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Saturday, June 30, 2012

More BS, more Betty, and more attempts at inadequacy.

Here's another example of my nemesis Betty Crocker's attempt at making the homemaker of the 1950s feel like a failure. After reading these books, what woman who is trying to keep her family fed and clothed and not doing everything by the book can feel like they are giving their all? I look at these books and I'm thinking there's no way in Hayylll I would have survived as a 1950's housewife. I provide the essentials for my family but in all the years I have done so, my best piece of advice would be DON'T BUY BOOKS ABOUT IT! Seriously. Just go with the flow. If it feels right, chances are it is right. You don't need cookbooks or family books. It either comes naturally or it doesn't but in the end, it all amounts to firsthand experience.

For the record and this has not been brought up, all of the pictures that are listed come from yours truly. I buy the books from ebay, thrift stores, used book stores. I look through them and put a sticky tab on what I want to scan and then I scan them. I straighten and crop, rinse and repeat. 

As you can see, I am going to be a busy woman. I've only just begun!

 Without any further delay, I'm going to do what I do best. 
Betty Crocker's Good and Easy Cookbook, 1954.
Shout out to whomever had the initials "K.R.L." who was either gifted or bought this book on September 6, 1975. I had just hit my first birthday. I love, love, love finding things like this!
Oooh, a handwritten note from the Betster. Who cares that Betty Crocker was not just one individual. She cared enough to write a note. It's not typewritten. It's fer realz. But this woman of the 21st century does not think these thoughts three times a day. I figure that out in the morning over cold cereal or a Pop Tart.
What a fine breakfast feast! Cereal with various fruits, what looks like gruel with a blood clot on top of it. Orange juice served all fancy in a glass, fake fruit in the background and probably fake grapes. Come and git it!
Okay, okay. Maybe Mother doesn't really want to make something easy on her every single day of the year. Maybe Mother doesn't care if the breakfast is a happy treat or just another turd in the butt. Mother will point to the cereal, tell the family where they can find their bowls, spoons, and milk. Mother doesn't really care. I like Mother.
What PRETTY breakfasts! If I am a guest who is about to consume this eye catching delight, I would personally ask the hostess to perhaps cook my eggs. Not asking for much. Just not salmonella. Shirred eggs were the first thing I learned to make in Cooking Class when I was a junior in high school. Not exactly rocket science, no matter the little pan.
I'm not going to make an affront to my clumsy children or husband. I am going to say that if I am "sick-a-bed", the last thing I really want to think about is whether they are going to make it up the stairs without tripping and breaking my fine china. Also, if I am "sick-a-bed" chances are I would really just want a popsicle, tylenol, and the remote control in reach. Thanks for trying though. The effort will not go unnoticed!
Times are a-changing Betty. We know the sodium content of canned soup. It's not that hard to take a few cartons of low sodium broth, vegetables, noodles, and maybe a rotisserie chicken and make a good soup. It doesn't take hours. Maybe an hour at the most. Sometimes the easy route is not the best route.
Canned hamburger. Yum. I have never heard of it and I'm glad. I've bought it in chubs many times. Never canned. It looks like Pink Slime was the way to go in the 1950s too. Buy the scrapings of the hooves! It's juicier! Since I have the cookbook sitting next to me, water or milk flavor extender on page 124 is MSG. So this fine juicy hamburger recipe calls for 1/2 cup MSG. I feel a migraine coming on as I type this. 1/2 cup MSG. Not a sprinkle or a dash. 1/2 cup.
This is a shopping list I found in the book. I hope K.R.L. was able to find everything she needed.
This just looks boring. Sigh. Plain white bread. White stuff with green pepper rings and something else with obligatory overtly green olives. It makes me want to slip into a food coma before I even taste it. Not saying I would because if the soup was truly hot, then that island of chived sour cream would have melted pretty fast.
It is admirable to catch, cook, and eat one's own food. There's a bit of overcrowding here. Those suckers aren't going to brown unless one is removed. Just saying. I know Betty Crocker has published thousands of books over the years. How many have I published about cooking? ZERO.
We don't need no stinkin' grill. We got ourselves a "whilbarrow". We're going to put a rack on it and heat some coals and greeill us some steaks. Don't you pay no attention to that steak on the table. I ent moving the others. What do you mean there's no fire? Of course there is a fire--oh maybe not. Okay "whilbarrow" grill is not a good idea. How convincing to put a few cooked steaks and a raw one on there. Clever, Betty. Very Clever. Let the readers BELIEVE what they see. Who cares about lead poisoning anyway? The fat on those steaks will get you first.
Alright, time to save a few lives here. There are so many bad things being suggested on this page that my head is about to do an Exorcist spin. First off, not a good idea to let sauce sit out overnight. Hello bacteria catcher and who knows what bugs are going to get in it. Unless you are providing food for ants or roaches, have at it and let that sauce fester. Let's get into the food tips shall we? Meat and poultry should be put on the grill upon removal from the refrigerator. If it's cooked right and not sitting out for hours with the overnight settled sauce, then it can be flavorful and have that moist tenderness Betty is touting. Fire tips: Since most men like to grill, what defines "plenty of fuel"? Eyebrow singing? If the meat doesn't taste like lighter fluid then it's not enough? I'm not being sexist, but how many women do you see douse several bottles of lighter fluid on the coals? We dainty ladies like our propane grills. Start the coals an hour ahead? HUH? Betty Crocker, you give BAD advice! But because the name Betty Crocker says it's right, then it must be!
What makes a sponge cake expensive? If I wanted to make this and needed Softasilk Cake Flour, will HEB have it? Will the recipe be null and void without this particular brand? What if I get the expensive kind? If I do it the "expensive" way do I save a whole dollar?
As one of the world's biggest mayophobe, I am going to agree to disagree on mayo being the best choice for anything. Even head lice. I'd sooner pick the nits out of my kids' hair then slob their tresses with a jar of mayonnaise.

Does unusual mean good or does it mean bad? It's hard to tell with these pictures.
Grab your skin suit and some lipstick. We have tuckaway meat loaf. Throw in some Silence of the Lambs and enjoy those barbecued beefies!
Mmmmm cake..Not complaining too much here, but before adding the swirls with light, sweeping strokes, maybe a glob of frosting between the top two layers? Okay, go back to swirling with light, sweeping, strokes.
Taco Bell can suck it! The first Taco Bell franchise was opened in 1964, ten years after this book was published. That's right. Taco Bell did not come up with the Fourth Meal after all.
I accept happily the fact I will never be able to compete with the homemakers of 60 years ago. However, they taught our parents who taught us who will try to teach our children. I can only imagine what they will say about the food they eat now.

Until next time!!

1 comment:

  1. Have a little mercy- your writing is spot-on and so damn funny, I can't stop laughing long enough to move on to the next post! I really, REALLY enjoy your blog! You've got the best way with writing these little commentaries.