Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Betty Crocker - You "Crock" Me Up!

The other day I sat down with my grandma's old Betty Crocker cookbook.  Just for a few minutes.  Over an hour later, I couldn't put it down!  Published in 1957, this book is a real time capsule filled with things that made me laugh, literally out loud.  By the time I finished reading some of the snippets to my husband, I had no mascara left . . .

I don't think I've ever thought of appetizers this way . . . nor have I ever considered serving any of THESE, at least not to people I like.

The names alone - seriously?! And I'll bet if I served Herring-Appleteasers at MY next party, my guests would describe them as more than just "different".  Even those "decorative bowls" couldn't make me eat Sardine Spread.

Brains? Yeah, I guess I'm NEVER going to know how good they are because I'm NEVER going to try them.  But maybe the secret is in remembering to remove that membrane just before using.

But wait . . . there's MORE!  Who would consider serving just plain, old brains when you can serve BREADED brains?  I know they say that butter makes everything taste better but I have my doubts in this case.

Boy oh boy.  I bet Myrna Johnston's neighbors all hoped THIS would be the summer they were invited over for some of that spiced tongue served in her garden!

But before you serve up these tasty delights, you'll want to make sure you've planned well for your party:

So let's see:

1.  Dig out my light heart and happy frame of mind.
2.  Go out and find a wild strawberry from the nearby      meadow.
3. Figure out if my apartment, house or cottage includes help. (Does the dog cleaning up food I drop count?)
4.  Do I have to make any preliminary preparation because of activities away from home? Wait.  She was ALLOWED activities away from home??
5.  Find friends who "mix well".
6.  Recruit a surprise guest with some special talent or conversational skill or my party will be a bust.
7.  Plan for that SHORT period of relaxation or rest before my guests arrive.  Notice the word "short".  Because heaven knows with everything else I'm supposed to do for this dinner party, there won't be time for much more THAN a short period of relaxation.

Now thank goodness Betty thoughtfully includes these "special helps" because no one, and I mean NO ONE wants to shirk on their household chores.

Fasten your seatbelts . . . it's a wild ride!

I'm guessing my yoga pants and fuzzy slippers don't count?

Don't be a sloth and JUST clean and cook.  Use that brain of yours to plan all of the family outings and that garden you're going to have to work all summer.

FINALLY, something to lighten my load.

Because it's not enough that you planned dinner with a light and happy heart, foraged for a wild strawberry, realized that YOU are the only 'help' in your house/apartment/cottage, made sure at least ONE person you've invited has a special talent and took only a SHORT moment to relax.  Now you better make sure that you have humorous and interesting incidents to relate like the neighbor's cat being stuck in a tree??

Prevent unnecessary fatigue?? I'm thinking eliminate 90% of all the other stuff and you won't need to have a dust mop and a long-handled dust pan OR a self-wringing mop to prevent fatigue.

HOWEVER, on the off chance that the long-handled dust pan and self-wringing mop don't eliminate your fatigue, lay down on the floor.  Not a soft couch or comfy bed.  And of course, no more than 3-5 minutes you lazy bum.

And I DO mean JUST a MOMENT.  For just a moment you can do this.  However, I'm pretty sure that the arms, hands and head falling limp are an indication that you surely MUST not have been wearing comfy shoes or been thinking happy thoughts or remembered to buy that long-handled dust pan and self-wringing mop.  Shame on you.

Aside from all of the humor, I DID find some really great recipes.  I made this Lemon Cake Pudding last night and oh my . . . it is SO good!

I adapted it by subbing Monkfruit sweetener for the sugar and almond milk for the regular milk.  I've been following Weight Watchers for 8 months and have lost 48 pounds so I'm always looking for great recipes that I can 'adapt' to my new lifestyle.

The lemon cake pudding was delicious warm.  Tonight I had it cold from the refrigerator and I think it was even better!  With fat-free Redi Whip it was a one point dessert - Yum!  There are other variations in the cookbook using different fruits/flavors that I plan to try as well.

I enjoyed (and am still enjoying!) this peek into the past and will be sharing more of the recipes soon!  


  1. Oh Lauren! I laughed and giggled my way through this post! I have an old Betty Crocker cookbook as well, maybe not as old as yours, but with a lot of the same commentary. I've often wondered about eating brains and tongue. Ugh. I asked my parents about it, if they remember eating it, and they do. I'm in your camp, none of those organ meats sound appealing at all! Your lemon pudding looks amazing! I like your substitutions too, so much better to cut out the sugar where possible. Congratulations on your weight loss journey, that is marvelous! Thanks for the smiles in this post today :)

    1. When I was in my early 20s, I worked at a very exclusive New England inn. Cold sliced tongue was on the lunch menu frequently. I can't even imagine eating it, but people seemed to enjoy it.

