BETTY CROCKER PICTURE CKBK
Amazon.com ReviewFirst published in 1950, Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book is now reprinted in all its old-fashioned glory. Betty immerses you in a time when women were homemakers, cakes had at least two layers, and salad was iceberg lettuce. You may hesitate to recreate what your mother or grandmother probably cooked--if so, consider that back then we ate simply, in the days before the word foodie was invented. Many of the recipes suit today's harried lifestyle, as you see in Six Layer Dinner, combining eight cups of vegetables with a pound of ground meat, and Dainty Tea Brownies topped with colorful chopped pistachios.
Hundreds of black-and-white photos, animated drawings, and quaint color spreads of prepared dishes aid you in using the recipes. Beginners learn how to measure ingredients, choose the best economical cuts of meat, and cut up round and sheet cakes for serving. There is even a section on how to set the table. This loose-leaf book contains enough recipes to fill a 12-page, double-column index. Best of all, perhaps, is the "Shortcut" section, where useful tips include cleaning a grater of cheese residue by rubbing it with a piece of stale bread. These are interspersed with 15 ways to recuperate from overwork. One suggestion is to lie down on the kitchen floor on your back and relax for three to five minutes. Still a good idea, though few people have a kitchen large enough to try this. --Dana Jacobi