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cooking from scratch cover

Cooking From Scratch
The Single Man’s Guide to Making Out in the Kitchen
Warberg
1976

Direct from the 1970s, we have a cookbook made especially for those guys who are single, or the wife is working and the poor guy has to fend for himself. Naturally this book implies that if you can cook, the ladies will dig it. (If the cooking doesn’t work, the fashion will!)

The recipes run the gamut from boiling an egg or making toast to some fancy lobster and desserts.  For a book that has “cooking from scratch” as part of the title, I was a bit surprised to see all sorts of canned ingredients, not to mention some rather questionable combinations of food, such as mixing milk with some deviled ham and egg noodles. Top this mixture with ketchup (see the 4th picture below). I kind of threw up in my mouth thinking about this concoction. (Pro tip: this is NOT a recipe that would impress women!)

Men, if this is your strategy for turning up the heat in the kitchen, I suggest you get carry out.

Mary

back cover cooking from scratch

bachelor cooking help

basic survival ingredients

meals and ingredients

place settings

14 comments

  1. Yes, I agree that the recipes sound rather ghastly but they aren’t much different from standard cookbooks of the time. The 70s wasn’t a great time for cuisine or informed nutrition.

    There was a joke at the time that a meal was balanced if all the cans nested.

  2. I know this is just nitpicking but I have always always ALWAYS despised ‘cookie’ being spelled ‘COOKY’. Don’t know why but it just makes me grit my teeth and growl.

  3. To be fair, many fathers of the men this book targets never knew much about the running of a household let alone cooking. All that was ‘women’s work’. I learned about these men when I was a teenager in the 1960s.

    Before WWII they lived at home with their parents.They gave their pay to their mothers and received an allowance. Later they gave their pay to their wives and received ‘walking around money’ for the week. When their wives died these men were incapable of taking care of themselves. There were a few who weren’t quite sure how much money they made a week.
    They didn’t know how to balance a checking account or write a check. A wife, a mother or a siste always did unimportant and boringthings like that.
    They didn’t know what size underwear they wore. The women in their lives always bought their clothes.
    Some of them didn’t even know how much sugar they liked in their tea.
    Sons of men like these were not likely to know their way around a kitchen. Because of their upbringing I can understand the need for a book like this in the early 70s. It ain’t great but it was better than nothing.

  4. When I make home-made spaghetti the tomatoes and sauce come from cans. Do I need to start growing and harvesting tomatoes and then making everything by hand to be considered a good cook? Do I have to make the pasta by hand, too? Do I have to grow all the herbs and garlic by hand, and ground up beef into hamburger myself to make meatballs?? It would take me at least six months just to make one pot of spaghetti and meatballs!!

    1. And this is why I have amazed respect for my foremothers, who used to make things like stuffed cabbage without a meat grinder. All done by mighty hands, outstretched arms, and efficient cleaver-work.

    2. You could make tomato sauce out of fresh tomatoes; it’s not too hard or too time-intensive if you’ve got a food processor or blender.

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