January 14, 2010

The Vintage "Mother of all Cookbooks"

This past month, my husbands family home was sold and with that came much cleaning out of stuff that had been there for years and years. Just before Christmas he came home with a cookbook which I am calling the "Mother of all Cookbooks". I am just getting around to looking through it. It is a behemoth of a cookbook with over 1500 pages. The title of the book is Mary Margaret McBride Encyclopedia of Cooking. The copyright on the book is 1959 and my husband believes it may have been a wedding present, as that was the year his parents married.

This past spring I started collecting vintage cooking pamphlets and cookbooks from the 1940's, 50's and 60's. Had I known such a wonder as this existed I may not have been so inclined to keep purchasing more. This has EVERYTHING in it for a 1950's homemaker. From how to tackle a recipe and measure correctly, to choosing wine and how to breastfeed a baby. It has a diet menu for relief of "ordinary constipation" as well as how to un-mold the ubiquitous gelatin mold. There is even a section on how to build an outdoor barbecue.

Imagine if Julie Powell of "Julia and Julie" fame decided to tackle this cookbook. It would be years before she finished. I think it would take me years just to count how many recipes are in it.

Each page of this enormous book is filled with black and white photographs as well as wonderful vintage graphics. Oh I am more than in love with this cookbook. I could yell from the top of a mountain about the wonders of it. I keep flipping through the pages as I am writing this and am finding more and more gems. I just love this little snowman image.

So what shall I do with this new found love that has crossed my path? Published in the year I was born I feel as though some kizmet has brought us together. Well, one thing I know for sure is this is not the last you will see or read about this cookbook. It is enough to make me change the name of my blog, but sassy lassie is just too perfect for who I am and what this is about.

Tonight I am going to search out a recipe and make it for dinner. Scott is not feeling so great, so I may look under the heading of "comfort food". Not sure if there IS one, but I would not put it past this book. There is probably a whole section on soft, porridge like food for when you are feeling down. Stay tuned and see what comes of this nights search.

Adios for now.

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