Hostess Helps and Recipes

Betty Crocker’s Hostess Cookbook
General Mills
1973

I know that COVID-19 puts a damper on any kind of entertaining, but just in case you are preparing for that day when we are all healthy, Betty Crocker has you covered. This book truly has some retro recipes I am sure you can’t wait to get started. A couple of my favorites: Olive Surprise Roast, Jellied Watercress Soup, Tomato Aspic Mold, the list just goes on and on.

Bonus! Just in time for Valentine’s Day, you can feast on all things pink. Your loved one will surely appreciate the effort.

These cookbooks are a ton of fun and probably will sell well in a book sale for those into retro cooking and fashion. I get the feeling that to achieve “perfect woman” status, one had to be able to do a dinner party of the first order. I am going to guess that ordering a pizza and handing everyone a beer wouldn’t qualify.

Happy Entertaining!

Mary

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16 comments

  1. “I am going to guess that ordering a pizza and handing everyone a beer wouldn’t qualify.”

    For my part, I am going to guess that this actually might be more appreciated than your tries at serving a gourmet dinner.

    +4
  2. This is one of my favorite cookbook covers of all time! (Right there next to Dining Delightfully, above in related) The picture continues on the back and it’s just such a perfect example of an era. It’s a fun browsing book, but no- I’ve never cooked from it.

    +3
  3. I actually like the cover — nice mid-century modern feeling to it, and the colors are good.

    But the recipes — eeek. That canned pea soup with nutmeg and olives — good lord.

    +5
  4. I could see the ‘Garnish Greats’ flower arrangement being popular today though. It’s currently fashionable to make focaccia bread with flowery patterns and to serve snacks in arrangements on a table or in a box rather than on platters (where/when covid restrictions allow parties) in Australia at the moment. For example: https://sugargeekshow.com/recipe/focaccia-bread-art/ https://www.withpeanutbutterontop.com/party-grazing-snack-tray/ https://www.pinterest.com.au/nibbleandgraze/grazing-tables/ Personally I prefer my snacks sorted by type on separate trays and in separate bowls, though grazing snack trays and tables look cool.

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  5. I own this one and color photocopied the cover to hang on my kitchen wall! Have quite a set of these, but time has not been kind to the spiral bindings. The cover must predate the 1973 interior illustrations by at least five years.

    +1
  6. Love this as I am a cookbook nerd. I have one from my birth year (1961) and the recipes here mirror those in my book. The best part is the cookbook’s preamble speaking to always looking your best with hair and makeup done, keep the children quiet when the husband comes home from work, meet him at the door with a smile and a drink, and do not tell him about your problems – he doesn’t need that after a long day’s work.

    +1
  7. I would eat those parfaits really quickly.

    My mom could throw a fancy dinner party like this, but she drew the line at anything in aspic. Gelatin was strictly for fruity desserts. And absolutely nothing that contained the word “surprise”.

    That cover belongs in a recent episode of “WandaVision”.

    +1
  8. Lots of style over substance here – elaborate table settings, fruit flowers, etc., but most recipes call for canned, frozen, or pre-packaged. I guess women spent so much time making the home and themselves look nice that cooking from scratch was too exhausting.

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