Cookin with Crisco cover

Vintage Cookbooks: The ALB Home Edition

Jackie Olden’s Cookin’ With Crisco Oil
Olden
1986

Submitter: Mom and I both collect and use vintage cook books. Great for home libraries, not for public ones. I often snatch up old ones that have been discarded from libraries at book sales. […] And we do use them, though sometimes we alter the recipes because some of the stuff mentioned doesn’t exist anymore. Or to personalize them. Just recently I used her really old Pillsbury cookbook to make some bread, then added in my own twist – shredded cheese, olive oil, garlic salt, dried parsley, dried basil, and diced oil packed sundried tomatoes. So old recipe books, great for personal libraries, terrible for public ones! (But if any library wants to send me their old recipe books…. LOL)

Holly: I like vintage cookbooks too! I love those old church fundraisers with the spiral bindings (a.k.a. the library kiss of death, and you know there will be about a hundred of them waiting in your donation piles, which are accumulating on your libraries’ front porches while you’re away). They always use ingredients like “oleo” and suggest “a small pinch” as a measurement.

microwave cookbook

Futuristic Cooking with a Microwave

The New Revised
General Electric
Microwave Guide & Cookbook
1977

My family jumped into the crazy cutting edge world of microwaves around the time this book was published. The pitch was always about how you could defrost or prepare food in just seconds, sometimes minutes. I personally remember microwaving hot dogs to watch them completely curl up.

Nothing my mother or myself were able to make anything that resembled the pictures in microwave cookbooks. I am convinced these were all faked. The meat in particular always had a lovely grey color. The texture was also just awful. It should have been nicknamed Soylent Green.

Mary

Low-Calorie Desserts cover

Low-Calorie Desserts

Low-Calorie Desserts
Better Homes and Gardens
1972

Submitter: There are some reasonable recipes here, but the whole thing looks really dated.

Holly: I’m all for dessert less than 150 calories, and submitter is right – there are some tasty-sounding treats here. The photography is very 1970s, though. Food blogs today have such gorgeous images; this can’t hold a candle to what you see online today.