Monday, August 04, 2008

So-Good Meals (1963)

So-Good Meals is an odd mishmash of themes from the editors of Better Homes & Gardens. Is it a book detailing men's tastes or a kid-friendly cookbook? Maybe it's for dieters or busy wives who have to prepare a week's worth of food ahead of time. Or could it be for the penny pincher who has to serve 'leftovers' to make ends meet? Why, this slim 60 page cookbook is all that and more! Plus, only a book filled with slightly above par cuisine could be titled So-Good Meals, and the only way you can determine the authenticity of the titular claim is through the Better Homes & Gardens seal of approval. And, as if the title weren't alluring enough, the front cover promises to teach you how to 'eat at home and like it'! Note: This book might be 'So-Good', but apparently it's not good enough to charge more than 99 cents for it (that's less than a penny per 'tasty way to please your family'!).

Front cover features something called Chicken Garden Skillet

The first part of the book concentrates on Meals Men Like, and you know what that means: beef roasts, burgers, ham steaks, veal birds, and lamb chops! Here's the world famous Betterburger. What's the go-with that makes your Betterburger rate 'super'?

If there's one thing we've learned from the few cookbooks I've posted here, it's that a little creativity goes a long way towards establishing a memorable meal. That inspired flight-of-fancy needn't be all gelatin molds and oddly shaped foods; a snappy menu title will keep the compliments coming! Case in point, this menu is called Come-and-get-it Ham Supper. Don't you wish you could come and get a plate of this Swirled Ham with Marshmallow Sauce? I mean, Mustard Sauce. The Sweet Potato Balls are especially ingenious (the text says they 'look like a party', but I think they look like hedgehogs), and the menu calls for a Curly Wurly favorite, Perfection Salad! Men might like this meal, but everyone else will love it, too!

Watch out! The kids are cooking! The two less handy kids join forces to figure out the Saucy Franks, but the real artist of the family is constructing the eye-popping Totem-Pole Relishes. From the introduction to the Kids Are Cooking section: 'Now you're about to fix dinner for the family. Be safe ... cook with care. Talk it over with Cook, Sr. ... O.K. Kitchen, here we come'!

'Almost two sandwiches in one. Good!' It is good, indeed. In fact, dare I say it, Cheeseburger Towers look So-Good! (Much better than the Betterburger)

The Russian Winter Garden Loaf (aka Vegetables Laid Bare), which, oddly enough, 'tastes just like spring'!

Here's a great do-ahead dinner from the Dinner Loaf-style menu: Pineapple Ham Loaf. I think the caption says it all: 'This handsome glazed loaf is bursting with real ham flavor, boasts parade of broiled pineapple slices and cherries'! And, who doesn't love a parade (and real ham flavor)? Goes well with succotash.

And some head cheese, the ideal August repast.


Sparkleneely said...

I have this one! I made the hash that's on the opposite page facing the NASTY clear asparagus (aspara-disGUSting) gelatin. And it was ACTUALLY EDIBLE. I was shocked!!!

How I wish you lived close by -- we're having a Mid Century Supper Club potluck. I would LOVE for you to come!!!


Maria said...

I love these hardcover Better Homes books! They're filled with great pictures (and even better descriptions!). But I never thought of cooking anything from the book! I'm shocked, too!!! We shouldn't speak ill of the clear aspara-disGUSting gelatin; it might surprise delicious, too!

I wish I lived closer, too! I would love to come to your potluck! It'd be a great excuse to make a few of the most disturbing recipes I can find :-D! I am looking forward to all the mouthwatering pictures, though!

Maria said...


' might be surprisingly delicious, too..'

Juddie said...

Excellent! These remind me a little of the Weight Watchers recipe card collection that Candyboots shared with the world a few years ago. Do you know it?

Too funny!

Maria said...

Hi! Yes, I remember that site! It was turned into a cute little book which is somewhere on my shelf.. and the pictures are almost too good to be true!

Oh, also there's this Flickr group: