Meals for 1 or 2

Meals for One or Two
Meals for One or Two
Better Homes and Gardens

Submitter: I work at the highest circulating branch in a large southwest county library system and found this gem sitting on our high-traffic cooking display.  I don’t know what staff member thought this should go on a display rather than the weed bin.  How embarrassing, it even has water damaged pages.

Holly: Cookbooks age like anything else.  BH&G cranks out plenty of cookbooks every year.  If funds and space are tight, weed and replace with a few new titles every 5-10 years and you’ll be better off than keeping this around.

As an aside, what is the fascination with the word “tangy” in these old cookbooks?  What, exactly, is tangy? Is it spicy? Sour? Salty?

Scotch meat loaves


  1. I love old cookbooks. That’s one of the sections I always hit in used book stores.

    In old cookbooks I think “tangy” means “has taste”, as opposed to must food in most American cookbooks from the ’50s through the ’70s, because Mexican and Asian foods started spicing things up.

    I love the “Scotch Meatloaves”! It’s like a gloppy Scotch egg.

  2. Again, speaking as a non-librarian, is age that big an issue–I’ve got several cookbooks that go back to the 1970s and I use them all the time. Or is that Tangy Meatloaf is kind of a dated recipe (I’m a vegetarian, so for all I know it’s as outmoded as frozen fishsticks).

  3. Reading the caption for the Scotch Meat Loaves–I’m not sure “intriguing” is an adjective I’d really like to see applied to my food.

  4. I’ve always thought of tangy as a kind of citrus flavor with a hint of something that makes your tongue feel like you just ate a small amount of Pop Rocks.

    For those poor folks who don’t know what Pop Rocks are –

    This is one thing where I think the librarians should ask the clerks about. I think we see what type of cookbook circulates the most. For my library system I mostly see books on gluten free baking, cooking for diabetics, meals you can prepare the night before, and meals you can prepare for one or more people and freeze to eat at another time.

  5. We have this at home. Page 13 has a Chicken Tarragon recipe that we double for three or four. It is really good, but we don’t use any others. Mom and dad got this after they married in 1979. It is definitely out of place in the library system.

  6. If it’s full of goofy recipes like the Scotch eggs meatloaf I say weed it. I’d buy it in a book sale, I love those books.

  7. LOL – I have this cookbook! I don’t recall ever making anything from it, though.

  8. Love the idea of the book, though, there’s only me and my husband at home but I seem to only know how to cook for like 30 people at a time.

  9. I, too, got this cookbook as a wedding gift back in 1981. Recently sold it on eBay. Browsed through it occasionally, but never found anything I was willing to try. My mom had several from this series that we tried and failed to use. Something about the photography, I think, because I’d love to inherit her Pillsbury Bake-off cookbook from the same era with photos that tempt to this day.

  10. While the target demographic *is* a perennial favourite for cookbooks, so I believe this title (as opposed to just merely that particular copy) is easy to replace with a suitable alternative that is fad-free, with basic reliable recipes that are enjoyable. Particularly for inexperienced or less experienced cooks; historically known as bachelors. 🙂 I do admit that finding fad-free or timeless cookbooks that are still in print can be tricky at times.

    But even a clean copy of Joy of Cooking and/or the All New Purity Cook Book (2001, Whitecap Books) are classic standbys. And in my not so humble opinion, public libraries could do well to consider _Larousse Gastronomique_ (2009 is the latest ed.) and if they can afford it, _Modernist Cuisine_ by Myhrvold – all forty pounds of it, for cooking references.

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