I have a thing for vintage cookbooks. But I have a thing for books in general, so when I saw this set of 18 circa 1972 McCall’s Cookbook Collection at a yard sale this weekend, I almost passed. I’m supposed to be on a no-net gain of any books and I just got a new salad book for Mother’s Day. These didn’t look like they had ever really been used and part of the thing I love the most about vintage cookbooks is the notes the previous owners left behind. But then I started looking. From the “Show Off Cookbook”, I present:
It seems that even in 1972, women were still trying to trap a man by her cooking. I know it worked for me…(Well, it did. I only learned to cook because I told that cute boy I knew how and I then proceeded to learn just as quick as I possibly could.)
The Book of Merry Eating.
Look at those illustrations from the Cookie Cookbook. Very “Lonely Doll”. And the only one like that in the whole set.
The Show-off Cookbook. With instructions to cook your way into that Man’s heart right there on the front cover.
I love that the cover of the salad cookbook is a molded castle jello salad.
This is the one that sold me on the entire set. A pineapple fashioned of cheese & olives? An entire cookbook on finger foods? Oh yes please. Not to mention a whole section on hibachi treats. And dips that are ‘definitely different’.
The whole set came in the original plastic box and really, doesn’t take up that much room at all. Turns out I did have room for them in my cookbook cupboard without getting rid of any cookbooks!
They were published in a cross between a magazine and a paperback and are a complete treasure trove of ideas and recipes. A whole book on ‘Marvelous Meats’. Cookies, Desserts, a few party cookbooks, it’s going to take me weeks probably to sort through them all. Eighteen cookbooks….. it seems slightly excessive, but I had to have the set. Don’t you agree?
And bonus, in the back of the index book, I found a handwritten recipe for fruit cake. I know have at least 4 hand written fruit cake recipes from my vintage cookbooks. I think I might need to try one this year. After all, it was the one handwritten note in all 18 books…..