"dumbing Down" Of Cookbooks??

Lounge By JGMB Updated 1 Jan 2010 , 7:17pm by 7yyrt

JGMB Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 9:40pm
post #1 of 58

My inlaws started the tradition of giving me the Southern Living Cookbook every year for Christmas since 1984. I can honestly say that that's how I learned how to cook.

Well, they gave me the 2009 edition this year. It's really not at all like it used to be. So many of the recipes now start with a mix of some sort . . . to me it's a sin that a southern cookbook's Red Velvet Cake recipe would start with a DH mix!!

The one that really made me laugh, though, was that there's actually a recipe for Root Beer Floats. "Take a 12-oz can of root beer and pour it over a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a glass." I'm not kidding!!!

57 replies
indydebi Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 9:49pm
post #2 of 58

In an age where teenagers can't figure out the popcorn in the microwave is done when you can't hear it popping anymore, so they have to know EXACTLY how minutes AND SECONDS to set the microwave on, I'm not surprised.

When my son was little (like 6 or 7) he was SHOCKED to learn the pioneer mothers made pie crust (gasp!) by HAND because the crust-in-the-red-box hadn't been invented yet! icon_eek.gificon_lol.gif

LaBellaFlor Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 11:40pm
post #3 of 58

That is really sad. I would have never thought a cookbook like Southern Living Cooking would dumb itself down so much. Hmmm, I think I'll compare my '60's Fanny Farmer to todays addition. I wonder how much The Joy of Cooking has changed. icon_sad.gif

Deb_ Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 11:51pm
post #4 of 58

The saddest part about it is unless we pass down our family recipes future generations won't know what it is to make anything without a mix of some sort. icon_sad.gif


We wonder why there's an obesity problem in this country icon_rolleyes.gif

indydebi Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 12:04am
post #5 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

The saddest part about it is unless we pass down our family recipes future generations won't know what it is to make anything without a mix of some sort. icon_sad.gif


I guess that's why my daughers MADE me sorta kinda start measuring some stuff out and write "the family cookbook". thumbs_up.gif

Deb_ Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 12:11am
post #6 of 58

That's great Debi....we did the same with my Mom while she was still alive and able to cook.

I actually video taped her making her Portuguese Sweet Bread because she didn't measure anything.

Funny thing about that is I find that I cook the same way now. icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 12:21am
post #7 of 58

It was hard! Like when I make my chili, I put chili powder in until it covers the entire surface of the liquid in the pan (and it has to be a certain pan or the chili powder ratio is off! icon_lol.gif ) So I had to measure 1/4 cup of chili powder ..... put that in. Nope, not enough. Measure anothe 1/4 cup ... nope, need more. Big sigh! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

cakesbycathy Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 12:41am
post #8 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

It was hard! Like when I make my chili, I put chili powder in until it covers the entire surface of the liquid in the pan (and it has to be a certain pan or the chili powder ratio is off! icon_lol.gif ) So I had to measure 1/4 cup of chili powder ..... put that in. Nope, not enough. Measure anothe 1/4 cup ... nope, need more. Big sigh! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif




I bet anything that even though they'll measure it all out, it still won't taste like you made it icon_rolleyes.gif

indydebi Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 12:46am
post #9 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

I bet anything that even though they'll measure it all out, it still won't taste like you made it icon_rolleyes.gif




Daughter says her husband is the only one who can "make meatloaf like mom." Son in law says, "That's probably because I'm the only one who knows what "add a sh*tload of ketchup" means!" icon_lol.gif

mkolmar Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 2:24am
post #10 of 58

I noticed that about cookbooks too lately. I love cooking from scratch so a lot of the cookbooks now just don't suit me. However, I guess for those with limited time or ability a lot of the newer books suite them better. I'm wanting to advance more in my scratch cooking and baking so I'm going to older cookbooks now.

indydebi Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 2:42am
post #11 of 58

My favorite cookbooks in my collection are the ones I've bought from churches and organizations who put a book together as a fundraiser. Some of the recipes aren't written "properly", but I've gotten a lot of my favorites from these kinds of books!

I'll put my faith in a recipe from a little old gray haired church lady anyday!! thumbs_up.gif

mkolmar, I'm with you in that when I go to a cookbook it's because I want to do something new and different. If I wanted to make everything starting from a mix, I don't need a recipe to do that .... I grew up doing that.

