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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Who can forget the recipe cards?

I remember so vividly the burnt orange plastic box that sat atop our brown refrigerator. It was a Betty Crocker (groan) 1971 recipe card collection! I sifted through those things, grossed myself out, and do not remember them ever being used for anything but my own amusement. Apparently they were the gift that kept on giving for 1970s housewives. I just remembered how much I loved going through them, mixing them up, and reorganizing them. Don't judge.

Recently, I stumbled upon a complete set on ebay. Wanting to reminisce, I bought them. I didn't get the burnt orange box, but a mustard yellow one. One daughter was grossed out, the other told me to stop showing her nasty food pictures, and my son didn't like the clown foods or creepy cakes. I hope I didn't scare them into blogging about food one day. 

I couldn't be satisfied. No, of course not. I'm sensing there was a recipe card war going on and found the McCall's 1973 Great American Recipe Card Collection on ebay. Of course I bought it! 

Not surprising, the recipes are similar. I had hundreds and I narrowed it down to these. I tried not to scan the more popular ones. If you google "1970s Betty Crocker recipe cards", there are about 20 that show up the most. I'll knock those out first. 

Who wouldn't run the other way if these quivering masses were put in front of them? Beneath the white blob of sour cream lurks a confused mess of cucumbers and celery. Both wonder why they are immersed in lime jello.
When I used to go through my mother's cards this was the one that disgusted me the most. I just wasn't paying attention. Hindsight is 20/20. Would I cook this? Not a chance in Hades.
Looks like we have a little hoedown throw down going on between Betty and McCall. Betty wanted to be P.C. and not use the word Prune. McCall used a festive goblet and a dollop of whipped cream. Betty makes this look like what excessive prune consumption can cause.
The medley here is something somber, depressing, and full of self loathing that you got to the point you were using Betty Crocker's recipe cards for lighter fare. Maybe in the skinny days you used to scoff at the calorie counter section. Surely it could not happen to you. Surely. 
I can't be the only one who sees the words "tuck away beef loaf" and imagine the famous scene in Silence of the Lambs. Going back to genius Betty Crocker. Just because a child can make this recipe, doesn't mean they will. Meatloaf? Boiled eggs? PEAS? Good luck with that.
We have a four way going on of creamy crap canned soup and fake seafood for the "ladies" because that's what the ladies want. McCall and Betty missed the point here.
Stroganoff four ways! None of which looks appetizing at all. Is that a slug crawling over the peach on the Hamburger Stroganoff? Creepy.
Yeah Betty. That's exactly what happened in the 1990s. Gay people were served ice cream sundaes at children's parties. And in 2012, we who have survived the 1990s, do not call it the "Gay Nineties". In fact, the majority of us are don't really care. Love is love, you judgemental archaic dinosaur!
This grilled turd meal is certain to be a memorable summer meal. Where's the trout?
Stretching that budget! Canned salmon, canned tuna, catsup (not ketchup). McDonald's has a dollar menu. Don't say you won't feed your kids that crap. What do you think the above loaf is? Gourmet fare? Oh, I get it, you are better than me because you are opening cans from scratch and adding a few spices to make a loaf. A savory one at that! 
Meatloaf, smeatloaf, double beat loaf, I hate meatloaf (A Christmas Story). These show me four gross ways to prepare it. Even the ham and cheese loaf with catsup (not ketchup) smeared on it is forbidden food. Betty and McCall, you both FAIL.
This is certainly green. Perhaps hearty. Perhaps soup. Perhaps edible but I'm not taking my chances. It looks like the vomit of someone with gall bladder issues. Nobody wants to eat bile green soup!
A gazpacho salad mold. Great. We know gazpacho is a cold soup. Why it needs to be put in a mold of shame I don't know. Were the avocados what gave it the pacific coast flair?
Molded Shrimp Salad. I feel 10 pounds lighter just reading the recipe. Gelatin, yogurt, mayonnaise, shrimp and spice. I'd eat the lettuce but that shrimp mold has probably been sweating all over it.
Yes this is exactly what I would waste my time for in preparing something for my husband. Lettuce an sliced tomatoes. Maybe some vinegar. Forget that! If he wants that, he can make it! I think it looks easy enough.
If I had my omelet made to order, I would be a simpleton and not request red caviar and an entire carton of sour cream. There's an easy route somewhere.
There is nothing disgusting or weird about these recipe cards except for there are weird toys watching over everything. I can't blame Betty for this one. The onus is on McCall. I need to move on to something else because they are staring at me.
AHHHHH!! Betty, what is WRONG with you? No child is going to fall victim of whatever you put in the Candy Dandies. Kids do not like clowns. Kids do not feel it is normal to have to reach into the statue of Captain Scary just to get a cookie. You failed, Betty.
It appears Betty and McCall are trying to see which can prepare the creepiest cupcakes. What is the award in this? What is the point? For the record, Betty wins with scary and McCall wins for not putting a glob of shortening on the cupcake with claims it is ice cream.
Chicken breasts baked in a sauce of sour cream and mayonnaise. I'm very sure that I have zero desire to eat this.
Believe it or not, I grew up believing this was how guacamole was made and refused to try it. One day I looked at the ingredient list on a packet of guacamole, tried it and liked it. I always thought it looked like baby poop and had sour cream in it. I was wrong. Just about the sour cream.
I think they are trying too hard for bright and colorful. I've never seen such bright pimento stuffed olives. If you are going to doctor a picture of food, it's good to keep the food in the same hue.
All must be right in Betty's world because the flag is not upside down. I do admire the Old Style in the background. That as the beer of choice in Indiana. Yawn, another vessel for a green pepper.
Oooh Lala, we have the French Touch, the eggs in gelee. All great, but Oeuf is the french word for Egg. Would that have confused the person who was making it? Hardboiled eggs surrounded by gelatin and a little decoration, then a bunch of cubed gelatin in the middle. It just doesn't sound good. It rightly gives the french something to make fun of us about. Thanks McCall.

