"Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived."
-Jean Luc Picard

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pictures from my old cookbook

My more observant readers may have noticed that there is a picture behind my blog title and description up top. The picture is from my Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book from 1950. While I was getting shots of the pages about mac and cheese and how to make a white sauce, I thought I would go ahead and take pictures of all the color pages in the book. As I was working my way through this book I came across a picture which really caught my attention.

Leafing through this cookbook is like seeing in all capital letters. The color pictures leap off of the page and attack your retinas with the fury of pack of wild dogs. You close your eyes and the image lingers. You cautiously open one eye and once again your vision is filled with COLOR! EYE BURNING, RETINA SEARING, COLOR!! Your stomach even lurches a bit as your modern eyes are unaccustomed to this kind of onslaught.

I call this one, "The meat that ate New York!". Click to enlarge if you are the masochistic sort .

1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book Color pages 009

Everybody okay? * Passes out cool cloths and water for those feeling faint* How about some pie? I just love good old fashioned homemade pie like Mr. Hairball's grandmother makes. It's so cozy, and soothing. Nothing like some warm pie on a cold day or at the end of a trying day. Pie is such a peaceful dessert.

1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book Color pages 011

That is until the 'cherry hatchet pie' showed up to wreck havoc everywhere. Would you feel safe leaving that pie in your kitchen? I wouldn't. I'd be snoozing away in bed and awaken to find the 'cherry hatchet pie' brandishing one of its little pastry hatchets in my face as I yell for Mr. Hairball to save me from the 'cherry hatchet pie'. Life is hard enough ya'll, I don't need any desserts with an attitude taking up residence in my kitchen. I think Nancy Reagan would agree with me. Just say no the the 'cherry hatchet pie' and don't be friends with those who hang out with the 'cherry hatchet pie'. You have been warned!!

Edited to add: I don't want to give anybody the wrong idea that I don't like this cookbook. I love this cookbook!! Many modern cookbooks are either written for a Semi-Ho audience or for an audience who doesn't need to take account of how much ingredients cost. I'm an average person, with an average household budget. The older cookbooks work well for me and my needs. I just find some of the pictures very amusing!!

Homemade mac & cheese and Lucy

I was really craving some baked macaroni and cheese. I usually make the kind where you don't make a cheese sauce and just layer in the cheese and pour a milk and egg mixture over the top and bake it. That is the version my late grandmother made for me growing up. Mama Hairball always made the boxed kind which is an entirely different animal!

I haven't been to the grocery store since the 25th. Because of that, I'm out of some things like eggs, so I couldn't make the non-cheese sauce version I normally make. I turned on my oven to preheat at 350F, got out my 1950 version of the Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book, and refreshed my memory as to how much butter, flour, milk, and cheese I would need to make the cheese sauce version.

Betty Crocker white sauce

Click on the picture to see a larger version. I made a double batch of themedium white sauce and your white sauce is all smooth, you add in your shredded cheese. Betty said said to add 1/4 tsp dry mustard and "1/2 cup nippy American cheese ( cut up or grated). Stir until cheese is melted." I added some cayenne pepper and then some grated Cheddar and stirred until it was smooth.Meanwhile, I sprayed a 9x13 baking pan with non-stick spray and boiled a pound of macaroni for six minutes. It's going to absorb some moisture from the cheese sauce or milk/egg mixture depending on whichever version you make, so I cook it a little less than I would if I were going to eat the macaroni right then.

Next, I turned to the page about mac and cheese and looked over those instructions. If you look at the large version of this you will see that I am not exactly following the directions since I made a cheese sauce and I am making a larger quantity than Betty does.

I poured about 1/3 of the cheese sauce in the bottom of pan and added about 1/3 of the macaroni and repeated until I had used up all the macaroni and cheese sauce. Then I got out some sharp Cheddar I had left(I used a mild Cheddar for the cheese sauce) and put that on the top.


Here it is ready for the oven. Bake it for 30 minutes at 350F.

While we wait for the Mac & Cheese to achieve hot, bubbly, cheesy, goodness, let's veg out with another of my favorite scenes from I Love Lucy:

If you are unfamiliar with this episode, here's some more information.

Okay, lets check on our mac and cheese. Mine looked a little pale so I turned the temperature to 400 and turned on the broiler to crisp up the top a bit. Here's a closeup of my finished product: