oriental

Not so fabulous

Fabulous Oriental Recipes
Blinn
1989

This very cheap book is not really library-worthy. It would fall apart within about 10 uses. That said, the fact that it is still decent shape already tells me that it really wasn’t a good choice in 1989. The term oriental is not a appropriate, and in many contexts, offensive.The recipes also look like they have been “Americanized”. I doubt by just tossing in chow mein noodles or soy sauce makes a dish an authentically Asian.

holiday season cookbook

Holiday Recipes of the Doomed

Holiday Season Cookbook
Favorite Recipes Press
1981

As we start head into the holiday season, you will obviously need to step up your cooking game. This book is here to lead the way. This book contains all those lovely recipes from your favorite Home Ec teachers from high school. From what I can remember, I am not sure I would trust my home ec teacher to have something to contribute. After reading these recipes, I think we can assume that most of the home ec teachers aren’t necessarily going to win any cooking prizes.

holiday cookbook front cover

Holiday Party Menus

Better Homes and Gardens
Holiday Cook Book
1967

Just in time for your holiday cooking! All your special occasion dinners are here. Aside from the standard Thanksgiving and Christmas choices, we have those special foods for simple gatherings, like fancy sandwiches for the entire group. Again, the same loaf, cake-like sandwiches that have appeared on this site more than once or twice. God forbid you make a mistake and think you are biting into a loaf cake.

But wait, there’s more! Try a fruitcake for your next Christmas dinner. My late father was convinced there were only a handful of actual fruitcakes out there. Since no one likes it, it just gets re-gifted into eternity. I don’t think I have even seen a fruitcake since the early 1980s. I remember trying it as a kid because, cake, but nearly choking on the awful taste.

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.

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.

athlete's cookbook cover

Dull Food for the Athlete

The Athlete’s Cookbook
Easy Recipes and Nutritional Guidelines for Active People
Peterson and Martinsen
1980

This is one of the most boring cookbooks out there. The recipes include such delights as: garden salad (it has an avocado!), two different recipes for tuna casserole (one recipe uses curry powder and the other has black olives), meat loaf, peanut butter sandwich, and wheat germ pancakes. I actually want to meet the person that needs a recipe for a peanut butter sandwich.