Old-Time Brand-Name Desserts: Recipes, Illustrations, and Advice from the Recipe Pamphlets of America's Most Trusted Food Makers
What a hoot! Bunny Crumpacker has taken one of my favorite mediums, the recipe pamphlet, and turned it into a fun baking book!
These are the little booklets you find, for a few cents to several dollars, at garage sales or in grandma's pantry. They have great illustrations and tell the history of household cooking from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Mapping the advancements of the industrial revolution and how it revolutionized the American kitchen, these little gems carried the secrets of "modern" success.
Recipe pamphlets suggested how to be a good bride and how to keep your man happy: for example, how to keep him happy with attractive well prepared meals using Gold Medal flour. You would be branded an unfit wife if you used just any old flour and of course, your marital bliss would be in jeopardy. It was as if your very life depended upon the correct choice and application of a product. Isn't advertising fun!
Pamphlets were put out by companies to show the average housewife how to utilize their newly processed ingredients and newfangled electric or gas appliances. Remember, the family cook had to determine the heat of the oven by how fast paper burned inside. Imagine these cooks having to render bones for hours over a wood fire just to make gelatin. Finding it in a box on the shelf of the market must have been awe-inspiring!
With the new appliances came the confusion of how to them. These pamphlets served as the early "Food Network", with glamorous women creating down home desserts easily made with product X presented with color pictures. This truly was a brave new world.
Focusing on the desserts, Bunny Crumpacker has converted the methods to modern day language and preparation while keeping the snippets of classic information. Recipes ranging from the bizarre to the sublime: "Lady Goldenglow Second Mystery Cake" and "Milton Berle's Peach Cobbler" to "Pasha op Paska" and "Brown Betty".
As a companion book to her Old-Time Brand-Name Cookbook, this one looks to become a classic too. This is a great conversation and information book, a wonderful gift to the new cook and a welcome addition to the experienced cooks library. It is already a favorite of mine along with What's Cooking at Moody's Diner and Battina's Best Desserts.