Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Goodbye to the cooking calendar

I have to admit, I'm feeling a twinge of loss. We're starting December, so it's my last day for Betty Crocker's Cooking Calendar (1962). We've spent a whole year exploring the cookbook, and I will miss having a list of "red-letter" produce and a seasonally-appropriate recipe to start every month.

So what fruits and vegetables does Betty recommend for December?

Cauliflower, cranberries, and avocados!

At first I kind of wondered why cranberries were the December fruit when I really associate them with Thanksgiving in November, but then I read the menu for the December Ladies' Luncheon, and felt a little slow that I hadn't figured it out earlier:

I'm not going to say what the reason is right away so you can figure it out too. So what else can I say about the December Ladies' Luncheon?

  • I picked it partly because I like ending full circle. I started the year with a different ladies' luncheon menu. Apparently poultry with dairy was a requirement for these menus, along with a fruity dessert.
  • I guess the souffle makes the menu pouffy enough to be sufficiently feminine, and the cranberries are bright enough that cooks won't have to break out the red food coloring so everyone will know it's lady-food.
  • I love the late fall/early winter fruit bowl full of pears, apples, grapes, and citrus. It's even in harvest gold!
  • The recommendation for serving cranberry ice as an appetizer combines TWO of the produce-of-the-month selections: cranberry ice in avocado shells! Now if we served cranberry Santa in an avocado sleigh on a snowdrift of mashed cauliflower-- it would smell revolting and Santa would melt all over, but we'd hit the trifecta!
And in case you still haven't figured it out-- even with the cranberry's pairing with pistachio ice cream or an avocado shell-- it's December's pick because it works so well in the red-and-green color scheme. I guess cranberry is the flamboyant cousin on the staidly brown Thanksgiving table anyway. Moving it to December so it can really party only makes sense.

So this is it-- goodbye to Betty Crocker's Cooking Calendar, freer of oppressed cranberries and friend to avocados.


  1. I raise my glass of root beer in honour of Betty's Cooking Calendar. Can't wait too see you what you have in store for next year :-)

    1. Thanks for the root beer toast. (Wonder if I'll find a recipe for root beer toast...) ;-)

  2. And to make things even more confusing, October is National Cranberry Month! Go figure:) I'm going to miss you Betty postings too Poppy. I have a feeling there is another cakendar of sorts in that collection of yours. Time to dig it out!!!

    Thanks for sharing, Poppy. It sure has been a Betty kind of a year:)

    1. P.S. Perhaps you should include the cover of the book in this post and share it for Cookbook Wednesday. That would be the icing on the Betty Crocker Cake:)

    2. Thanks for the suggestion! I finally had a chance to take you up on that!