  2. This is hilarious! For some reason, Mrs.Cleaver comes to mind, lol. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I just ADORE vintage cookbooks. I have a pretty good sized collection and have thought about doing a post like this. They sure do show how people either lived in those days (or perhaps WANTED to live). I loved the one about relaxing and being limp! I should try that more often. But you are also right about the recipes -- some still hold up very well (if you can find some of the ingredients they don't make anymore!)

  4. Haha! :-)
    Well...So much for my mascara. ;)
    Too funny, really liked the one about lying on the floor, oh my goodness and in her dress at that.

    Your dessert sounded good especially with the tweaking you did to make it work for you.
    Congratulations on your weight loss and new life style!

    Happy day to you~

  5. Thank you for the laugh!!! My husband is wondering what on earth I'm doing as I sit here snickering and downright laughing out loud. As for lying down on the floor for just 3 - 5 minutes does that include casting about for some sort of apparatus to get me UP off the floor???

  6. Gosh I love those old cookbooks! I have a couple of them and they make me yearn for simpler times - however, I'm pretty sure I would have whizzed past the helpful hints about relaxing for 3-5 minutes. That's just ridiculous...

  7. Oh my goodness...can you even imagine?? Such was life in the 50's I guess! But I will tell you thins...I have eaten brains AND tongue! I'll always remember coming home from school and finding pig brains soaking in salt water in a pan. To tell you truth, I don't remember them being awful. We would have a cow butchered at our local meat market every winter and Mom & Dad believed wholeheartedly that no parts should go to waste, including the heart AND the tongue. I remember them both tasting just like beef but couldn't quite handle the large the large artery protruding from the heart and the big vein running through the tongue. Through the years my tastes have changed a bit...LOL! Loved this fun post, Lauren!

  8. This post is hilarious. The book excerpts and your editorials. I laughed out loud all the way through. I'm wondering if one is supposed to lay on the floor before or after mopping it, and if the lie down comes after mopping does one take the time to dry the floor first?!? That would knock a minute or two off the lie-down time. I'm exhausted... Wish I had some of the Lemon Cake Pudding for refreshment. Thank you so much for this entertaining post, Lauren.

  9. Hello, sweet Lauren! My oh my, it's been way too long since I popped in for a visit. How are you, dear friend? I trust you are well.

    I so enjoyed this post as you brought a smile to my face and I confess that I was giggling through the entire thing.

    Please know that you are thought of often. Sending love and hugs your way!

  10. Oh my goodness, what a hoot!!
    Congratulations on your weight loss, Lauren! I have made lemon pudding, but I like how you adapted it. Yes, weight loss is a lifestyle, and one that I’ve managed for 20 years now. I know that I bake a lot, but I know how to to manage my carbs, proteins and fats to maintain my weight.

  11. Old cookbooks are so fun! I love the interesting recipes from a time where they really did eat everything! Then I love the homemaking tips. Laying flat on the floor is a good one I might try.:) The lemon cake pudding looks so delicious!

  12. I did make simple version of "wedgies" for a 1957`s party I hosted. Simply cream cheese spread on bolonga, layered and cut into wedges. They must have been good as there were none left. Or maybe I simply didn't have enough appetizers and my guests were starving.

  13. This is wonderful! I love old cookbooks. I have a couple that belonged to my grandmother and they take me to another world.

  14. This very cookbook was a Wedding gift to me from my Mom when we got married in 1956.
    I used many of the recipes and I still have this cookbook. I have over 300 cookbooks in myh library. Many are regional I bought while we traveled the USA and Canada over the years. My husband and I will celebrate 65 years together next April. I am still cooking and using my cook books plus recipes from Duck Duck Go on line. I love my Instant Pot and my Bread Machine. Life is good. We lived in the Best of times. The 1950's. American Graffiti times. Sincerely Jody in Michigan

    1. Oh I DO envy those who enjoyed living in a simpler time. You really DO have quite a collection of cookbooks! I love that cookbooks often tell stories, especially with handwritten notations in them (which I try to do thinking that someday when I'm gone, my kids might enjoy seeing my thoughts/tips on certain recipes). Thank you for stopping by and congratulations on nearly 65 years together!! I just hit 35 so have a ways to go haha!


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