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  1. WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?

    Favorite Cookbooks

    I've been looking through some of my cookbooks the last week or so. Partly because I bought a 1968 Better Homes and Gardens cookbook at the library sale last week (only $1.50!), and partly because of the recipe discussions on the Jill Dillard and Jill Rod threads. I realize that more and more, people are getting recipes from websites and not from printed cookbooks, but I still love cookbooks. For someone who doesn't really cook from scratch very much, I own way too many cookbooks! (Seriously. I now have 5 of the big loose leaf, binder style cookbooks.) I do really enjoy reading cookbooks, sometimes with an eye to using a recipe, and sometimes just to read the recipes. My husband finds it odd that I like to read cookbooks, but he's mostly used to it by now. I suppose these are my top 3 favorite cookbooks: My cookbook Better Homes and Gardens (1989) Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook (reprint of 1950 edition) When I say "My cookbook ", I mean the blank recipe book I use instead of a 3'x5' card file like my mom used to use. I enjoy having all the recipes I liked from my childhood and all the new recipes I've discovered in one place. To show you what I value, I have more cookie recipes collected in there than any other category. Generally, I don't copy recipes from cookbooks that I use lots of recipes from, just recipes from other people, or from cookbooks that I've only ever tried one or two of the recipes. The binder part is pretty abused, but the pages are still fine. My Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (10th edition) was my first "real" cookbook when I moved out on my own. I got it as a Christmas gift 3 years after I moved. I still check it first if I want to look something up. I always disliked trying to find recipes in my mom's cookbooks because I could never remember which one had the "good" recipe. "Mom? Is this the one with the good banana bread?" "No, dear. You want the other cookbook." So I make pencilled in notes in mine. I rate the recipe, and note any changes or reminders. My most marked up recipe in this book is the shortbread cookie recipe. When I was a kid, my mom had 2 loose leaf, binder style cookbooks. The 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook, and a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook from the 50s. I'm the youngest of 4 kids, so I've never harbored any illusion that these cookbooks would be mine someday. (Mom still has them. My oldest sibling got grandma's.) When I found a replica 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook soon after I got married, I was all happy! Now I could have my own copy with the "good" banana bread recipe, plus some other family favorites, too. I haven't pencilled in as many notes in this one, but I'm working on it. Plus it has hilarious "homemaking tips" at the back. Sorry for the bad photography. So, does anyone else have a favorite cookbook or two? Or do y'all keep all your recipes digitally, or not need a recipe most times? (Oh, and if anyone wants to try the Orange Nut Coffee Cake recipe in my handwriting, don't use 2 tablespoons of grated orange peel and the juice of one orange. Just wash an orange, trim off any bad spots, then stick the whole thing in a blender. You get better juice and peel that way. And oleo just means margarine. Butter works, too.)
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