LaBellaFlor Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 2:52am
post #12 of 58

I haven't bought a cookbook in a while. I'm going to see what I find. My DH got me Mastering the Art of French Cooking and it is definetly not filled with "instant" shortcuts. I'm defeintly not a hamburger helper type pf cook. A lot of, but not all, of the instant foods taste a little on the salty side for me.

Jeep_girl816 Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 3:42am
post #13 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi



Daughter says her husband is the only one who can "make meatloaf like mom." Son in law says, "That's probably because I'm the only one who knows what "add a sh*tload of ketchup" means!" icon_lol.gif


LOLOLOL! Yep icon_biggrin.gif

Loucinda Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 3:56am
post #14 of 58

I am with you Indy - I have a HUGE collection of those cookbooks. You can definately tell there are favorites in there too by the worn covers. I have a standing rule with my friends, whenever they travel, if they see one - BUY it for me. (I have one from Hawaii too!) My most prized one was from the church I attended as a youngster - it is about 30 years old now.

mkolmar Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 4:53am
post #15 of 58

Love the church cookbooks. Have 2 of them I use and love. I donated over 30 cookbooks a few months ago. I still have a lot of them I need to go through. I won't get rid of a few of them though. People will have to wait till I kick the bucket to get them. I have one that only a few people have that was given to me. It's a compile of recipes from the workers of Nasa (down in TX). My DH's cousin works for them so he brought me a copy.

LaBellaFlor - That was the cookbook my mom was going to get for me (at least she acted like she was - and I do want it). I knew I didn't get it when the weight of the gift bag was too light icon_lol.gif . Hope you enjoy it.

LaBellaFlor Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 5:10am
post #16 of 58

LOL! I was totally surprised. I've been wanting this book since I was a little girl!

Mike1394 Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 11:01am
post #17 of 58

One the luckiest finds ever. Sam's club for cookbooks. LOLOL. They have these books for like 6 bucks. I just got another one the other day 400 sauces. They give both weights, and cups for a recipe. I also have a couple more of these.

Don't ever buy a book that has a food network personality on it. Now the FN chefs books are a lil different.

LB Flora, A few months back I got a copy of my Great, Great, Grandmothers Fannie Farmer book icon_biggrin.gif

Mike

JGMB Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 11:33am
post #18 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

The saddest part about it is unless we pass down our family recipes future generations won't know what it is to make anything without a mix of some sort. icon_sad.gif


We wonder why there's an obesity problem in this country icon_rolleyes.gif




My husband volunteers at our local food pantry where the clients are allowed to, more or less, "shop" for what they want. It always amazes him that people pass up the really good, expensive stuff like fresh produce, bottles of real vanilla, etc. and just take all boxed mixes and canned stuff. They always tell him that they wouldn't know what to do with the other items.

Deb_ Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 1:18pm
post #19 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGMB

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

The saddest part about it is unless we pass down our family recipes future generations won't know what it is to make anything without a mix of some sort. icon_sad.gif


We wonder why there's an obesity problem in this country icon_rolleyes.gif



My husband volunteers at our local food pantry where the clients are allowed to, more or less, "shop" for what they want. It always amazes him that people pass up the really good, expensive stuff like fresh produce, bottles of real vanilla, etc. and just take all boxed mixes and canned stuff. They always tell him that they wouldn't know what to do with the other items.




Wow....that doesn't surprise me though!

Christmas Eve I made a large casserole of Scalloped Potatoes (with real potatoes and cream sauce)...one of my adult nieces asked me "which instant mix I used because it didn't taste anything like the one she uses" When I told her it wasn't a mix she said "you peeled ALL of those potatoes?" icon_eek.gificon_lol.gif

jodibug0975 Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 2:41pm
post #20 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

In an age where teenagers can't figure out the popcorn in the microwave is done when you can't hear it popping anymore, so they have to know EXACTLY how minutes AND SECONDS to set the microwave on, I'm not surprised.





OMG.... this is my teenagers exactly!!! I can't tell you how many times per week we have a conversation where they ask me how long to microwave something. Every. Single. Time. I tell them what to start with, and then to check it and if it's not warm enough to go another 30-60 seconds.

A. Million. Freakin. Times. We have had the same conversation. I explain it almost daily. They cannot grasp the concept of there not being an exact time for every dish possible.

