Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Trio of HandPrinted Cookbooks

Make It Now - Bake It Later! Barbara Goodfellow, self-published, 1958, softcover, 37pp.
Make It Now - Bake It Later! #2, 1961, self-published, softcover, 35pp.
Make It Now - Bake It Later! #3, 1965, Pocket Books, softcover, 35pp.

This trio of late '50s to early '60s fundraising cookbooks are handwritten collections of recipes that, with few exceptions, were designed to be put together ahead of time and refrigerated until an hour or two before dinner.  Then they are popped into the oven without further ado.

Written by the wife of a Navy admiral to raise money for the National Cystic Fibrosis Research Foundation, the first two cookbooks were self-published; after they sold over a million copies, Pocket Books published #3.

Sample recipes for entrees include: Spanish Bean Pot (a delicious sounding variation on baked beans, flavored with peach juice and brandy), Rice and Deviled Eggs with Tuna, Norfolk Noodles (egg noodles in sour cream and 2 types of cheese), Spaghetti Sauce, Lobster Newburg, Clam and Corn Souffle, Lamb Shanks Deluxe, Sophisticated Stew (beef flavored with wine, brandy, bacon, and herbs).

Each book also contains recipes for hors d'oeuvres, salads, cookies, and desserts.

A fun threesome for your vintage cookbook collection.  Or, if you're interested, I just ran across another copy of book #3.  I'll make it available at my eCrater store soon.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Look ma, no hands!

Proof that everything is relative to historical context.  And that you can get along without an index finger on your left hand, as long as you're right-handed.  (She must be - her right hand's doing a double Vulcan salute.)

Okay.  End of snarky comments about this old ad, scanned from a 1946 McCalls magazine.  Now, the memories

My mom had a Maytag wringer washer and it was one scary machine - the wringer snatched away our dripping dresses and shirts without so much as a please or thank you.  It was durable, though, and Mom used it to wash the family's clothes from the late '40s through the early '70s.  But because she recognized its danger, and she had the special training that Moms get, the laundry room was her domain.  It was in the basement, dark and gloomy, and Dad's boyhood story about what he and a friend did to a barncat secured its place as her exclusive territory.  

By contrast, hanging the clothes outside to dry was a shared family activity.  Mom was shorter than me, so I reached the line and pulled it down for her to reach.   Then she deftly placed the clothespins exactly where they needed to be.  Somehow, the number of clothespins in the basket always matched the number of items to hang - unless I "helped".

It wasn't until I was a teenager and went to the laundro-mat that I discovered that one could wash clothes without risk of amputation.  And a dime in the dryer meant you could dry a whole load without calculation.  The spin-dry cycle, and some stern warnings about the danger of lint, allowed my own kids to learn early on that laundry was a family affair.

And our house cat could relax.