Although I have a few newer titles (like the FAB French Laundry Cookbook!) most of my collection dates to the early 1970s and older. I love going back in time by looking at what people were eating!
This one from the 1920s has fabulous frozen desserts and frozen fruit juice and ginger ale concoctions they call Smashes (oooh, add a little vodka and call it a Smashed!)- but those mayo and veggies entombed in gelatin recipes - bleck!
This one from 1944 reflects the hardships of those war days. It features a section on how to feed a family of 5 for a week on $15! Not quite as bad as it sounds as that would be about $175.14 today or $5.01 per day for each person. That's tight, but with no eating out and no prepared foods (and lots of dried beans - maybe nothing but beans and rice) definitely do-able, but not much fun! And don't forget to sit downwind of anyone you're trying to impress....
So what do you do when your brew is now illegal? Milwaukee's Pabst made it through the dark days of prohibition making cheese, naturally! They also sold tonics, malt syrup and some sort of near-beer that was watered down enough to prevent any sort of buzz, flavour or possible enjoyment of that PBR! With Milwaukee Wisconsin's prominent place in the history of US beer-making, it should come as no surprise that the 21st amendment to repeal the 18th, was introduced in congress by a Wisconsinite, Senator John Blaine.
Other cookbooks, like this 1935 GENERAL FOODS All About Home Baking cook book I love for the images of old kitchen dishware and cooking products. Love that dotty looking pot holder by the muffins above! OOH, can you NAME that dishware below? I love the reticulated edge on the plates - looks like some sort of milkglass....Not sure just whose hobnail glasses those are - so many possibilities!
A little Prune Dressing for your Smothered Squirrel? What, no second helpings?! I wonder if anyone ever served up a squirrel in one of those jello/mayo creations? Bet that'd be a sight to see - double Bleck!