbsp melted butter. Beat only until blended.

      BEAT..........3 egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gently fold into batter.

      DIP............sandwiches into batter, coating completely.

      FRY............(yes, that says "FRY") in skillet in 3/4 of an inch of hot Crisco (or SPRY!) until golden brown (about 2 minutes on each side). Turn only once. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Top with tart jelly, if desired.

I can't completely get past cottage cheese plus apple sauce, but if you can, GO FOR IT!

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aren't the true joys of jell-o likely not mentioned in the book, ie instead of water try some vodka. happy cooking

Or Everclear!

That's so bizarre. When I was little, my favorite thing was to mix applesauce and cottage cheese. Maybe I was that lady in a past life? ;)

You may want to look at the website of James Lileks, who's a columnist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune...among other entertaining topics, he has a section titled The Gallery of Regrettable Food, which is a collection of photos from old cookbooks like yours.

There are other interesting sections, such as The Story of Bread, The Orphanage of Cast-Off Mascots, and The Grooviest Motel in Wisconsin.

Lots of good reading.


I'm not suggesting anyone to get into canning.It's hot, hard work. But, so rewarding. Done right, as my mother did it, there is no comparison with buying from the super market....POPS"30"

a cookbook dedicated to eggs? gross.

Why does Aunt Jenny call recipes "receipts"? I've heard a lot of outdated colloquialisms, but not that one. Can anyone explain this to me?

By the way, I would also apply israeli's comment to the cookbook dedicated to Jello: gross!


GOOD CATCH! I have no idea...that is strange...

Shouldn't that be, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a yam"?

I don't have an explanation for the origin of the "receipts" usage, but I've read the word in that context many times. Probably went out a couple generations ago. And possibly was pronounced the same way as "recipe."

I checked out the "regrettable food" link--it's hilarious.

Recipes were originally called "receipts" - this goes back to the original "receipts" used by cooks for the nobility - when they finally became part of the educated masses. This was well before "Receipts" came to be known as the listing of goods purchased... although I can't tell you when the switch occurred. The use of the word "receipts" for recipes lasted a lot longer in the south than in the rest of the country - but I have a book of "receipts" from New England colonial times. They're a great read!

BTW, if you're not keen on keeping that canning book... I'd love to have it.

As long as we're discussing canning, check out this NYT article: http://tinyurl.com/3pgzv

(before it goes to the archive) and also check out its subject at www.junetaylorjams.com if you like jams, conserves, marmalades, etc.


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