Good Housekeeping

  1. What you want people to think when they come over
  2. A magazine since May 2, 1885.

    Good Housekeeping 1908

    Good Housekeeping 1908

  3. A Seal of Approval since 1909.

    Original 1909 seal of approval

    Original 1909 seal of approval

  4. A cookbook – mine is the 1963 edition.
    1963 edition of Good Housekeeping Cook Book

    1963 edition of Good Housekeeping Cook Book

    This is what the dust jacket looks like - I lost mine so long ago, I don't remember, but there's more then one image of this on the vintage cookbook e-bay place....

    This is what the dust jacket looks like – I lost mine so long ago, I don’t remember, but there’s more then one image of this on the vintage cookbook e-bay place….


But this is not just ANY cookbook….it is my FIRST cookbook.

Christmas, 1971.

This was a gift from my Aunt Eileen. She was my Grampy’s sister, so properly my great- aunt, although she might have better approved of the title ‘Grand-Aunt’.  She gave me books by the shopping bag full, to read what I was ready for, and to have something left for later.

Fill with books and call it Christmas - I learned to wrap from Auntie Eileen....

Fill with books and call it Christmas – I learned to wrap from Aunt Eileen….

She said cook books were great to read.

Every recipe is a story. And they don’t all have happy endings

Truer words were never spoken. Just because it’s written as recipe doesn’t mean it’s any good. Or that you’ll like it, no matter how precise your measurement or how gourmet your ingredients.

The foreword is by Willie Mae Rogers and in many ways shaped how I approach food and cooking and the whole foodways spectrum.

“A cookbook can be many things – depending on its author and its purpose. The only one element all are sure to possess is recipes.

This cookbook almost defies classification. It is so many things. It is years of Good Housekeeping’s knowledge of and respect for food – its preparation, its serving, its role in family life.

It is a loving compilation of favorite recipes from our famous cookbook series, a complete chapter of our teenage Susan’s cherished step by step directions for fabulous dishes, more quick-and-easy recipes than ever before. It is what to do to make those ever-present leftovers seem new and exciting. It is how to cook for that magic number – two. It is cooking with utmost confidence because the recipes have been tested and proved beyond any question.

It is the tremendous contribution of the food industry to our country – and the zealous care and protection of our government agencies.

Overwhelmingly, it is American women. It is the grandmother who writes from a small town in Montana to say: “My grandchildren’s birthday cakes have made me famous. I owe it all to Good Housekeeping.

It is the young bride who valiantly copes with the complexities of a new marriage, an outside job, no knowledge of cooking, and who says to us: Dear Good Housekeeping, what would I ever do without you?”

It is the “older” woman who says: “Now that my children are grown, now that our budget is bigger, I can truly enjoy and use all those wonderful ideas for gourmet dishes. Thank you for your food pages.”

It is the young high school or college graduate who writes to us: Dear Good Housekeeping, I’m being married in June. My mother says you taught her to cook. Please, will you teach me too?”

It is a Foods and Cookery staff that almost defies belief in its dedication and devotion, its enthusiasm and creativity.

But perhaps more than anything else, this cookbook is the spirit – the caring – the untiring giving of a magnificent food editor and a great and gracious lady, Dorothy B. Marsh.

It comes to you with the gratitude and best wishes of all of us at Good Housekeeping.”

The Chapter titles (The Story of Meat; The Best of Susan; Dreamy Desserts, The Macaroni Family….) and then sections like ‘Menu Planning Can Be Fun’ and so many of the sample menus……

There’s been some recent interest with vintage (I admit I’m having a hard time referring to my childhood as vintage) recipes which shouldn’t come back.

May I submit for your consideration :

Roast-Beef Hearty Party Salad

illustration from p. 311 ; recipe on p. 459


I have never been the least bit tempted to reconstruct this particular tableau

For 4 serving – 3 # of sirloin ….and then there’s the LIMA BEANS.

Lima beans turn up ALL OVER in this cookbook.

I come from baked bean people and pasta and beans (pasta fazoole) people, but not from lima bean people.  So much of this cookbook was like a visit from another planet when I was reading – and re-reading it – back in the day.

What’s missing from this book, besides the dust jacket, is smudges and smears and other evidence that I’ve ever cooked from it. I might very well have saved most of my cooking for other books, and newspaper clippings and  pages from magazines, and maintained this as my how to cook reference manual.

And I continue to view cookbooks as short story collections.

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Filed under Books, Influencers, The 1970's

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