microwave cookbook

Microwave Everything!

Sunset
Microwave Cook Book
Gaulke, ed.
1976

The Sunset books have been featured here more than a few times. They covered everything: camping, home decorating, fashion/crafts, and of course cooking/entertaining. I am sure we have only scraped the surface of the awful possibilities. Back in the olden days, I probably would have bought them for the collection, just because they were so well known.

Microwave cooking was all the rage in the mid 1970s. However, as I remember my mother (and myself) trying to microwave something, I swear the food always turned a grayish color and looked awful.

Bicentennial Beef cover

Bicentennial Beef

The Bicentennial Beef Cookbook
The 100 Greatest Beef Dishes of America’s First 200 Years
Beef Industry Council
1975

I was in high school at the time of the never to be forgotten US Bicentennial. Just about every product made seemed to issue a special bicentennial version of whatever was produced. I imagine this cookbook was probably one of a thousand “special” cookbooks published in honor of the bicentennial. (I posted last year about a Bicentennial leftover from my own weeding project.)

As you can see from the totally appetizing pictures, you are really missing some serious culinary highlights in meat. Remember the subtitle is The 100 Greatest Beef Dishes of America’s first 200 years. I can imagine that great historical moment when George Washington begs Martha to make Blanketed Meat Loaf after that tough winter at Valley Forge.

Microwave Miracles cover

Microwave Miracles

Microwave Miracles from Sears
Sears, Roebuck and Company
1974

Submitter: The smell of this book makes me think someone tried some of those fish soup recipes back in 1974. Unless that is what the 70’s smelled like?

Holly: Oh good, fish in the microwave. Your coworkers will love you when you heat up your leftovers for lunch.

Microwave Cooking cover

Saucy Wieners

Microwave Cooking from Sears
Sears, Roebuck and Company
1971

Submitter: Come see the scary side of Sears… Not sure if that’s regular wear and tear on the cover, or food stains. Either Way – this one has now been liquidated from our collection.

Holly: I can tell you what I’m NOT having for dinner tonight: “Saucy Wieners.” Recipe is below if you’re into that sort of thing.

holiday menus

“Exciting” Holiday Menus

How to prepare Exciting Holiday Menus
Adams
1964

I am not sure “exciting” was the best word to describe the rather uninteresting recipes in this small cookbook. Roast turkey and traditional Thanksgiving sides are hardly breakthrough exciting dishes. My experience is that most people want the boring turkey for Thanksgiving. (Turkey bondage not withstanding.) In addition, the author gives the reader some narrative about her choices.

However my favorite recipe in this little book is the one for toast. You read that right. A recipe for toast. Okay, I guess the exciting part is that they aren’t using a toaster. (GASP!) They went wild and cut off the crusts and used the oven. Hell, they didn’t even use an interesting bread. They went right for the basic white.

I don’t know if I can hold back my excitement!

avocado cookbook cover

Avocado Trauma

The Avocado Cookbook
Bauer and Logerman
1967

I can’t decide if the pictures in black and white are a good thing or a bad thing. Especially after seeing the color photos. I am a big fan of avocados! I like them cut up plain and will add them to sandwiches, salads, etc. Take a look at these recipes. The guacamole recipe given sounds awful. I guess they were looking for a no texture type of “dip”. The other stuff is okay, but the photos make it look worse than it probably is. Also, when was guacamole pronounced with silent g?

I am also going to have to give a thumbs down to the Dipsy Doodle Dip. Step away from the mayo and cream cheese people!

jello cover

Jell-o Rides Again

Joys of Jell-o Gelatin
General Foods Corporation
1981

We haven’t posted a Jell-o book in ages. As a Midwesterner, I can appreciate the sophistication of Jell-o cuisine. My mom would put marshmallows and fruit cocktail in ours. (Our family lived on the edge.) This book kicks Jell-o to the next level with the multi-colored layers on the front cover. Pretty darn sexy, right?

hostess cookbook cover

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.