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Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Old-Time Brand-Name Cookbook...Review

This cookbook is quite simply fun. I found it in a used bookstore several weeks ago. Sure, some of the recipes are interesting, but more than that, it's a terrific commentary about food and the evolution of cooking. Along with recipes, there are informative stories about the creation of food products like gelatin and the ability to flash freeze food, which was perfected by Clarence Birdseye.

The photos are vintage, as are the recipes. Some are appealing, such as "Orange Bread" and "Baked Pork Chops with Apples". "Beet Aspic" doesn't sound very good, but it was "up-to-date" in 1928!

I love the little excerpts and anecdotes sprinkled through out the book. They share things like this gem from 1895, To keep vegetables fresh, place them in a deep dish in about two inches of cold water. Take a piece of linen, soak it in water and spread over all, letting the corners dip into the water to keep the cloth moist. Place dish in a window where the the air can blow over it.

If you can track down a copy, this is just a fun book to read. That there are good recipes in it is simply a bonus.  You may be able to get a copy here.


  1. I have a copy of this, and like you I found it a fascinating read. It is amazing how much "normal" cooking has changed through the years.

  2. I hope I can find this one. I love books like that. Have you read any of the farmer wife books? Those recipes are interesting to read also.

  3. I adore old cook books :) I will try and find this one. Thanks for sharing.