My Love of Old Cookbooks – I Can’t Look Away

I love old cookbooks. Partially because I really enjoy trying new recipes, and looking through recipes made “the old way” calling for a #2 can of peaches, or lard, or what have you. And part of it is the horror. Because some of these recipes, and some of these pictures, are kind of scary. Or at the least, very kitschy.

For example:

That’s right, that chicken is essentially sculpted out of egg salad. No word on what to do if your sculpting skills aren’t up to snuff.

Sometimes the recipes don’t have pictures, but they can be just as frightening.

I guess these recipes are similar to meatloaf which uses oatmeal as the binder, but these are a little scary. Especially the 2nd one.

I don’t know, I like my pizza burgers with only about a half a can of Spam. And I can’t even imagine how you would grate the Spam.


Growing up, we at a fair amount of Jello because my dad liked it and would eat it. Mainly jello with fruit. At our house, you do not put jello with crazy stuff like carrots or celery. Or, god forbid, sour cream or mayonnaise. However, olives were not even a possibility that I had considered.

OK, this doesn’t include vegetables, but (see 3rd sentence of instructions) BUTTER MINTS with sugary/sweet marshmallows and cool whip? Oy.

Again, the fruit, not so weird, although dates or prunes would be unusual, and I don’t care for nuts in my Jello, but I REALLY don’t care for Grape Nuts in my Jello.

Spaghetti and pineapple do not belong in the same recipe together. Ever. I like pasta salad, and I like fruit salad, but….you get my drift.

I’m not sure what this is but the picture fits in well with the other recipes. If you weren’t feeling a little queasy before, perhaps you are now.

I am sure that many of these are beloved family recipes, and that many people would be horror-struck by some of our recipes (Snickers/Apple SALAD, please?), so please don’t take this a being mean spirited, just a raising of the eyebrows at some unusual tastes. And looking through those old cookbooks gives me quite a bit of enjoyment. Hmmm, I haven’t spent any time doing that lately, I may need to dig into the cookbook stash. I could do a post on just my Jello cookbooks ALONE…..

4 thoughts on “My Love of Old Cookbooks – I Can’t Look Away

  1. hmmmm… I should ask my son-in-law whether or not you can actually grate Spam… Being a Pacific Islander, he LOVES Spam! YUCK!!!

    Those photos don’t help make the food any appetizing! : )

  2. I have a really good egg roll recipe that calls for spam. YUMMY! But we dice it. Can’t imagine grating it.

    I love the church cookbooks, though I don’t think my collection is as varied as yours. I do use mine though for yummy recipes like Chicken a la Can Can and Meatza Pie.

  3. Spam? In ANYTHING is an abomination! Even by itself …. Your Uncle Norm loves Jello, too. With fruit is best, but plain works. These recipes are NOT antique, however! I have recipe books that I bought brand new when we were first married and many of the recipes look similar (and so do the pictures).

  4. Tip on grating spam. Freeze the spam meat (out of the can) for about 30 minutes. this will allow you to grate it. Happy cooking.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s