Early Influencer

Early Influencers in my culinary biography were the food itself and the people who made or brought or served the food.

Events (Christmas! Birthdays! The Fourth of July!!) shaped/warped/twisted/ influenced me, and even at an early age, books.

Then there was

Betty Crocker.

Betty in 1955

Betty in 1955

Betty from the 60's and early 70's - the Betty I remember best

Betty from the 60’s and early 70’s – the Betty I remember best

This is Betty now - looking good!

This is Betty now – looking good, girlfriend!

In spite of all the Betty food in boxes …the cake mixes, oh, the cake mixes……what I remember her best for is this:

This was the cookbook my mother had....

This was the cookbook my mother had….

and in it was a drawing of a Candlestick Salad

This is very similar to the illustration, but I'm not sure if it's THE one

This is very similar to the illustration, but I’m not sure if it’s THE one – I’m working from internet images and my mother still has her cookbooks. I think they’re in a box  somewhere.

I wanted to make this. I wanted to make this even though I do not like bananas, not one little bit and I did not like them then either. I might have liked bananas even less when I was little. I didn’t even like touching bananas. Or banana smell….still.

Candlestick Salad

Candlestick Salad

Spare me the analysis. Sometimes a banana is just a banana.

There was also something with canned whole pears…..

Bunny Salad

Bunny Salad

I must have been studied these before I knew how to read…although I have eaten many a rabbit, my three year old self might have objected to Bunny Salad that looked so much like…a bunny. And a blue bunny, at that.

Blue Bunny Ice Cream logo

Blue Bunny Ice Cream logo – Betty Crocker  inspiration piece? Turns out Blue Bunny ice cream is older then Betty Crocker.

So Betty’s not a real person (although she was played by an actress for TV for a while) and her name is all over boxes in the grocery store, but she’s not the actual food, she the mixes.

She is a cookbook – several cookbooks, and a constant presence in my childhood. She’s even in my kitchen now, in the form of a red dough scraper with that signature ….signature.

BettyCrockerLogoModal

Sweet talker.

The only recipe that I remember my mother using from this cookbook (henceforth BC/CB) was for the sugar cookies, a recipe I’ll be copying out on my next visit to the ancestral home.

The other thing or two I learned from the BC/CB, when  I was older then three and really knew how to read, was that the Betty World had a very different way of eating then the Wall family.

BettyWorld had cake or pie for dessert EVERY night.

WallyWorld had  – a fruit bowl. With Fresh Fruit. NO canned pears, fresh pears.Fresh apples. Fresh oranges. But no bananas.

Bananas were breakfast food.

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