Wednesday, July 2, 2014

It's greens month! Let's not put any in our salads...

A new month! That means a new entry from Betty Crocker's Cooking Calendar (1962). I'm afraid nothing will top fresh pea and strawberry month as far as I'm concerned, but July is pretty good too:

It's greens and berries month! I am in love with both (well, except for iceberg lettuce. It may be perfectly retro, but it is also perfectly bland-- as many retro recipes seem to be). And unlike, say, cabbage and bananas or asparagus and rhubarb, the fruit and vegetable of the month could easily go together in the same tasty dish.

How about the recipes for the month? July doesn't have any pretty full-color photos, so I will present these salads:

Even though it's greens and berries month, these salads don't really feature either. I guess Betty was not one for carrying a theme through. She would be terrible at planning spoiled children's birthday parties today.

These look pretty standard, but I do like a few details:
1. What makes the potato salad "gourmet"? It looks pretty standard to me. Maybe the word is just a psychology experiment to make home cooks perceive the salad as more exciting than it really is?
2. I love the recipe for a variation on the kidney bean salad. How could home cooks make it a chick-pea salad? By substituting chick-peas for kidney beans! I'm often amused by how few instructions older cookbooks really specify, but this one goes in the other direction by explaining something that seems pretty common sense to me.
3. Apparently Betty disagrees with me on the desirability of mixing cabbage and bananas. I'm not fully convinced by her "Ways with Cole Slaw."

Happy July! May yours be filled with gourmet salads, whatever that may mean to you. (Let me know if your favorite is rhubarb-asparagus cole slaw in a banana vinaigrette.)


  1. Love the vintage illustrations!

    1. I have a soft spot for them too. There's something about the simplicity.