I’m on my second copy of the original Betty Crocker Good and Easy Cook Book, first published in 1954. The first one, purchased when I was in college, simply gave out, and lost its cover, because it was used so much. The book has been revised several times, but I still like the old one, which uses minimal mixes and convenience foods.
The book has the basics, and I mean basics, like how to make coffee and bake a potato, as well as a real variety of recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and entertaining. I like the menu ideas scattered throughout the book and lots of suggestions for dressing up and adding variety to basics like fruit and vegetables.
We moved to Germany right after we got married, and I used this cookbook constantly those years – as I learned to cook for two instead of the institutional cooking I was used to. At home, our mom only had a few cookbooks – a 1940’s Red Plaid, and a church cookbook is what I remember. I had my 1970’s Red Plaid and this book the first 5 years, until we returned to the states and I started collecting cookbooks.