December 26, 2009

The Good Housekeeping Cookbook, 1963 - A Vintage Treasure!

The other day, while finishing up the last of my christmas shopping, I was wandering around Harvard Sq. with my brother, and we happened to walk by the sidewalk book vendor. He's this dude who set up a used bookshop on the sidewalk (basically a bunch of milk crates jammed full of old books), selling everything for $2. I've always seen him around, but never really looked at what he had, so that day I thought I'd give it a glance, since I was walking by. Aside from a couple of trashy novels, I found a copy of the 1963 Good Housekeeping Cookbook. What a find, let me tell you! This book is chock full of vintage cooking goodness, from the photos, to the featured ingredients, to the recipes. Since I think a good deal of foodies stop by here, and because I'm still in too much a post-Christmas brain haze to come up with original material, I thought I would feature some amazing shots from this special find.

First of all, the drawings. This is a throwback to the olden days when photographs were too expensive to print and so most cookbooks were illustrated. This particular cookbook does have photos (we'll talk about those in a bit) but it has some old school illustrations, too, like,

The lobsters in the front cover, yum.

and a typical 1960s picnic.

After the standard index, there's a who category of meal menus for specific events,
with wonderful old-fashioned names such as,


  haha, robust fare. that just cracks me up.

But if you want to make your own a la carte menu, we have a several individual recipes,
for your cooking pleasure.

For the gourmet chef, we have this amazing fresh minestrone recipe,

And for our lesson of the day,
welcome to nutrition, 1960s style:

because we all know that lunch and vegetable are interchangeable terms!

 More in the luncheon/veggie category,
because pasta loaded with melted cheese also falls squarely into the veggie department,

as does a casserole,
with no fewer than eleven layers!

But wait! We aren't done yet! Dinner is served!

 To start, we have the ambiguous-looking tomato slice soup,

As an entree, the penis-bread floppy meat display,

and for dessert,

The strawberries and cream-stuffed canteloupe,

and monochromatic pineapple pie!

Bon Appetit Everyone!


Anna Elena said...

'peach of a pie'... cute :)

my name is lauren. said...

the penis bread/floppy meat picture is priceless. that's all i can say.

Julia said...

haha i know. that meat "display" photo was the first one i saw when i opened the book, and i'm pretty sure it's what prompted me to purchase it.

Brittney said...

LOL this is so fantastic. My grandma passed down old Betty Crocker, Good Housekeeping, etc cookbooks to my mother and I left them with my dad. I'm totally inspired to dig and find them the next time I visit California!

Dorkys Ramos said...

Wow, that cookbook has a lot going on! The bread pic is a bit disturbing, but I like how intricate those illustrations are.

Julia said...

I also have a Fanny Farmer cookbook lying around somewhere, but it's the compact version, so no pictures. bummer! I bet vintage Betty Crocker is great though!

Sara-Jane Elizabeth said...

Oh my god, that is absolutely wonderful!

rabby71 said...

What a find. I have from time to time looked for a copy of this edition. My mom cooked many meals from her copy which is now in my older sisters kitchen with the spine held together with duck tape now from many years of use. I'm pretty sure that myself and my 3 older sisters all helped mom in the kitchen as she prepared meals from its pages as we learned without realizing it and my foundation for family values was shaped around the family table. Mom passed many years ago but I still love to take that ragged book down from its perch and turn to the recipe for California style spaghetti sauce a family favorite, this page is stained with sauce from cooking it so often that until I moved into my first appartment I had no idea you could buy a can of spaghetti sauce in the grocery store! Until tonight I never knew what the cover was meant to look like so thanks for that and bringing back great memories. Enjoy your treasure.

orite. This page is stainedwitjsplattered with sauce