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Friday, February 22, 2013

This or That

I have spent 114 posts making light humor of cookbooks and recipe cards from 1980 and before that. As my most devoted readers know, nothing is safe from my ever watchful eye when it comes to retro food. I did a similar post six months ago  using a Pillsbury cookbook from 1963 and compared it to a 2000 Pillsbury cookbook. I always warned that Betty Crocker would get the same treatment. And why not? I've been kind of hard on the Betty over the course of this blog. I'm going to be nice with a sprinkle of snark. Wait a second, six months ago? Where has the time gone?

I found 79 pictures to use comparing a 2011 Betty Crocker Big Red Cookbook and a 1969 Betty Crocker Big Red Cookbook. If anything, it is going to offer a bit of a comparison as to how food looked back then and how it looks today in cookbooks. Maybe after looking through this you all can get a glimpse into why I do what I do. After all, does anybody else go through old cookbooks and new cookbooks and make comparisons? I am thorough if anything.

I'm going to mess with your senses. My reaction to the older cookbook is a "meh" and my reaction to the new one is more of me wanting to eat the pages like a goat. The eyes truly are an important part of the digestive process. 

This is my biggest project to date and I hope you all enjoy! 

Betty Crocker's Cookbook, 1969. My mother had this cookbook and I used to spend a lot of time going through it looking at the pictures. I know, surprise.
Betty Crocker's Cookbook, 2011. My husband bought it for me. With my eternal love for cooking, guess how many times I've used it, let alone opened it?
1969 Betty Crocker kitchens.
These people had to eat the food in these cookbooks. Suckas! (Kidding because I probably ate it too)
We are all a friend of Betty Crocker. I don't think they had ME in mind when they planned their books.. There are lots of ways I use a cookbook and the last thing would be is to cook. If someone brought me a brace of pheasants, I don't think I would rush to my 1969 Betty Crocker cookbook for guidance. I think that what I do with these books are the antithesis of what the Betty Crocker folks intended.
And now, there are more friends. I'll give it to the Bets, change is good. They've come a long way. I'll reluctantly admit to that. However, my main use for Betty Crocker products is because they have Box Tops on them for school.
The old way to measure ingredients. If you can follow a diagram, you should have zero problem leveling off the dry ingredients. If not, you are assed out.
That's more like it.
Scant, pointy, geometrically arranged in shapes and patterns. Dry and meh.
See the difference in presentation? See why I devote so much time on these old cookbooks? I want that damn bruschetta.
I don't give my other family anything because they aren't my favorite. They better not be here and they better not help themselves. Curtain closed biotches!
So polite. So not retro.
1969 Betty Crocker brought us Petals 'n Pickles. Cream cheese with horseradish spread, dyed cream cheese flowers, and sliced gherkins on toast sounds like my not favorite family would get from me. I'm glad they came!
Different types of bruschetta. I wouldn't share these with my favorite family either.
Vegetable antipasti platter. There's so much inspiration with beets, chick peas, olives, and deviled egs that look like they have little slugs on top of them.
I wouldn't eat it because to me an aioli is just another word for mayonnaise, but even that looks good after looking at the older version.
Cheese spread balls. I wonder how many people made these and got praise galore. Not knocking it, but can I at least giggle?
That looks like the same cheese ball except without the Cheez-Its. If I mustered a snicker over the other green fuzzball, I might as well over the newer version. Artichoke Spinach dip has mayonnaise in it and even if it looks like it might be good, the knowledge is a deal killer.
Sausage Smorgasbord. Um. I don't think it could look any more 1960s if it tried.
I'm starting to feel like the Eat This and Not That author.
Parmesan Appetizer Loaf. Fleshy rolls and other substances.
This might get a few more words of praise. I bet nobody would say "I loooovvved that Parmesan Appetizer Loaf. Too bad nobody even looked at the Brie in Puff Pastry with Cranberry Sauce." 
Pitchers full of precious nectar and half melted ice cream sodas. Tall and awkward glasses with strange garnishes. All look like they would have you clearing your throat to get the syrupy aftertaste removed from it.
Smoothies. Refreshing. Only scary and inedible if they have yogurt in them. Don't judge.
Cranberry Apple punch with a floating ice ring and Tahitian punch with melting lime sherbet.
Modern Betty Crocker found a way to make Watermelon Lemonade sound refreshing.
Eggs and Cheese. I have my K Ration tin ready for some of these nom noms.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, doncha know?
That's the secret to a fluffy omelet. Have that arm moving and whisking and breakneck speed, faster than the camera can catch.
No! That rubber spatula WILL NOT DO! Put some damn elbow grease into making that omelet.
