The General Foods Kitchens Cookbook - 1959 First Edition First Printing
We know that the kitchen is the hub of family life, and many a woman's center of creative satisfaction. (From the introduction)
As a brand General Foods was so tied up in home cooking throughout the 20th century, you practically could not have had a product, or a gadget or a cookbook (!) in your space that did not have some affiliation with the GF name. It all started in 1895 with Postum, a cereal-based beverage made to rivel coffee that was invented by Charles William Post for his Post Consumer Brands company. After Charles died in the 1920s, his daughter Majorie Merriweather Post took over the running of her dad's company, renamed it General Foods and through a series of acquisitions and mergers expanded the company into an industry leader known around the globe up until 1990 when it was purchased by Kraft, Inc.
During all these twists and turns in the company's history, there were test kitchens run by the women of General Foods who were hard at work day after day concepting, cooking, trying, and testing recipes, products, and equipment for the General Foods brand. With 53 test kitchens total in 17 states and 12 countries by the 1950s, these women garnered a level of trust, authority, and loyalty within the cooking community that turned General Foods into a beloved brand by cooking enthusiasts around the world.
In 1959, they published The General Foods Kitchens Cookbook, made up of situations that a typical family or home cook might experience throughout the year. Knowing that home cooks were in charge of preparing over 1000 meals a year, instead of creating a traditional cookbook comprised solely of highlighting recipe after recipe, the women of the General Foods Test Kitchens came up with a cookbook that spoke of the vibrant events within the calendar year that made cooking fun, enjoyable and inventive. Their biggest challenge and their greatest desire was to fight ambivalence and boredom in the kitchen for both the cook and the eater. With taht in mind, they set out to write a collection of recipes surrounded by events in so that it reads more like a storybook than a traditional cookbook.
Meals after midnight, a 15 year-olds birthday party, a party on a boat, breakfast with your in-laws, weekend house guest menus, pot-luck dinners, football game dinners, TV dinners, business lunches to serve at home, entertaining guests from other regions of the country, around the world cooking, breakfast in bed, holiday cooking, festival cooking, tea parties, bridge club lunches, what to make for your new neighbor, what to make for your friend on a diet, for the garden club, for the going away party ...these are just some examples of the types of situations you'll find in this book. How fun!
What makes this collection especially interesting is that it gives readers a lot of insight into the mindset of 1950s home cooks - not only what they were eating but also how they were living, what they were celebrating, and what events were important to celebrate with good food and good cheer. It celebrates 1950s hospitality at its best!
- First edition, first printing
- Published Nov. 1959
- Original dust jacket included
- 436 pages
- Includes recipes for all meals of the day including snacks
- Illustrated throughout with drawings by Mary Ronin and with color photographs by George Lazarnick
Overall this cookbook is in good shape. The dust jacket bears some chippy spots in places along the top and bottom edge and has been reinforced along the fold lines to prevent further damage. The interior pages and the coverboards are very clean and free of stains and markings. There are some slight wrinkles to some of the pages (mostly the color photographs) and one section (pages 131-134) have come loose from the binding. The back cover shows one area along the spine that is beginning to pull away leaving the coverboard but is still firmly intact and attached to the rest of the book. Please see photos.
Measures 8.5" inches (width) x 9.25" inches (length) x .75" inches (thickness) and weighs 2.8lbs