The Split-Level Cookbook - LouAnn Gaeddert - 1967 First Edition
If you are like me, your greatest problem may be a lack of time. This is a family cookbook. You will find no suggestions for seven-course meals or elegant dishes that take hours of preparation. All of the ingredients can be found in any good supermarket and most recipes are relatively inexpensive in case you face a pocketbook crisis. LouAnn Gaeddert, 1967
Fascinating on so many different levels (pun intended!), The Split-Level Cookbook is both a culinary time capsule and an intriguing glimpse into the domestic struggles of midcentury women. Prolific author, LouAnn Gaeddert, juggled a busy career as a writer and a busy family life as a wife and mother of two children living in 20th century New York City. When she published this book in 1967, it was a time when kids ate dinner earlier in the evening and then were bathed and put to bed so that the adults of the household could sit down and enjoy a proper, more relaxed, and more leisurely meal themselves. The trouble with all this was that it was a lot of work for the home cook who often had to make two completely different types of dinners - one for the kiddos and one for the adults.
LouAnn had no time for such endeavors so she set about changing the way women prepared mealtime for their families with this book of recipes. Intended to cut down on preparation time as well as cleanup time, LouAnn focused only on recipes that could easily be assembled in the afternoon and then reheated later in the evening. That means, here, you'll find lots of recipes for soups, casseroles, one-pot meals, skillet dinners, cozy desserts, and dishes that make ideal leftovers. In preparing this book she wanted to appeal to children's appetites but also grown-up palates as well. That means this book is loaded with comfort foods, or family favorites, as she likes to call them! Since time and efficiency were always on her mind, she focused on the 30 minutes or less time frame and portioned each recipe to serve a family of four. If your family was larger, you simply doubled each recipe and enjoyed more leftovers if need be.
Most recipes here contain whole foods, fresh herbs, and elevated flavor enhancers (like sherry, wine, and spices) but because time was important some canned and frozen vegetables, as well as prepared foods like jarred tomato sauce, also found their way into some recipes. Some of that is due to 1960s availability ( like most mushrooms were only available in cans back then) and some are just due to the convenience factor (like boxed cake mixes and cans of creamed soups or gravy). Each recipe will only be enhanced even more if you wanted to substitute fresh vegetables or homemade sauces. Another interesting aspect of this cookbook is LouAnn's suggested companions that come with each recipe. Usually including one or two additional vegetables, a starch, and a dessert, it is always fun to see what foods home cooks were pairing together and what items would be included on a dinner plate, not only nutritionally but also visually.
- First edition, published in 1967
- Contains Original dust jacket
- Contains 228 pages
- Interesting recipes include Cereal Crunch Cookies, Grandma's Cracker Dessert, Cream Puffs, Individual Baked Alaskas, Pineapple Salad Dressing, Zucchini Casserole, Spinach Custard, Stuffed Cucumbers, 3 Bean Salad, Tuna-Egg Burgers, Scallop-Lobster Casserole, Baked Chicken Croquettes, Pretty Shells, Cranberry Chicken, Peach Glazed Drumsticks, Pork Chop Potato Casserole, Curried Fruit Bake with Lamb, Supper Waffles, Cranberry Meat Loaf, Tarragon Beef Stew, Knife and Fork Soup
The dust jacket is chippy in some areas along the top and bottom edge. There is a 1971 gift inscription (To Georgia from her mom) written in pen on the inside cover. The interior book is clean and very bright with no cooking stains, spots, or markings.
Measures 5.5" inches (width) x 8.5" inches (length) x 1" inch (thickness).