Monday, January 07, 2008

Dinner For Two

Perhaps the food itself is not the highlight of Betty Crocker's New (1964) Dinner For Two Cookbook (other than to marvel at the definition of 'dinner for two'). The artistic arrangements, from the decor (wallpaper, artwork, and bouquets) to the dining, serving, and drinkware, is arguably the best part of the book. There would be no complaints if the imagery stopped there, but no! Dinner For Two is filled with simple yet effective line drawings. These illustrations are some of the most delightful sections of the book, and I'll devote the next post solely to them.

Long thought to be extinct, the ten-legged Baked Ham has been spotted on some dining room tables as recently as the 1970s. Leading experts now believe that they became endangered as their main prey, the out-moded gelatin salad (like this Molded Lime-Pineapple Salad), was forced to extinction.

Yum! Hamburger Stroganoff!

Ham loaves are good; Individual Ham Loaves are better!

TV dinners unlike anything Swanson ever manufactured! The television adds to the charm!

Here's a well-dressed fellow! The meatloaf is clearly meant to be his body (with the olives as buttons). The baked potatoes are his face, and he's wearing a scarf made of lettuce.

All I need to say is: Mmm, Full O' Boloney!

Just when you think Betty couldn't top the Full O' Boloney, she gives us the Jellied Chicken (important note: Cooked veal, beef, or lamb may be used in place of the chicken)! Oddly enough, I think I've seen this at the bottom of containers of roasted or rotisserie chicken, but I never considered eating it.


Janet said...

I have been inspired by your blog to make that lime pineapple jello mold. Any hints in the cookbook about how to get the Jell-O to set with the pineapple? Is the trick to not use the juice?
I really like your blog. Maybe I am strange. My blog is at

Maria said...


Well, I've never made (or eaten) any Jello molds, but the book says:

'Prepare 1 pkg lime-flavored gelatin as directed on pkg. Chill until slightly thickened. Stir in 1 can crushed pineapple, drained. Spoon into molds. Chill until firm.'

So, yup, drain the pineapple. Good luck!

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Maria,
I just had to take a moment to tell you just how much I enjoyed visiting. I happened upon you in search of Brittany Duck. As a cookbook collector blogger myself, I found your intuitive sense of humor most amusing. I hope you don't mind if I stash this link for tomorrow's post (Oct. 1) I'm posting about another one of the Betty Crocker Speciality Cookbooks. Thanks so much for sharing.

Maria said...

Hi Louise!

Thank you so much for your kind words! I love hearing from people who enjoy my blog (even though I consistently awful at writing back!), and it thrills me to meet other people who love cookbooks and other ephemera! It thrills me even more if I can make a few people chuckle once in a while!

(Your little avatar picture is adorable, by the way!)