Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Busy-Day Meals (for 2 or 4 or 6)

Last September, I made my inaugural cookbook post about a beloved little book called More Wholesome Food At Lower Cost for 2 and 4 and 6 that I had acquired from my grandmother. For years, I had been captivated and inspired by these comforting graphics from a gentler time. A time when Vegetable Cheese Cups was a plausible dinner option and all good meals were guarded by little ceramic animals.

In my quest to discover how the PET Milk saga turned out, I discovered that the brain behind these '..2 or 4 or 6' cookbooks was the famous radio hostess, Mary Lee Taylor. As soon as I had this information, there I was on eBay with my new search terms! And, to make a long story short, I have a new stack of comforting images to share. It's best to note, with all of these graphics, the soft, almost hand-colored look and the bright hues. It's best, also, to note that vegetables are always better creamed, and most things can be improved with a bit of cheese (or cheese product, if you prefer).

The contents of these new booklets are a little more scant than in my original, but I believe that they were actually something of a newsletter that was distributed bi-monthly. The dating system is a little fuzzy, but I've tried to put them in what I think is their order of publication. This one dates from, I believe, January - March of 1943 (or, at least, a January - March in the 1940s).

Front cover of New Recipes for Busy-Day Meals For 2 or 4 or 6. At first, I was amused at the rooster and hen shakers overlooking the chicken dish. That is, until I realized that the perfectly shaped meal is called Lenten Special (click link for recipe). I guess it's just rice with sauce, actually. It seems almost disappointing once you discover what it actually is.

You'll soon notice that all the foods in this particular edition of '2 or 4 or 6' are round. Here is a Pancakes and Sausage breakfast - A good breakfast for a busy day!

This is Raisin Chiffon Pie. If you would have asked me, I would have guessed Tuna Casserole with olive and pimiento bits for garnish.

One of my favorite concepts: Meat Rolls! This platter of 'em is doused with a generous amount of Tomato Soup.. And if your cook followed the menu plan, you just might get to eat some Combination Salad (I didn't scan the salad recipe, but the ingredient list mentions 'meat drippings')!

Bringing up a Baby? Read about how that 'lovable little rascal' could benefit from PET Milk by clicking on the picture to enlarge. This back cover also includes an advertisement for Mary Lee Taylor's radio show, which featured the Dramatized Story of the Week and the Tested Recipe of the Week!

Stay tuned this week for more in Mary Lee Taylor's amazing series of cookbooks!


jason67 said...

Mary Lee looks like she was the Martha Stewart of the 1940's...

Maria said...

She kind of was! She had the magazines (well, newsletters) and the radioshow, so she must have had a bit of a name for herself.

Though, Martha probably wouldn't be caught dead making a few of these recipes!