Book Review - The Old-Time Brand-Name Cookbook

Monday, October 19, 2009
I am including this post in Mosaic Monday hosted by Little Red House. Check out the mosaics. Such works of art!

Book Review – The Old-Time Brand-Name Cookbook by Bunny Crumpacker

Before bookcases burdened with the weight of cookbooks in every size, shape and theme, FoodTV, and the plethora of monthly cooking/food magazines, there were manufacturer recipe booklets. Years ago, I was gifted a vintage recipe booklet from a friend. That recipe booklet was published by Hershey. It has wonderful recipes and the cutest graphics. I was hooked. I pick these little booklets up when I run across them at antique shops, garage sales and such. While some of the recipes (or receipts as they are often called) are not current with today’s food tastes (don’t remember the last time I needed to make aspic), many are great recipes. The recipe booklets were all made with flimsy paper covers that really were not meant to stand the test of many decades but they must have been special to the housewives who originally owned them because the ones I own are in remarkable condition.

Recently, I checked out The Old-Time Brand-Name Cookbook by Bunny Crumpacker. A very fun and informative read. This book is basically a compilation of many of these manufacturer recipe booklets and a history of processed foods and how they were introduced to the home cook. The recipes are updated, although I didn’t find many of them too interesting. There is a second book, The Old-Time Name-Brand Dessert Cookbook which I think I may have found more interesting than the first. But alas, our library does not shelf that book. The Old-Time Brand-Name Cookbook was fun, but for me, not one to purchase. Usually, I would sample at least one recipe from a book I’ve checked out and post a recipe from the cookbooks I review. Not this time. Instead, I am sharing a recipe from Aunt Jenny…a character from Spry Shortening fame. This recipe is from Home Baking Made Easy, published by Spry (a shortening manufactured by Lever brothers to be direct competition for Crisco) in 1953…a beautiful example of vintage recipe booklets and one in my collection. I am also including the sweet introduction from that same book.

Dear Friend,

If you don’t happen to be one of those rare women, a “born cook,” you may not realize how really easy it can be to bake. Baking is downright fun when you use the simple proved methods which I have collected in this handy home baking guide. In fact, I can guarantee you perfect results every time when you follow these tested recipes, and use Spry.

You see, Spry’s very special qualities make complicated, old-fashioned baking methods unnecessary. Just try Spry–the mouth-watering results will speak for themselves! And, you know, nothing beats that superb taste of home-baked foods.
Why not bake a pie or a cake today; you’ll be surprised at what an expert cook you really are! In no time at all, your family and friends will be saying, “It’s easy to see, she is a born cook!” Happy Baking!

Aunt Jenny

Rob Roy Cookies

Crisp, spicy oatmeal cookies bursting with nuts and raisins. An old-fashioned golden-brown favorite made by Spry’s modern work-saving “Stamped” Method.
Bake in moderately hot oven (375° F.) 10-15 min. Makes 5 doz. cookies.

1 cup Homogenized Spry (I always use butter)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 cup sour milk or buttermilk
2 eggs, unbeaten
1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon soda
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup nuts, chopped
1 cup seeded raisins, chopped

Combine first 7 ingredients and beat thoroughly. Sift flour and soda together; add to Spry mixture and blend. Add oats, nuts and raisins and mix thoroughly. Measure out level tablespoons of dough on Sprycoated baking sheets about 2″ apart. Flatten cookies by stamping with a flat-bottomed glass covered with damp cloth. Bake as directed. With spatula, remove cookies from sheet immediately to wire racks. Keep them apart until cold. Store in airtight tin.