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Feb 8, 2010 11:41 AM

Help me find a mid-1970s cookbook, please?

For various reasons I've been feeling nostalgic recently about my mom's cookbooks. She passed away in the late seventies when I was twelve, and although she was a good cook she was not above using woman's magazine's cookbooks. They've gotten scattered to the winds so I've been trying to find them, to have more for memories than to actually cook from them. Thanks to the net, I've managed to track down a few but one is eluding me because I can't remember the name of the magazine (or even if it was affiliated with a magazine), but I remember what it looks like.

Very thick, at least three hundred pages
Cover was white with forest green lettering with a photograph on the bottom half, showing different dishes and desserts
Spine was forest green with white lettering
Fairly certain "American" was in the title
Very few photos on the inside, mostly text

It was probably released in the mid-seventies because I remember Mom getting it new. It's not any of the major woman's magazines of the time, nor was it from a TV show. If I saw a picture of the cover I'd know it immediately. It's a shot in the dark, but I figured I'd see if this brought back a memory for someone.

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  1. If you haven't already, you might trying scanning through They have a ton of cookbook covers from that era scanned in.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Firegoat

      That website is AMAZING! Thank you for posting it...I have a new addiction! :)

      1. re: Firegoat

        That's how I found some of the others I was looking for. It's an awesome website.

      2. I was cooking back then, but that doesn't ring any bells.
        I checked your member description and if you're still in Richmond VA, there are two resources that might work.
        It's not that far a drive to either NC State (in Raleigh) or to Virigina Tech, in Blacksburg. Both had very active home ec. Schools back then and may have humongous libraries to support those schools. Just a browse through their stacks might show the cookbook, because we do keep books in our memories.

        Another possibility would be using as a major search engine for type of book, word in title and date of publication. Likewise the advanced search engine on the books part of could work, especially if you remember the name of a specific recipe from that book.

        1. The Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe has an enormous, world-famous archive of cookbooks - possibly the librarians there would know.

          1 Reply
          1. re: greygarious

            Very impressed with all the resources here, and, MandalayVA, I'm so glad you found it!

          2. Would it be a McCall's cookbook? That was a major women's magazine at the time of course, but for some reason this rings a bell with me. The only mags I think that put out cookbooks around then were McCall's, Good Housekeeping of course, and Family Circle (I believe the only Woman's Day books were the Encyclopedia). Don't remember a Ladies' Home Journal or a Redbook ckbk although there may have been- that pretty much covers the "service" women's mags of the time.

            1. I FOUND IT!! It was put out by the Culinary Arts Institute and called "The American Family Cookbook." Thanks to shallots for the tip, that's how I found it:


              3 Replies
              1. re: MandalayVA

                That's great! What a nice way to remember your mom. I miss mine too.

                1. re: MandalayVA

                  I'm so very glad you've found it.