Wednesday, August 10, 2011

1953 Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

Hello ladies and welcome to a very special edition of Rednesday and Vintage Thingie Thursday!  Very special because I get to share with you my prized vintage find from my vacation antique hunting.  I have spent FOREVER putting this post together, but it’s worth it to share all the goodies ahead with you.  Behold, a first edition 1953 Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, in excellent condition:

Picture 048

Can you believe it?  As someone who loves vintage illustrations and photos, cookbooks, and lots and lots of red, this book has been so much fun to pour over.  It’s going to be an excellent resource for both recipes and a whole new collection of vintage images I can use for this blog!  Yay!  Without further adieu, enjoy a little taste of the cookbook with me:


As you can see, this edition is 5-ring binder, and its really in fabulous condition.  This is the cover page layout- look at the gorgeous 50s “technicolor” photography.  And lots of red!

It being 1953, the opening page reads:


 LOVE it!!!


Probably my favourite part of the cookbook are the FABULOUS illustrations throughout.  Each chapter/section has a beautiful pink, black and white illustration, and each one includes a the well-dressed, happy homemaker the book is addressed to.  Here is the housewife planning her family’s meals for the week:

cb7     cb5

Look how *cute* Mrs Homemaker is while she does her meal planning- look at those hose!  Sexy mamma!


One of my favourite sections so far is the one on canning, which should be no surprise to a regular reader of this blog :) .  Look at the adorable (and RED!) canning chart:

cb9       cb10

  Other red highlights of the book include:

Picture 068     Picture 067

Page numbers and recipe titles in delicious red!

Picture 069  cb2

 cb11 cb14 cb1

Don’t you just love it?!  Yes, you do.

For those of you that are curious, the “story” of the book is as follows.  I found the most adorable little antiques store in Vermilion, OH, where we were staying, and I saw the cookbook right away.  I had a budget of 20 dollars a day discretionary spending, and they were asking 20 for the cookbook.  While that seemed like a completely reasonable price for such a treasure, I didnt want to spend my whole day’s budget on the book, so I passed the first day.  I revisited the shop two more times, however, and on the third visit they were having a sale.  The book wasn’t marked down but I got brave (Im not typically very good at negotiating prices) and asked if I could have it for 15.  And the lady said yes!  I was so excited I just about did a dance (ok maybe I did dance just a little bit on the way to the car…).  When I came home I did a little research and for a first edition in the good shape this is in, I could easily get 75 dollars, and I even saw one bid for 200 bucks!  Not that I’ll be parting with it anytime soon!!

And to finish up, I leave you with a photo, from the book, of the kitchen in which our happy homemaker would have used this cookbook:


Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!  Be sure to check out all the other great entries in the Rednesday and Vintage Thingie Thursday link parties.  Be blessed, ladies!


Angela said...

You bet you did much for the book!! Can you imagine what it will be in 20 years,,lol. Oh, thank goodness you and I didn't vacation together...LOL..I wouldn't want to see us in that store trying to get our hands on that book...I love that book.

Gail @ Faithfulness Farm said...

I have this same edition -- it was my Mom's -- the only cookbook I ever remember at her house. She bought a new one in the 1970's and was gonna give the old girl a toss. I rescued it from the bin and have had it ever since :)

GREAT post :)


❀~Myrna~❀ said...

I love old books, I have enjoyed your post very much ! Cool !

DearHelenHartman said...

Yes, I DO love it. You read my mind! I have the 70s version of this book but but the images are nowhere near as kitschy and cool as these. Thanks for sharing on this happy Rednesday.

Emily said...

I love vintage, anything. I love cookbooks especially the vintage ones. Your find is awesome. These books are so full of little peeks into the past. I took a mini tour of your blog and I love it. I just became your newest follower too. I scrolled into your past post and I love what I see. A great photo of the baby in front of the sea. Love, love it. I'm so happy to meet you.......

The French Hutch

Mrs Evans said...

Who's a lucky, lucky girl then! I am sooooooo envious! I collect vintage cookbooks too, some of my favorite recipes come from them:) Happy Homemaking!

Mecky said...

That is funny that we did a post on the same book! I have several different editions BH and G cookbooks. I enjoy the pictures, too. I am so glad that found one in good condition!

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Laura said...

That is so cool! I love it. Lucky you. You did great!


Mom Walds Place said...

Love the book, love the story, love the graphics, love the red!!!

The White Farmhouse said...

Oh, that is awesome! I just love cookbooks and this is a great find! I am with you on the bartering thing, I am no good at it either! What shop is it? I live in Michigan and might have to take a road trip out there!

Mrs. Q said...

Oh how cute. I have a modern version of that cookbook. Love the opening paragraph addressed to the homemaker! My how times have changed :(

But there are still homemakers!

♥ Mrs. Q

Annie said...

I just pulled my Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book off the shelf. Inside it says "Revised Edition Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book Fourteenth Printing of De Luxe Edition Copyright 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1946, 1947." Instead of illustrations it has photographs of some of the dishes there are recipes for. It's fun to read and look at! I think mine must be the edition just before yours.

Mrs. Cozy Home said...

OOh so cute, I will have to find one now, those illustrations are to die for!

I'm doing a series on retro vanity tables for Vintage Thingie Thurs, come have a peek!

LV said...

I have one of the Better Homes cookbooks as well. Mine is not in that good condition tho.

The Armchair Housewife said...

I just have to tell you all how blessed I feel that Ive had such a lovely response to this post- it was worth the effort! Glad it blessed y'all to enjoy my vintage find!

Anonymous said...

I'm looking for a recipe and I'm wondering if it's in this cookbook. I had one and lost it in a fire. The page is in the candy section and the recipe is for caramel corn.

Elaine Reed Sandusky @ facebook

Little Susie Home Maker said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! I was happy that you gave me this link. Yes, we have matching cookbooks! Isn't it a beauty? I want to do some some more posts about this cookbook as well! It just makes me smile when I read it!

Erica of Golden Egg Vintage said...

Thank you for sending me the link to your post! This cook book is great! I'm going to look for it when I'm out thrifting. I've just recently been getting into collecting cookbooks. Aren't they fun??
The cooky book I posted about has really cute illustrations, I was just trying to keep my post short! haha I'll have to do another post sometime.
Thank you for visiting me. Love your blog too!

Anonymous said...

I had this book and it got lost. I am looking for the recipes for german potato salad and spanish rice contained in this book. Please send to