In my last post we looked at my mother’s first cookbook, from 1959, and now we’ll jump forward to 1973 and look at some of the recipes that were popular then. While I don’t plan on addressing my cookbooks chronologically in this journey back through my kitchen memories, the next cookbook I’ll share is my first cookbook .…..if you don’t count the booklet that came with my “Easy Bake Kitchen” in the 1950s . It is also from Betty Crocker, and entitled “ Betty Crocker’s Dinner For Two Cookbook.”
This cookbook was first published in 1964, and by the early 70’s, it was close to being irrelevant. We women of the 70s were not setting a candlelit dinner for our husbands, unless perhaps for a special occasion. Not only are some of the recipes outdated, but also it’s approach to wives in the kitchen wouldn’t stand up now for most. For me “Dinner for Two” meant quick weeknight meals, thrown together after work, and often watched in front of TV. Even Betty’s section entitled “Hurry-Up Dinners” still makes me laugh, right down to the homemade dessert. When I received this cookbook at my bridal shower in 1973, I do remember feeling hopeful that I’d cook like this for my husband every night, but once reality set in, I realized this was a cookbook that I’d use for entertaining only.
And use it I did! Looking at the pictures now, fond memories come back. I can remember what dish I made for which friends or family members. Some recipes were a hit, and others not so much. However, there was one that was a success every time. Hamburger Stroganoff. Yes, it was always met with rave reviews. Actually, this recipe was very popular back then. As you can see from the picture in the cookbook, it was often served in a sterling silver chafing dish on a buffet table. I’m going to admit that once upon a time I too, owned ( and used) sterling silver chafing dishes. This was a popular shower and/or wedding gift at this time. The silver presentation certainly raised the bar for a glorified “Hamburger Helper” meal.
(Just as an aside….Hamburger Helper, the boxed success from General Mills, didn’t come around until 1971).
I hadn’t made this dish in at least 30 years, but I remember loving it. The taste of it is still fresh in my mind. I couldn’t wait to see how I would feel about something like this now. I am happy to say, that it did not disappoint. Surprise! I loved it, and my “taste testers” finished every last morsel. It definitely needs the buttered, sesame noodles, but the sterling silver chafing dish is not necessary. The aroma brought me back to my first tiny kitchen in Philadelphia, and the many friends I loved and entertained there. This cookbook and Hamburger Stroganoff made me very happy.
Hamburger Stroganoff 4 servings
1/2 cup minced onion 1 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced 1 can (10 &1/2 ounce) cream of chicken soup ( I used cream of mushroom).
1/4 cup butter 1 cup sour cream
1 lb. ground beef chopped parsley
2 TBSP flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
- Saute onion and garlic in butter over medium heat.
- Stir in the meat and brown.
- Stir in the flour, salt, pepper and mushrooms.
- Cook 5 minutes and then stir in the soup
- Simmer uncovered 10 minutes.
- Stir in Sour Cream and heat through.
- Garnish with parsley