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Betty Crocker's New Boys and Girls Cookbook Hardcover-spiral – 1965
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Kids everywhere will love this vintage 1960s Betty Crocker New Boys and Girls Cook Book. Color photos, illustrated sketches and over 275 recipes and food ideas fill the book's pages. Cookies, cakes, campfire dishes, breakfast and main dishes, plus more will please even the most finicky child! This Betty Crocker classic is perfect for teaching your child to cook.
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As an object of nostalgia, I would rate it 5 stars. It looks exactly like the original, and has the same durable and convenient hardcover spiral binding that I remember. Although if you look carefully, you can tell that the cover is from a "photo of a photo," as the image isn't quite as crisp as an original would be. Also, the green glossy material used on the inside of the front & back covers was not in the original. However, everything else about the book is a perfect reproduction.
As a 21st-century cookbook for children to use, I'd probably give it only 3 stars. There is a lot about cooking that has changed in the 60 years since this book was first published:
* Our understanding of nutrition has improved significantly
* We encounter a greater variety of ingredients, especially fresh produce, in our stores
* Our food landscape has been enriched by many contributions from nearly every continent and every corner of the earth (I had definitely never heard of hummus or chiles rellenos when I used to read this book on lazy summer afternoons), and
* Rather than seeing canned/highly processed foods as exciting miracles of modern culinary technology, we now see them as the less healthy and less tasty versions of food.
This cookbook is definitely rooted in the food styles, tastes and knowledge of its mid-20th-century era.
That being said, this was a very, VERY good children's cookbook for its era. The recipes are creative, attractive, and often whimsical. There is a LOT of information for a budding cook who doesn't want to just learn a particular recipe, but actually wants to learn how to cook - such as cooking methods and terminology, types of utensils, safety guidelines. It piques the interest through extras like the illustrations (including many gorgeous full-page color glossy photos of finished recipes) and the sidebar tips from the 12 kids who were the "Junior Testers" of all the recipes in the book.
So, bottom line:
1. If you are an adult who was in love with this book as a kid, buy it.
2. If you are thinking of buying it for a child in your life today, I would say go ahead and buy it for its instructional value in the basics of cooking, but give the child a more contemporary children's cookbook at the same time.
How much to love! The recipes are cute and imaginative, fairly simple but delicious. The kitchen tips and advice are stellar for any age. How to set the table? It’s here. How to scramble eggs? Also here. Measuring, stirring, meal prep are all described and illustrated in a most kid friendly format.
It’s safe; parental permission and supervision is invoked whenever heat or knives are involved.
May I recommend the chocolate pudding? It’s the most stained page in my copy...
I just purchased the newest edition for my seven year old grandson. I was thrilled that the cover is exactly the same as mine (though cleaner), and I hope it gives him the beginning of the same lifelong enjoyment of cooking as it gave me.