15 Ridiculous Highlights From Betty Crocker's '50s Cookbook for Kids
Author: The team of scientists and ad-men who combined themselves, among with an impossible feminine ideal, to become, Voltron-like, Betty Crocker.
Publisher: Golden Press, New York
Discovered at: Half Price Books, Berkeley
The Cover Promises: It's fun to beat a whole stick of butter into goop.
Propriety dictates that we should clear up the whole crack-in-his-nut-bread thing right up front. Back in '57, adults were free to approach children and comment about cracks and nut bread and the necessity of having one in the other. Even fictitious adults like Betty Crocker got into the act!
But here's the bread she was talking about, which of course could never seem dirty at all:
That's how it goes in Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls, certainly the most beloved book ever to turn up in the Crap Archives. Junior pokes at his loaf, while sister toils over the dirty dishes.
Still, the illustrations are charming, the recipes cute, and the book a source of great nostalgia for a generation or so of Americans. The entire text of it is available on Archive.org, and Simon & Schuster printed a facsimile edition of the original back in 2003, right down to the racist oatmeal:
Did kids in the '50s truly relish the myth of the happy slave -- for breakfast?
Other things you can eat -- but might not want to -- include Molasses Crinkles, Whiz Doughboys, Canned Peas De Luxe, and the dreaded Jolly Breakfast Ring. Here's one that's actually still cute:
A "bunny salad" made from a sliced pear, a red candy, and everyone's willingness not to think about a bunny autopsy.
Next: More kid quotes and actual photos of actual food