Thursday, March 3, 2011

Better Homes and Gardens Cookbooks

So what's your favorite cookbook?

The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook was the cookbook my mom reached for for all her cooking needs while I was growing up. She got it when she got married in 1965.

When I got married in 1986, she gave me my own copy as a gift.

The red-checked cookbook taught an 18-year-old bride how to hard boil eggs, where different cuts of beef are located on the butchered steer, substitutions for common ingredients, measurement equivalents, and how to make my favorite homemade waffles.
The first edition was published in 1930, so the cookbook celebrated 80 years last year in 2010. I celebrated by buying the new edition. (As well as a couple of extra copies to use as wedding gifts this year.)

My 25th wedding anniversary is in June and I thought it would be fun to have one of the cookbooks from the year I was married and new one to commemorate 25 years in the kitchen. I also love the link to my neck of the woods in central Iowa--Des Moines is the headquarters for Meredith Corporation, which is the publisher for this cookbook.

Since getting interested in the history of the cookbook, I made sure my mom knew that I would want her copy someday. I was excited to have recently found my grandmother's copy, which has a gold cover commemorating the sale of 10,000,000 cookbooks.

To be honest, the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook is probably not my very favorite cookbook, but it is an essential in my kitchen. My favorites are church cookbooks, with everyone's best recipes.
I would hate to be without this favorite, as well:
Pioneer Woman Cooks book signing
Mall of America, MN
Nov. 2009


  1. I started with Betty. I read it like a book every day at lunch. You know my favorite(s) are Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa. (still can't pick a favorite, though)

  2. I am in complete agreement with you, I love church cookbooks but I love me some PW!!!

  3. Scary to say that early on my favorite cookbook was "You've Never Cooked Before Cookbook" with things like how to hardboil eggs... Not being a great cook, it was nice to have a reference like that in case I couldn't (or was too embarrassed) to call someone to ask. :)

  4. Where do I find the copyright date in a vintage Better Homes and Gardens New Cook book