Tuesday, January 08, 2013

~ Better Homes and Gardens - The Cookbook.... and Hot Pink Cabinets!!!

The Better Homes and Gardens - New Cookbook has always been my go to... cookbook. My Mother kept one of these red checkerboard darlings in her kitchen from the time she was married to now. I believe the last one she purchased was in the late 1970's. 

Now what I have picture here are two of mine. The only two I can locate to photograph. My 1955 version and the 1964 version. My favorite one is from the mid 1930's. When the checkerboard pattern lays out looking like a red diamond pattern. Instead of the horizontal red check. I am thinking I have it packed up out at my parents. Anywho.... as the world of cooking changed so did the cookbooks.

These cookbooks tend to be different colors on the inside. So they are easy to quickly see which decade it came from. 

The pink interior is the 50's version... and the yellow one is from the 60's.

Then there is the fun stuff that I learn from these older books. Like what in the world is "sour milk".
I have a couple of vintage recipes from my Grandmother's personal stash. One is for a chocolate cake that everyone talks about in my family. But she would never share the recipe with anyone! :) 

After she had passed away... I bought home some cookbooks she had on a shelf for decorations in her kitchen . Ones that she had used for display purposes. So they were pristine. When I got home with them. I too placed them on a shelf to display them. Till about 6 years later. When I wanted to find sometime new, to make for a party. 

Inside of this random cookbook... that no one had cracked open in probably decades. Was my Grandmother's hand written recipe for this chocolate cake... I died. I could not believe that I ended up with the random cookbook she had hid the recipe in. And that I had not found it for years. 

But the one odd ingredient was "sour milk". I had no idea what that was... yet here in my vintage Better Home and Garden's cookbook. It tells me how to make sour milk! Amazing. 

Now for something else amazing.... how about some hot pink steel kitchen cabinets! This was in my 50's Better Home and Garden's cookbook.... one of the pretty pictures scatter through out the cookbook.
Aren't those amazing! Even with a black vent-a-hood. And looking closer at them... I see what looks like a pale pink pull out for chopping!
What happen to decorating kitchens with lots of color?? I am so tired of seeing the never ending brown kitchen. I want to see hot pink steel cabinets! 

If you want to see an amazing collection of steel cabinets... in all kinds of colors.... look here @ Retro Renovations... I love seeing that so many renovators are hunting these gorgeous steel cabinets down and installing them in their vintage kitchens.

Ohhhh and about that recipe from my Grandmother.... she was not taking any chances with it. She wrote it out... but there are a couple of screwy things with a couple of the ingredients. Which I suspect she did on purpose. So if it was found... you have to prepare it a couple times to get it worked out. And there were no directions for preparing it. Just the ingredients. :)  Sneaky ole' woman!
And that my friends... is the recipe card that I found. Black Devil's food cake is the chocolcate cake that everyone raves about in my family. I am thinking about preparing it for an up coming family event. But I am still a little puzzled why I have to use "sour milk". What exactly does it add to the recipe? And why can't I use normal Borden's milk?

Be sure to check out all the red goodness at ~Rednesday!


Jill said...

I have recipes that call for sour milk as well, by adding the vinegar to regular milk it gives the recipe more of a tart taste - just a different flavor for the cake or whatever, I guess. I have read that buttermilk would work too but it's a lot less work and money to just add the vinegar to your regular milk

Pyrex Junkie said...

What an awesome story! I really enjoyed it. It is so great that you have your grandmother's cookbooks and that you found her recipe! And by the way I LOOOOOVE Steel kitchen cabinets! I have them in my home, ORIGINAL from the 40's or 50's. They are painted white with red ruby depression handles on them. My kitchen is red and white and I am adding a checkered floor this year!
I wish people would decorate their kitchens and bathrooms like they use too..LOVING those pink cabinets so great!

Farm Girl Pink... said...

I love those steel cabinets!

Have you taken a picture of yours? One that you may have posted on your blog? I love seeing lots of color in kitchens.

It just depresses me with the constant use of brown. From the cabinets, to the counter top... tile floors in brown.

I want to see fun colors!

I have been looking at homes on the market for sale, for over a year.

And 95% have gone completely over-board with the use of the color brown.

And they are not limiting it to the kitchen either. The whole dang house is doused in brown.

Farm Girl Pink... said...

Oh and about that "sour milk". I ask one of my older Aunt's about this.

She stated that if you had a milking cow, that eventually the milk you have in the house... turns to a point where it was "sour milk".

Which it was about it having a distinct taste. But not soured to a point it was not useable.

Since none of the milk was pasteurized, you had to use it at different times, for different home made products.

So I got a lesson about when to make butter, cheese and cottage cheese. With non-pasteurized milk.

Her point was that everyone had a little sour milk at the house. Or your neighbor would.

Yet, I still think I am going to use plain old Borden's. :)

I am not too thrilled with the idea of vinegar being part of my chocolate cake.

Sir Thrift-A-Lot said...

That is too cool about finding your grandmother's recipe. There are recipes of my grandmothers that my family has been trying to mimic.. we all started cooking after she stopped talking/cooking/went into a home. I often find myself looking thru old cookbooks at thrift stores for hand written recipes.

I would die for that kitchen. My boyfriend would kill me if I had that kitchen.

I woulda had to Google what sour milk was, noooo idea.

Farm Girl Pink... said...

The odd thing, was my Grandmother had recipes she would share. And had most of them taped up inside her baker's cabinet.

There was just something about this particular cake. I assume she consider this her signature item.

It is the thing about the cocoa that is off with the recipe.

The cake had chocolate icing. But there is no cocoa listed in the ingredients for it.

And the icing was cooked on the stove in a double boiler. I had seen her make this cake and its icing.

And she always cooked the icing... because the marshmallow's were the last thing added in... and I can recall seeing her do it.

Speaking of those wonderful pink cabinets. I would pay good money to own them. And all my pink glass ware would look fabulous in them!

LV said...

I do not cook much anymore, but still have my mothers' cookbooks like these. Very vintage.

Sally Annie Magundy said...

Oh! I love this post! I'm so glad you found your grandmothers recipe card for the chocolate cake.

I know just how you feel. I had been longing and looking for, the recipe for an applesauce cake that my Grandmother would bring over to our house for Sunday dinner's dessert, all the years I was growing up. My mother kept so much stuff, including my GM's recipes but alas, I still couldn't find it. And then one day recently, I looked again and found a clipping from a flour bag for applesauce cake - yippie yippie yippie, that must be it!

I wish it was on a recipe card like yours is but I'm thrilled nonetheless. I'm going to try out the recipe - I'm a little afraid to though, I've got such strong sensory memories of it.

I'll look forward to hearing about your experience making your GM's cake!

I can remember my mom having the BHG cookbook too but couldn't find it either, it must have been loaned or given to someone.

Happy Rednesday and Happy New Year!

ThrifterSisters said...

When we built our house 5 years ago, we went for a rustic farmhouse look so we have lots of brown and wood in our kitchen. Lucky for me, I collect mostly pink and turquoise Pyrex and every single piece is on display along with tons of other brightly colored vintage kitchen items. It all definitely overshadows the brown.

Can't wait to hear about your grandma's recipe turns out. What an amazing gift to have found that.

Happy Rednesday!