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Young America Cooks

Young America's CookbookYoung America’s Cook Book
A Cook Book for Boys and Girls Who Like Good Food
Home Institute of the New York Herald Tribune, ed.

We love cookbooks at ALB. The older ones are really wonderful glimpses into the past. That said, my public library is not the place for this gem, but an archive might want this treasure. In the meantime, check out the Shirley Temple curls on the girl and the boys wearing nice suits to a picnic. Everyone is happy.


Refrigerated pie


planked fish

molded vegetable salads


pickled melon rinds

33 Responses to Young America Cooks

  • This doesn’t look bad, especially when you compare it to some of the other cookbooks featured on this site.

  • suits at a picnic?

  • I don’t know if planked fish is festive, but it is kind of refreshing to see children looking like (historically accurate) children—not made up to look like Hollywood Honeys. The “molded” food is just kind of scary; makes one seriously reject any time travel options.

  • This was popular enough to warrant a revised addition (ours is dated 1959.) Sadly, neither one has been checked out since Big Library got its first ILS

  • “Eye Muscle”

    “Planked Fish”

    “Cherry Olives”

    Is anybody out there looking for a name for their band?

  • Far be it from me to make fun of the fashion choices of previous generations, but … is that lady wearing a bib that matches her dress?

    • That piece of fabric was called a “dickey.” Sometimes the fabric matched the dress; sometimes it was a solid color.

      • I wouldn’t call it a dickey — a dickey is or was an item that mimicked another article of clothing or the most visible part of it. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dickey_%28garment%29. (If that link works…) What she has does look like an attached jabot or scarf. I had a couple of turtleneck dickeys as a child — you put them on under a shirt or sweater and it looked as if you had a turtleneck jersey on. Strange custom, though, wasn’t it? Started with men’s tuxedo shirts, so the front part could be separately laundered. They later were made of celluloid and were very stiff, affording opportunity for cartoon characters’ mishaps — rolling up and flapping (described in the wikipedia article, and I think I saw that cartoon!).

    • I think that’s a same-cloth jabot.

      In other words, a bib that matches her dress. 🙂

    • It was a fashion to have an attached “scarf” for a while. That is what you see–it functioned as a collar. And, when needed, as a matching bib!

  • They certainly love to pickle things, don’t they? And, as always, the gelatin mold dishes. Ewwwww.

    • I’ve made pickled watermelon rinds, using pretty much that same recipe. The texture and taste is similar to spiced apples. Using canteloupe rinds sounds … not too good.

  • I sometimes hear people complain that no one gets dressed up any more, which I don’t really understand because I find “Sunday Best” clothing to be very uncomfortable, impractical, you can’t move like a real person in them, and they represent snooty upper-class society. Wearing suits and dresses to a picnic, surrounded by bugs and dirt and grass. What’s wrong with jeans and a t-shirt? 🙂

    • Interestingly, the upper classes have generally been much less likely to dress up than the lower for social events. Kind of like fancier language is actually lower class than plainer language.

      • At The time, that the book was written, only farmhands and hoodlums wore jeans and T-shirts.

  • Darn. For some reason I thought David Bowie would be the featured cook….

  • I like that they’re using a super-low table for the picnic — seems like a dangerous tripping hazard, especially that close to a tiny grill!

  • Those curls are almost threatening to surpass Shirley Temple, and head into Mary Pickford territory.

  • Can anyone tell me the font used in the photo captions, in this 1948 cookbook? Is it called Twentieth Century? Thanks!

  • I keep going back to the phrasing of the caption on the refrigerator pies picture. “Refrigerators Make Pies, Too!” I must have a lazy refrigerator. It’s never made me so much as a box of instant pudding, much less a whole pie.

    • I’m suspicious of any pie that hasn’t been baked at some point. I guess maybe “made from first to last in the refrigerator” doesn’t include a prebaked crust?

  • We had a refrigerator like that! The freezer had space for two trays of ice and maybe a pint of ice cream.

  • The Spiced Orange Slices sound kind of awesome. Too bad this was published at a time when color printing was less common, as black & white sucks at depicting food.

  • They probably mean the eye of round roast, which is a beef cut from the rump of a cow.

  • Would anyone be brave enough to bring a ‘molded dish’ to their next potluck and note the reaction to the rest of us? heh heh.

  • The steak-carving instructions are expanded upon in this video:

    Somewhere in the Gallery of Regrettable Food, James Lileks comments on “planked” steak. PLANK THAT STEAK!