A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Welcome to our new series highlighting cookbooks in the Thomas Ford Memorial Library collection. Each week we will review a cookbook that offers helpful hints or great ideas. Some of the cookbooks may simplify your meal planning and preparation, while others might challenge you to expand your offerings and impress your guests. We promise a variety of cuisines and hope you find the series helpful and entertaining.
Who is Betty Crocker?
Betty Crocker is a very old lady! She has been sharing her knowledge of cooking and home economics with the public through newspaper columns, radio programs, television spots, and over 150 cookbooks since 1921. Remarkably, she looks younger than ever. See the photo below. This book was published in 1998, but it draws from her classic 1951 title Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook.
What kind of cookbook is Betty Crocker’s Cooking Basics?
Basic. Betty Crocker’s Cooking Basics helps users cook something new and “…to learn to cook with more fun and confidence.”
Is this cookbook easy to use?
Yes. Ease has always been the idea behind the Betty Crocker name.
Can you easily buy the ingredients for the recipes?
What is special about this cookbook?
Good photos, spiral binding, and simple, clear instructions for novice cooks.
What are your favorite recipes from this cookbook?
I like this book mostly for the information it provides in addition to the recipes, such as the measuring guide and the how-tos for everything from cooking an omelet to wrapping garlic for roasting.
According to The Encyclopedia of Food and Culture (2003), Betty Crocker was a character created by the advertising department of the Washburn Crosby Milling Company before it became part of General Mills.
As promised, here are images of Betty Crocker through the 20th century. The first official image dates from 1936. Readers wanting to know more should read Finding Betty Crocker : The Secret Life Of America’s First Lady Of Food by Susan Marks.
Review by Christine