I used to buy them Hot Pockets or other frozen stuff to eat during the summer. They would constantly complain telling me that they "don't work" and "won't get hot" in the microwave.

I got so tired of explaining that it is not possible for something to stay frozen in the microwave. Yes, you might need to cook it for a minute or so longer than the package says.... but it WILL get warm eventually.

They just cannot comprehend (and I swear they really are not stupid kids...). To them, if you cook it the time stated on the box and it isn't the perfect temperature, you just throw it out, along with every other box like it in the freezer, because it "doesn't work".

[/rant]

CakesByJen2 Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 3:09pm
post #21 of 58

My husband is always one extreme or the other. He either takes the time on the package or in the recipe as gospel and sets the timer and never checks on it, OR he's opening the oven checking it every minute and wondering why it never gets done (and yes, our oven does have a window and a light, LOL).

I will admit he is much better at microwaving popcorn than I am; I almost always burn it, at least a little. But any real cooking, he's totally helpless!

Mike1394 Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 3:09pm
post #22 of 58

[quote="jodibug0975
They just cannot comprehend (and I swear they really are not stupid kids...). To them, if you cook it the time stated on the box and it isn't the perfect temperature, you just throw it out, along with every other box like it in the freezer, because it "doesn't work".

[/rant][/quote]

Hell, it's society as a whole. How many times have you seen right here on CC. My cake burnt/raw I baked it the time it called for.

Mike

indydebi Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 3:15pm
post #23 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

Hell, it's society as a whole. How many times have you seen right here on CC. My cake burnt/raw I baked it the time it called for.

Mike




I swear I want to sue Dr. Phil for stealing my phrase of "How THAT'S workin' for ya?" icon_cool.gif

Deb_ Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 3:26pm
post #24 of 58

When my kids ask me how long to cook something I always say "until it's done". It really makes them mad. icon_razz.gif

indydebi Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 3:30pm
post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

When my kids ask me how long to cook something I always say "until it's done". It really makes them mad. icon_razz.gif



icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif omg, me too! drives my 17 yr old INSANE!!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif when she persists, I add "anywhere from 1 to 17 minutes. Stop when it's done."

Deb_ Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 3:58pm
post #26 of 58

lol isn't it a blast torturing them.....payback is so fun.


Although, if I do it too much I get the "Shady Pines Ma" response. icon_lol.gificon_cry.gificon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 4:08pm
post #27 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

Although, if I do it too much I get the "Shady Pines Ma" response. icon_lol.gificon_cry.gificon_lol.gif



Holy cow are we Siamese twins separated at birth??? icon_surprised.gif My oldest tells me that alll the time, too! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

LaBellaFlor Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 4:53pm
post #28 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGMB

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

The saddest part about it is unless we pass down our family recipes future generations won't know what it is to make anything without a mix of some sort. icon_sad.gif


We wonder why there's an obesity problem in this country icon_rolleyes.gif



My husband volunteers at our local food pantry where the clients are allowed to, more or less, "shop" for what they want. It always amazes him that people pass up the really good, expensive stuff like fresh produce, bottles of real vanilla, etc. and just take all boxed mixes and canned stuff. They always tell him that they wouldn't know what to do with the other items.




I wish I had access to free fresh produce and real vanilla extract. That would be great!

sewsweet2 Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 5:08pm
post #29 of 58

My grandma would have been 100 years old this August, if she were still alive. I got hold of her two recipe files (my brother got them after she dies). I spend 3 weeks, typing up her recipes and collecting recipes from descendants (2 kids, 7 grandkids, 17 greatgrandkids, plus the spouses and put together a cookbook for our reunion in August. Also included notes and stories with the recipes. My dad had typed up g'ma's stories and obituary etc that I included at the end of the book ( lik 20 pages worth). A picture of G'ma on the front cover. It was a hit.

I had my mom over and had her make her shrimp salad- dump this, etc....measured her ingredients as she went then put a note to mix to taste.

Now we ( my cousins and I) have copies of all our favorites that Gma used to make when we would stay with her and for all the family meals. Think about doing it. It's a great family heirloom for later.

_Jamie_ Posted 28 Dec 2009 , 5:31pm
post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

I wish I had access to free fresh produce and real vanilla extract. That would be great!




No kidding! Those numbskulls! So I watched 'Julie & Julia' last night. All I can think of is making boeuf bourguignon. Where oh where is that drooling emoticon?? icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_cool.gif

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