Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cookbooks in my collection

Back in 2011, I did a series of posts on my extensive cookbook collection, highlighting an individual cookbook in each post, telling why it is important to me and featuring a recipe or two from the book.  I am amazed that two years later, these posts still get heavy traffic online.

So I decided to revive the cookbook posts.  I am very proud of my collection, numbering well into the hundreds.  Yes, I said hundreds!  I've been around awhile and have been collecting cookbooks since the mid-1960's.

I wasn't born a good cook.  I was raised in a home with a mother who was a very "stale" cook.  We had the same few meals all my growing up years at home.  I remember sometime in my high school years hearing someone talk about lasagna.  I had no idea what that was.

As I grew into an adult, married and had a family, I became fascinated with cooking and baking and all the different cuisines.

I could never choose one cookbook that I could say is my very favorite.  I love them all!  But one in my collection is rather unique!

The Better Homes and Gardens Heritage Cookbook, copyright 1975, is as much a history of food in America as it is a collection of recipes.  Being a history enthusiast, I was easily drawn to this one.

It traces the evolution of food and cooking in American from the very early days to modern times and demonstrates how settlers who came here brought their own cuisine with them.

Here is an excerpt from the forward of this wonderful book:

"When people move, they take their favorite recipes with them.  Some are written - some are not, but the recipes are an important memory of home.  History books say a great deal about clearing land, building cities, or fighting battles, but very little about what was on the dinner table while these events occurred.  This is a different kind of history book - it is a working cookbook with the emphasis on the people who settles this country and what they ate.  Historical details help you keep track of what was happening."

It was very, very difficult to choose one recipe to feature here.  I finally settled on the Yorkshire Pudding recipe below, probably because the first time I ever had Yorkshire Pudding was at my mother-in-law's table.  She made it often and I loved it.

1 8 pound beef roast
4 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt

Cook the roast in a shallow pan.  When done, remove the meat from the pan, cover and keep warm.  Reserve 1/4 cup of the meat drippings.  Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.  Combine eggs, flour, milk, and salt.  Beat 1 1/2 minutes with an electric mixer.  Pour half the reserved dripping into each of two 9x9x2 baking pans. Pour half the batter into each pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Serve with the roast.


  1. Wow, I have that exact same cook book :)
    I have lots and lots of cook books too :)

  2. I have that one as well, but an even older one, no pictures, no color. It was my Grandmothers who immigrated from Sweden, ended up via New York in Minnesota, then Montana. I was four when she passed away after living with Mom and Dad in relative good health for 15 years.


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