Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Serious Cook-bookage

For my 200th post(!) and another round of Cookbook Wednesday, I have some serious cook-bookage for you. The pictures may seem odd because I usually scan them on my scanner, but this monster is too big to scan. I had to take pictures with my camera instead.

Meet Good Housekeeping's Cook Books (1958).

The title is plural because this is not a single book, but a collection of 20 cook booklets! I'm not going to go into any recipes today because I just want to give you an overview of this beast.

Fittingly enough, it begins with the Appetizer Book.

Like the olives and crackers impaled on toothpicks and sticking out of a candle? Wait until I show you how they serve shrimp.

Next is the Book of Cookies.

I like the bird on the wooden paddle that seems to be shitting out an enormous heart.

Good Housekeeping believes in sweets! Next to the cookies we have the Cake Book. (And dessert is yet to come.)

This also has "decorating ideas for many occasions." Judging from the front and back covers, it looks as if the decorating ideas mostly consist of "throw on some chocolate curls or nuts," but there are more interesting techniques inside.

If you're in a hurry, the Quick 'n' Easy book has ideas.

With chapters titled "Can-Opener Cookery" and "Make-It-From-a-Mix," this is sure to have some interesting recipes to share.

The Casserole Book looks really enticing...

...if you've ever wanted beans baked with whole orange slices on top.

A little health to balance out all the desserts comes next:

And yes, Salads has a whole chapter on molded salads. There will be Jell-O.

The booklet on pies is not just any pie book. It's the Party Pie Book.

It's got everything-- including instructions on making a crusty wheel of umbrellas to put on top of a spring-themed pie!

Need to use up some cheap meat? There's a whole Hamburger & Hot Dog booklet!

Apparently the cover image that manages to look both a bit slimy and a bit raw is Mushroom-Stuffed Meat Loaf. We might have to check that out.

Have better meat? Then go to the Meat Cook Book.

That cover photo helps emphasize that the photographers and food stylists were not really trying with the meat loaf.

Okay, maybe it's time for more Vegetables.

Will these "tempt the most reluctant appetites"? Maybe some of them will, but you know the recipes I'll pick will probably NOT be taste-tempting.

I know we've had cookies, cakes, and pies, but what if you just want Delectable Desserts?

That looks suspiciously like another cake to me, but maybe the fact that it's bleeding makes it special?

We haven't had any cook booklets with a random assortment of foodstuffs as the titles yet.

Maybe Egg and Cheese Spaghetti and Rice Dishes will fit the bill. I thought it might be a collection of less meat-centric main dishes for a time when mainstream people didn't even consider saying the word "vegetarian," and this does have some meatless recipes. It is also a way to sneak in extra desserts! There are whole chapters on egg, cheese, and rice desserts.

 There's a booklet for some of my favorite food groups: Breads & Sandwiches.

I love the open-face sandwich with three hot dog halves. I'd call it Tomatoes on a Raft.

Entertaining? Try Company Meals and Buffets.

Guests are sure to love bloody meat logs with baked potatoes and grilled canned peaches.

At least the bloody meat logs don't still have their faces

like the fish on the Fish and Shellfish cover.

Had enough animal flesh? Of course not! You still need Poultry and Game.

I know the photographer wanted to emphasize freshness, but I think this particular chicken is in no danger of escaping. The chicken wire in the background is not really necessary.

You know, it's been a few chapters since we had a dessert booklet.

Ice Creams and Cool Drinks will freshen the collection up. Who wants a bloody milkshake? (Is the collection a little heavy on drippy red cover pictures, or am I just morbid for thinking that everything looks wounded?)

It's never too late for treats...

Well, unless it's after Ten P.M. If it's midnight, you're on your own. While I might have thought this collection would be more about cocktails, it looks as if canned peach halves served with a bowl full of rapidly-melting ice cream scoops is Good Housekeeping's  idea of a good time after dark.

For those with international tastes, Around the World provides some guidance.

This booklet represents 21 countries! Almost all the recipes are from France, Hungary, and Italy, though. Cuba's sole representative recipe, for example, is the iconic "Cuban Corn Pie."

Finally, for the celebrity watchers, there's the Who's Who booklet.

I looked through and realized I recognize almost no celebrities from 1958 (especially when so many of them are opera stars). At least it's got a quiche recipe from Alfred Hitchcock!

This is just a taste. I do hope to have many happy posts from this MASSIVE collection.

Happy Cookbook Wednesday!


  1. Though most of those recipes would get a dubious reception nowadays, I bet the cookie recipes are still really appealing.

    1. Probably-- unless they have some with prunes and caraway seeds or something like that.... Some of the old flavor combinations do leave me wondering!

  2. I wonder what would make a dessert not delectable - fish flavoring, maybe? Although if that's there, you'll find it! I'll look forward to your many happy posts.

    1. Now I'll be on the lookout for fish flavored desserts! :-P

      I'm sure my cats would think they were a great idea.

  3. Oh. My.GOOOOOOD! This is my fave post you've ever done :D
    I have the casserole cookbook, I found it a a library book sale in Cooperstown, NY. Got it for 50 cents, worth every cent! I never realized how many casseroles needed to have corn, catsup, and liver in them.
    Happy spring, Poppy!

    1. I'm glad you are excited because this will be in many future posts, I'm sure! You're making me want to look more closely at the casserole one now-- which won't help you so much since you already have it!

  4. I need this collection!!! Where in the world did you find this??? I looked on Amazon and there is no reference. I have the 10PM and that is it!!

    1. My husband found it at a Half Price Books. I think the component books were sold separately too, as I've seen a few of them loose (besides the 10PM one). You might want to try hunting for just the individual booklet titles.