15 Ridiculous Highlights From Betty Crocker's '50s Cookbook for Kids

Categories: Studies in Crap

​ Your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from Golden State thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets.
Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls

Author: The team of scientists and ad-men who combined themselves, among with an impossible feminine ideal, to become, Voltron-like, Betty Crocker.
Date: 1957
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.

Representative Quote:


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.

Her dreams:


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?

That's not the only disturbing thing Ms. Crocker unleashed on our youth:


Come on, internet! If we all work together, we can make "candle salad" into a thing! Remember: You can eat it!

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

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I LOVED this cookbook when I was a kid.  I never, ever cook now. 


I have this original cookbook. Still hung up on "Betty Cooker's Crock Book" as we called it. In my youth I swore to never get married, or to learn how to cook or sew. Well then years passed LOL. BC's 'Cooky Book' is the best!


My mother gave the Betty Crocker Cookbook for Girls and Boys when I was about the same as the kids illustrated.  I'm 64 now and I still think the Swedish Meatball recipe rocks. 


Wow, you guys need to get a life!  The "racist" oatmeal wasn't very appropriate, I agree.  But the innocence of the time was better than kids now who spend hours upon hours playing violent videogames and couldn't make themselves a healthy "bunny salad" if they tried!  I had one of those cookbooks in the 60's and loved it!  In fact, I still own it today and use a couple of cookie recipes out of it!


I need a recipe for jambalya from page 268 in the 1961 betty crocker cookbook. that page is missing from my well used book.You can depend on all recipes betty crocker recipes being tested


Er..."Violent videogames exist; therefore, nobody should mention racial insensitivity?"  Do I have that about right?  Man, that is one cogent argument.

(the) trevor
(the) trevor

Seems like a McCarthyism was strong with Betty...all the way down to blaming Canada for their communist Santa Claus and spoiling the plans to invade and claim the igloos.

Jim Ayres
Jim Ayres

The archive.org version says "Old Hobo Joe." I wonder what other changes they made?

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