Literary Pursuits

Vintage Boys and Girls Cookbook

It’s been awhile since I’ve participated in Vintage Thingies Thursday, but I’ve been meaning for several weeks to share this cookbook from my childhood with you.
I can’t remember where Mother got them, but we had this cookbook and a Betty Crocker’s Parties for Children book. I “inherited” the cookbook and it is falling apart. I haven’t seen the party book in years, but it was more fun to read (with all kinds of game ideas!) so I have no doubt that it fell apart and was probably discarded years ago. Or it may still be lurking coverless in a stack of papers on a bookcase at Mother’s, for all I know! The copyright date of the cookbook is 1965 (the year I was born), but our copy says it’s the seventh printing in 1970.

I don’t remember that we actually made very many recipes from the cookbook, and looking back through it now, I see why. Most of the recipes called for “convenience” foods like Bisquick and cake mixes, and our grocery budget didn’t allow for such “luxuries”. Mother cooked from scratch! Still… it was fun to look at! Check out the Animal Pancakes! I can’t make pancakes that cute even now. It’s probably because I don’t use Bisquick.
As I was picking out pictures and recipes to scan I noticed this dubious “treat”! Toasted doughnuts spread with orange marmalade and sprinkled with bacon bits. Yum?
Oh! Here’s one I do remember! Pigs in Blankets! We loved these! Of course, we had them with from-scratch biscuit dough, not Bisquick. And I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone actually call them frankfurters, have you? We always just called ’em hot dogs, or maybe weinies. What did you call them?
Here’s an adorable cake idea! But… yep, cake mix and canned frosting!
Here, though, is the absolute highlight of the whole book… and why I wanted to share it with you this week! It’s a very special Mother’s Day Dinner. Isn’t the cake sweet?

Why, yes! I do believe I have room for dessert, thank you, after a main course of Spam loaf with pineapples! Isn’t it precious how they call it “Ham” Loaf with “ham” in quotation marks? Did anyone actually like Spam, even back then? ..::shudder::..And my favorite picture in the book… I love all the red plaid-ness of this bike picnic!
Doesn’t it make you want to turn your kids lose in the kitchen? Wonder what they would come up with for a Mother’s Day dinner? I dare ya to find out!


  • Coloradolady

    Oh, I was so reading this and thinking…what kid is going to make ham loaf…then I saw it was Spam. LOL. I like the part about dad pitching in to make the coffee…this was such a cute post, I really liked this. The cake…now that is really cute! Have a great VTT.

  • Keetha

    Oh this does bring back memories!!! We too had a children’s cook book, though this cover doesn’t look familiar so ours must have been another one. I remember making “Sugar Jumble” cookies from it (they were really really really yummy!!! Little mountains of sugary goodness, very politically incorrect these days) and a “pear salad” that was constructed to look like a little face. Fun days.

  • Marie Reed

    This is just gorgeous! I’m just drooling over it! I think that it’s so nifty that a little boy is on the cover as the cook! It shows that times were a changin’!

  • viridian

    I had that exact same cookbook!!! I made a number of recipes from it, though not the ‘ham’ loaf or the doughnuts with marmalade and bacon bits (eewww). Such memories you have brought back. The cookbook is still at my parents’ house. Sigh. My childhood is now ‘vintage’ – I am geting old.

  • Dori

    Did you “steal” that from mom? I had totally forgotten about it! I LOVE those cakes. Didn’t we try to make that cake with the red hots on it one time? Oh, and I want a copy of the nursery rhyme book. So glad you posted this. Such memories! (I know you didn’t really steal it. I’m glad you have it)

  • jeanne

    This book is a hoot. definitely the age of convenience foods. So what’s wrong with that? Any kid would have loved to have this book. Just reading it is fun. Spam…awful and I have fixed it when my children were young. LOL.


  • LV

    The older cookbooks are sometimes better than the new. At least the recipes are great and different. Enjoyed your post.

  • Susan

    I loved seeing the red plaid lunch box; I had one throughout grade school and a matching umbrella with galoshes. Love the idea of children cooking but I was not allowed in the kitchen to cook as a child–strictly my mother’s domain. That was not the case with my children although it always brought frowns from my mother; makes me smile now.

  • Andrea

    A delightful post! Precious! Like you and Ruby, my mother always cooked from scratch!

    Thank you for sharing the vintage cookbook! Loved it!



  • Ronda

    Such a neat post! I LOVE cookbooks anyway, and that one looks delightful! 🙂
    I dropped by to see your memory about Rachel~~which was really special. She is such a wonderful person!
    Enjoyed looking at your fun posts! Great blog site, Karla!

  • Miri

    I think I had this cookbook and it disintegrated 🙂 Mine had a spiral binding.

    Loved seeing it again and the Mother’s Day cake is beautiful. Wasn’t there a castle cake too?

  • KarlaCook

    Dori, I didn’t “steal” it! I’m sure it was one of those things that Mother piled up and said, “Do you want anything in this pile? If not, I’m throwing it away!” I “rescued” it!! Now, be honest? Would you have taken it? And if your answer is yes, do you want it now? It can live at your house for awhile if you do. I’ve had my fun out of it!

    Miri, when I was researching it online I discovered that some editions did have a spiral binding. Ours didn’t. And yes, there was a cute castle cake, too! With marshmallow turrets!

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