With the exception of a few raindrops, Saturday was the perfect day to go garage sailing. I love garage sales because you never know what treasures will turn up. While out scrounging, I came across a 1950 Betty Crocker Big Red Cookbook.
Ever since I dug thru the boxes in my father’s garage and unburied my Great Great Grandmother’s century-old favorites (more on that here), I have been fascinated by vintage cookbooks. What I find so fascinating is the way they have been written and presented throughout the years.
In Great Great Gramma’s gems, you more than likely won’t find an ingredient list with measurements and if you do, you’ll find that things tend to be out of order as you read through the instructions. No pretty pictures to showcase the food will be found here either, more than likely because photography was just breaking the scene.
My prize Big Red, has a beautiful red and white linen cover with shiny pearlescent pages that are silky to the touch. Instead of Siri telling me what to do, my partner in the kitchen is a lovely gal named Betty.
Betty Crocker is a fictitious maven, created as a marketing tool in 1921 by General Mills in Minneapolis. Though she could not physically hold a spoon, she really knew her way around the kitchen delivering her “how to” advice to suburban housewives and amateur cooks with a bound collection of beautifully staged photographs and carefully tested recipes.
Thumbing through Betty’s Big Red, among the party pinwheels and cheese rollemups, I spied a recipe for popovers. Traditionally, popovers are kinda finicky to make. The finicky-ness comes while trying to achieve the desired hollow mushroom-like cap.
Many factors are involved in achieving that pippin’ hot top, like correct oven temperature, hot pan, type of pan, etc. After multiple tries, I have yet to achieve Miss Muffet’s tuffet (it’s probably my oven) but it doesn’t matter as the eggy aroma and crunchy crust still comes out delish!
Below is the original recipe from Big Red. If you try it and get yours to pop, I’d love to hear how you did it.
From the 1950 Betty Crocker Big Red cookbook (page 69)
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
3T chives (optional)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Beat together just until smooth: 1 cup sifted flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup milk, 2 eggs. Pour into well greased deep muffin cups (3/4 full) (oven-glass cups make the highest popovers).
Bake at 425° (hot oven) until golden brown, 35 to 45 min. Serve immediately.
AMOUNT: 5 to 9 popovers, depending on size of cup. It is not necessary to preheat baking cups.
If you really wanna get fancy, add 3T chives and 1-2 cloves of minced garlic to the mix but be careful (as I found out the hard way) more is not better!