Rare Vintage 1970s Cookbook - Cooking With It by Isabelle Downs and Tody Oakley circa 1970
Rare Vintage 1970s Cookbook - Cooking With It by Isabelle Downs and Tody Oakley circa 1970
Rare Vintage 1970s Cookbook - Cooking With It by Isabelle Downs and Tody Oakley circa 1970
Rare Vintage 1970s Cookbook - Cooking With It by Isabelle Downs and Tody Oakley circa 1970
Rare Vintage 1970s Cookbook - Cooking With It by Isabelle Downs and Tody Oakley circa 1970
Rare Vintage 1970s Cookbook - Cooking With It by Isabelle Downs and Tody Oakley circa 1970
Rare Vintage 1970s Cookbook - Cooking With It by Isabelle Downs and Tody Oakley circa 1970
Rare Vintage 1970s Cookbook - Cooking With It by Isabelle Downs and Tody Oakley circa 1970
Rare Vintage 1970s Cookbook - Cooking With It by Isabelle Downs and Tody Oakley circa 1970
Rare Vintage 1970s Cookbook - Cooking With It by Isabelle Downs and Tody Oakley circa 1970

Rare Vintage 1970s Cookbook - Cooking With It by Isabelle Downs and Tody Oakley circa 1970

Regular price $58

A good recipe travels far and lasts long. Isabelle Downs & Tody Oakely

{HISTORY}

Meet Ethelda Oakley (1921-2015) and Isabelle Downs (1910-1990) of Odessa, Texas. They are the two women behind the 1970 cookbook Cooking With "IT" a rare volume of regional friend and family recipes collected in and around West Texas.

Ethelda went by the nickname Tody, which made for a clever title of their book, as the "IT"  is a play on words for Tody and Isabelle's initials. Whether these two ladies had a catering company together and set out to publish a book of requested recipes, or they simply shared a combined passion for cooking and recipe keeping, the circumstances surrounding the creation of this cookbook is a mystery. 

Professionally bound in hardcover and containing over 285 pages of recipes, Tody and Isabelle had no shortage of content. And although their book lacks the stamp of a well-known publishing company it is well organized in its layout with simple-to-follow instructions.

Containing a wealth of Tex-Mex cuisine and Southern fare, this is an interesting collection of recipes grouped together by subject and/or main ingredient. While there are recipes found here for popular national and international midcentury foods known throughout the country, this is primarily a regional cookbook showcasing a variety of foods from the southern US. 

Interesting recipes include Aunt Susan's Caramel Cream Cake, King Ranch Casserole, Hoke Hot Milk Sponge Cake, Green Chile Pie, Tippsy Chicken, Jalapeno Eliot-Gant, Hominy Casserole, Hilma's Pound Cake, Creole Dressing, three different types of Macaroni Salad, Mexican Cornbread, Frito Bean Salad, Chicken Gumbo, Peppermint Cake, Brandied Apple Cobbler, Caddle's Chocolate Icebox Cake, Orange Pecans, Brandy Butter, Mintade (a mint version of lemonade), Bar B-Que Sauce, Old Fashioned Brown Sugar Cake, Shrimp Wiggle and Litsey's Devilled Oysters among many others.

Most recipes call for fresh whole ingredients, minus a few references for canned soups or prepackaged convenience foods.  As in keeping with food fads of the the 1960s and 1970s, there are a few recipes that include vintage pop culture food products like Tang, Oleo and Taco-Flavored Doritos too. 

Like the mystery of how their cookbook came about, Isabelle and Tody themselves are a bit mysterious too. We searched high and low for mentions of their cooking prowess but only came up with the slimmest of biographies for them both. Other than mentions of their kindness to their communities, their longtime marriages to their husbands, and the offspring they raised, it seems that Tody and Isabelle traveled through the 20th century with just a whisper of notoriety. That makes their cookbook and the existence of it all the more wonderful. They may not have left a string of reviews or a long biography of chatty news about themselves, but they did leave behind permanent records in the forms of recipes of their lives spent in their Odessa, Texas kitchens cooking for the people they loved most while highlighting the food they loved most. 

{SPECIAL FEATURES}

  • First edition, published in 1970
  • 285 pages
  • While this book contains no index in back, there are several additional charts including for measurements, can sizes, substitutions and oven temperatures
  • Each chapter page includes a selection of helpful hints

{CONDITION}

In lovely vintage condition. This book contains no cooking spots or stains. The coverboards and interior pages are clean and bright and the spine is tight.

{SIZE}

Measures 8.75" inches (length) x 6.5" inches (width) x .75" inches (thickness) and weighs 1.7 lbs. 

{DONATION SUPPORTED!}

20% of the proceeds from the sale of this cookbook will be donated to Feeding America - a nationwide network of food banks, food pantries and local meal programs dedicated to providing nutritious meals to food-insecure communities around the United States. 

 

 

 

Rare Vintage 1970s Cookbook - Cooking With It by Isabelle Downs and Tody Oakley circa 1970
Rare Vintage 1970s Cookbook - Cooking With It by Isabelle Downs and Tody Oakley circa 1970
Rare Vintage 1970s Cookbook - Cooking With It by Isabelle Downs and Tody Oakley circa 1970
Rare Vintage 1970s Cookbook - Cooking With It by Isabelle Downs and Tody Oakley circa 1970
Rare Vintage 1970s Cookbook - Cooking With It by Isabelle Downs and Tody Oakley circa 1970
Rare Vintage 1970s Cookbook - Cooking With It by Isabelle Downs and Tody Oakley circa 1970
Rare Vintage 1970s Cookbook - Cooking With It by Isabelle Downs and Tody Oakley circa 1970
Rare Vintage 1970s Cookbook - Cooking With It by Isabelle Downs and Tody Oakley circa 1970