I love you Betty Crocker!

When I learned how to cook, the Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book was my best friend. My mother had purchased it in 1951 when she was a young wife. I still have the book; however it has definitely seen better days. This little piece of history has had the cover taped over and over again but I cannot rid myself of it as the worn pages remind me of cherished times. The book is bursting full of how-to's, recipes and lots of nostalgia so it will continue to reside with me as long as I have more tape to apply.

I fondly recall my ooo's and aaah's as I flipped from page to page especially enjoying the color pictures of baked goods. Learning to measure correctly and follow directions was sometimes frustrating; however the end result was always worth the effort. These are treasured childhood memories which I hold onto dearly.

When I got married in 1984 I was given the "new" Betty Crocker Cookbook and was so excited until I looked inside. The recipes had been changed so much that I barely recognized my old friend. The main difference was the fact that many of the recipes used boxed and processed ingredients like cake mixes, cans of soups and such.

Sometimes changing and improving things is really great; however I'm a firm believer in knowing how to actually cook....don't get me wrong - I've whipped up plenty of recipes using Cream of Mushroom soup; but I'm a good cook because I also know how to follow a recipe and make a homemade mushroom sauce.

I'll be sharing some recipes from my mom's old classic recipe books in the next few days, as well as her handwritten cards which were found in a little metal box (remember, recipe card boxes?).

Betty Crocker, I love you!

New Applesauce Cake

First, make thick unsweetened applesauce (below). Then prepare 13" x 9"oblong pan with grease and flour.

Sift together
2 3/4 cups sifted Softasilk or 2 1/2 cups sifted Gold Medal flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 cup soft shortening
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup walnuts, cut-up
1 cup raisins, cut-up
Beat 2 minutes

1 1/2 cups applesauce
1 very large egg (1/3 cup)

Temperature: 350 degrees F (moderate oven)
Time: Bake oblong cake 45 to 50 minutes.

To make 1 1/2 cups applesauce: wash, quarter, and core 6 to 8 tart apples. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook to a mush, stirring occasionally. Press through a siever or food mill.

Handwritten notes by my mom: Very tasty! Substituted 1 3/4 tsp. apple pie spice for cinnamon/cloves/allspice. Sprinkled powdered sugar on top.

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