Tomato Aspic. Oh yum. Which one to choose from? The tomato aspic from McCall is just tomato and has olives and cucumbers. The tomato aspic from Betty is Tangy and has something in the middle. None of the above will be just fine. Tomato flavored jello is not beckoning to my taste buds.
Tongue in Aspic. Did I look at that right? Just because the word is "Memorable" does not mean it's a good memory. Eating tongue in aspic might not be a good memory.
It always starts out normal. Lemon jello. Okay. Lime jello. Okay. Molded into a salad. Sure. Add some strawberries and cantaloupe? Creative. 2 cups of creamed cottage cheese as opposed to curdled chunks of whiteness? Dealbreaker.
The sad thing is this glazed ham loaf in ring looks normal. It's not. There's plenty of catsup (not ketchup) and other things that make you go gag. That parsley looks tempting and copious. My guinea pigs would be happy to snap into it. 
 I hope that was exciting enough to pique your interest for more. There are thousands of cards so this is not going to be the first and last entry about recipe cards. 

If for whatever reason anyone who reads this wants these recipes, just leave a comment. I'll be more than happy to oblige.

Until next time!!! 


  1. I hope that whoever first decided to put vegetables in lime jello got the help they so desperately needed.

    Would it be possible to post the recipe for the molded shrimp salad? I made one of these years ago and I have a hankering to do it again but I can't find the recipe. This one seems like it might be quite nice.

  2. I have been trying to find one of the cookie recipes from the McCall's set. It was an almond cookie, maybe shortbread? Just remember the almond part and they were delicious. My mom threw her set away and I would love to have that recipe again.Thanks!

  3. any chance you still have this box and could post the sweet lemon spareribs with grilled bananas? I finally figured out this is the 'long lost' favorite that I have been hunting for.

  4. Okay, see that cookbook with the yellow fondue pot? I have that exact same cookbook AND that exact same fondue pot! I bought the fondue pot at an Estate Sale because it was so funky and retro looking, then I saw the cookbook at Goodwill and had to buy it because of the picture. I get that you're making fun of all this, but I find it nostalgic because I grew up in those days.