Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Mar 2, 2011 04:35 PM

Your First Cookbook?

Do you remember yours?

Mine has embarrassingly awkward handwriting in it, and I got it in 6th grade. This will date me, but it's The Fanny Farmer Cookbook. Remember that?

It first came out in 1942, but I must have had an edition from the 1960's or early 70's because it didn't look like this and it's cover was BRIGHT orange.

What was yours?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: lawhound05

      The same. I think the Spouse's was either Betty Crocker or the NYT cookbook.

      1. re: lawhound05

        +1- and it remains the top book for finding out how to do most things, and why.

      2. 1963, Grade 7 Home Ec. class - my teacher told us about a series of spiral bound cookbooks put together by Home ec. teachers in the States, each on a different catagory. I ordered 4? I think, and still have them today - though still packed in the basement from our last move. She also introduced us to the wonder of writing for free recipe books from various food suppliers promoting their products. I still have the ones on rice, and bananas. That year, I bought my first "real" hardcover cookbook: Nellie Lyle Pattinson's "The Canadian Cook Book" first copyrighted in 1923, and revised by Helen Wattie and Elinor Donaldson, 1953 & 1961. That teacher inspired a lifelong love of cookbooks and cooking.

        1. My aunt gave me my first cookbook when I was six. I believe it was a beginner Betty Crocker that had recipes for a root beer float and ants on a log. Cute!

          7 Replies
          1. re: chefathome

            I think mine was the same book! No copyright date that I can find (although page may have long fallen out) - I still use the Cinnamon Puff recipe for a Sunday treat. I noticed last summer that they reissued a book from the same era (about cookies I believe) but not this one. Here's a pic of my copy (badly worn out but hilarious dated pictures).

            1. re: Blinkins

              That is TOO FUNNY! That's it! I'm going to go and look for mine. I remember being in awe when my aunt gave it to me, even at the tender age of 6. I was in Grade 1 when Mom said I could bake cookies by myself for the first time from one of her "big books". She asked me to halve the recipe and left me to it so I just mixed together the ingredients that were in the first column (wet) without the second column (dry)! Sooooo....those cookies were not really the best cookies I've ever made but I tried! :-p

              1. re: chefathome

                LOL - love those times of "learning". My daugher is now 11 and has always loved dabbling in the kitchen (with some of the recipes from this book, although a lot really never turned out all that well - and they use a lot of shortening!) and I try to guide her, but as they say, we learn from our mistakes, so sometimes I just let her be (I really have to stop myself from jumping in though :)).

                1. re: chefathome

                  chef, did you ever make the fortune cookies from the Betty Crocker cookbook you mentioned the other day? a friend and i tried once during a "sleepover" and all i remember was that the cookies never got crunchy, and when we *peeled* them open to retrieve the handwritten fortunes we had stuffed inside, the pieces of paper were grease-stained and the ink had run into an illegible mess! :)

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    God yes...and the blistered fingers from trying to fold them before they set up!

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      yeah, we actually put the fortunes in *before* baking them...

                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      YES! I had forgotten about those. Oh, that cookbook helped to create a lot of fun food memories in our family. I have a nephew who is 7 who is creating his own recipes and writing a cookbook for me! Some recipes are actually ok but others, well, not so much. His latest was an apple salad - apple slices, lemon slices (unpeeled), raisins, marshmallows and maple syrup. Very cute. His goal is to be "like Jamie Oliver". When he "cooks" he even attempts an English accent and walks through his recipes step by step.

              2. Hi all,

                My Most Tattered Cookbook - - Better Homes & Gardens, 1965 Edition. The spiral-bound version. I raised my family using that cookbook. I use it still!

                A year or so ago I bought another one, in new condition. Gotta have a back-up for when my original finally bites the dust!


                1. Mine was The Joy Of Cooking. I decided that I needed a copy after using it countless times in my parents kitchen. I bought it at Costco on a trip there while picking up wedding stuff with my hubby to be. :)