Never thought to put whole mozzarella, tomato, and basil into an omelet. I'm thinking that I NEED to try this. Aren't I two faced?
Quiche 1969
Quiche 2011. Can't really see a difference except the camera angle.
Muffins, muffins, everywhere. 1969. They look like cold, hard, dead, paperweights.
Butter please. Needs butter.
Popovers, 1969 with a solid square of oleo in the middle. I'm guessing they aren't fresh from the oven and hot.
Popovers 2011. I think Betty Crocker must have used the same one. Probably had this bad boy stored in the prop room somewhere. Just put it in a different pan for theatrics.
Cheese Caraway Batter Bread. The bright yellow takes away all rhyme and reason and possible taste from this picture.
I really want to put some butter or Nutella on these breads and eat the whole loaf.
Cakes and Frostings. Nothing too bad about it. Looks like a chocolate cake with frosting on it. I'd eat the damn thing.
I'd probably eat these more though. Even the apple stem.
Not to brag at my chocolate cake baking skills or lack thereof, but if I was going to make a cake, it would probably look exactly like this 1969 Buttermallow Cake. There's that yellow again! My EYES!
It's so fluffy I'm going to die!
Chocolate Roll and Strawberry Filled Roll. Okay. That looks like a Hoho. I remember those. Maybe one day I can tell my kids about the almighty Hoho.
Nothing has changed, has it?
It looks like that tow headed little feller with his gawd awful yellow turtleneck is reaching into the cookie jar with his mouth. Even the sister with her doily collar is on to him.
CHOCOLATE!!
Miserable little gingerbread men, hung out to die. Mouse turds for eyes. These things are actually kind of creepy if I keep looking at them.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. No mouse turd eyes though.
Yep. That's fish and seafood alright. I'm thinking that aside from the shellfish, fish and seafood would be notably similar. But what do I know? I wasn't stomping the earth in 1969.
Cold dead fish on ice or this? What's going to draw me into the chapter and want to cook fish? I see that Betty Crocker caught the redundancy and fixed the chapter name. Okay, I won't be drawn into the cookbook to cook anything. I kid, I kid.
Fried fish from 1969. Looks like a good idea to plate it with sand. I'm sure the sand won't get into the food. Oh wait, it's not supposed to be eaten. It's to give us the impression this is fresh from the ocean. Got it.
Fried fish from 2011. Le Sigh....
Yep. Rice, pasta, and cereals. Inspiring.
So this is what pasta should look like?
1969 Salads. Oh Boy! More bright yellow!
Fresh. Not sure about the strawberries and asparagus though.
Lettuces in the 1969 salads.
Same lettuces in 2011. The display and colors are just so much better.
Unmolding a gelatin salad. Be sure to press into all the crevices and nooks and crannies. There's nothing in here about flipping out if it doesn't come out in one piece.
Just in case there are still people in 2011 who make molded salads.
Soups and Stews. Probably salty as hell.
Sooooo goooooey.  Probably still salty as hell.
California Cream Soup. I see what they did there. Put the soup in the center so it looks like a glue and creamy soup flower. Petals. Lucious petals.
I'd rather eat this on a cold day, not that there are any in Texas that would warrant hot clam chowder.
1969 Sandwich variations. They all look dry as a popcorn fart. I feel that toast bread wedging into the back of my throat.
2011 Sandwich variations. There's a little more life to them. Variations. HA! I'm almost done. Bear with me.
Either those are small vegetables or that is a big scale.
There's a way to photograph vegetables to make them look good and there's away of plopping them on an oversized scale.
1969 vegetables. Eh.
2011 Vegetables. It's almost like there was a lot of trial and error in the history of food photography.
Meats in 1969. Rare and fatty. "That's how meat is supposed to look," will say someone. I'm sure. But that doesn't make it look any less rare or fatty.
Good grief, did they use the same roast too? Less fatty, but a little turn and it will be in the same damn position. Change is good. Go off the cuff a little bit.
Pot Roast. Kind of looks like mine. O__o
Yeah, there's no way in hell my pot roast would ever look like that all sliced thin, perfectly cut potatoes and carrots, gravy just the right consistency.
Lamb Chops Hawaiian. Because anything and everything with pineapple in it is suddenly Hawaiian style.
Herb and Garlic Roast Leg of Lamb and Moroccan Lamb Stew. Never ate lamb so I have no input.
Corn stuffed pork chops. If corn is the stuffing of choice in 1969 for pork chops, then I shall not besmirch it.
Or we can up the ante and add cornbread stuffing and bacon.
 AHHHHHHHH!!! That was long and well worth it to see the comparison of food over the years.

3 comments:

  1. This, by far, is my favorite post. Look how far food styling has come!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I enjoyed doing this one. I could have made it longer. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This, by far, is my favorite post. I love side by side comparisons of food styling. So much insight into the history of food.

    ReplyDelete