This is the post I started to do yesterday, before I decided to lay the groundwork. If I'd never moved out on my own, I suppose I wouldn't have known how to cook much of anything when I got married.
My mother was an excellent cook, so you'd think I would have learned a few things from her. Unfortunately, I stayed out of the kitchen except for making cookies once in a blue moon, or fixing those Chef Boyardee box spaghetti mixes for Mother and me when Daddy was working nights.
So when I moved into an apartment, I decided to get myself a cookbook and learn how to cook.
I notice when you do a search on Ebay, there are more copies of this edition for sale than any other.
Yes, it was just me, living alone; but I could experiment to my heart's content. So I made corn bread and pie and rolls, and decided cooking wasn't so hard. The one thing I never experimented with was meat. So after Cliff and I got married, I had to consult my mom about cooking meat. I've lamented the fact before in this blog that I've never been able to duplicate her fried chicken. But I learned from her what to do with cheap cuts of meat like chuck roast; this was before crock pots were invented.
The original cookbook fell apart and I got another, but the newer edition didn't have all the same recipes in it. It's a good thing I had the roll recipe memorized!
A few years ago I went looking on Ebay for the edition of the BHG cookbook like my first one, and found several, at reasonable prices.
I also found myself buying new editions when I saw them for sale.
Then I thought how interesting it would be to have some of the really old ones; they were all on Ebay, dozens of them!
Somewhere around the '70's, Better Homes and Gardens started adding calorie-and-fat information. That's when a lot of the recipes had the shortening reduced in them, This trend continued through the 90's, when under the title of certain recipes you'd see the words "low-fat". There was a new section added to the cookbooks for bean-and-rice dishes. These, by the way, have become some of my staple recipes since Cliff's open heart surgery.
I recently bought the newest edition, the fifteenth. While the nutritional information is there for each recipe as in all the later books, they seem to have thrown caution to the wind and put all the fat back into the recipes. I've only found one low-fat dish I can use. Also, there aren't many repeat recipes from the older cookbooks.
My two favorite editions are the one from the '60's from which I learned to cook, and the one from the '90's containing so many low-fat recipes using cooked chicken or turkey, or beans and rice.
And that's the story of my ever-expanding collection of Better Homes and Gardens Cookbooks.