Recipes & Trends From 1968: Cookbook Edition

Over the years I’ve inherited several cookbooks from my grandparents or from rummage and estate sale finds. A recent conversation with the hubs encouraged us to dig up some of our old Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks. This particular heap is from 1968 and for several hours the other night we found ourselves lost in Bologna-Rings and gelatin molds.


Now, my mama always told me “not to knock something until you’ve tried it” and I 98% agree with this dietary motto. But, I’m not sure a savory gelatin mold of any kind was ever a good idea. It’s quite possible, not having tried these culinary wonders, that those of you who have tasted and love to tell about it will correct me on this, but…WOW, America!



Sauerkraut with the iconic pimento recipe upon request!

And then there are the health conscious recipes and instructions on how to Eat and Stay Slim. My favorite lesson was learning that “fat won’t rub off” and “local deposits can’t be reduced by rollers or by shaking, shimmying gadgets”. Shimmying, such a good word!


Paired with weight and height charts for men and women…



And I particularly like the snack recommendations for the “teen-age record party”, specifically the pickle-sickles served with Tamale Hero Sandwiches.




Fast forward 50 years from now and “they’ll” be poking fun at our current trends and recipes, too. I love that cookbooks preserve a little bit of culinary history and allow us a window into the cultural trends as well.


* All recipes, photos and quotes taken from Better Homes and Gardens: “Jiffy Cooking” (1968) & “Eat And Stay Slim” (1968)


14 thoughts on “Recipes & Trends From 1968: Cookbook Edition

  1. LOL! my mum used to have a cooking encyclopaedia, something like 8 tomes… crazy pics and jelly things. I have her old recipe notebook here with me… lot of memories.. a few years ago I grabbed a German recipe book (with English translation) at a charity shop, I should attempt some of my fav ones like apfelstrudel…. I love the image of you two lost in the books at night ❤

    1. it’s nice to know england experienced the same jelly epidemic! 😀 i don’t know why, but it’s so much fun to look through those old cookbooks. i suppose we should pay homage and try to make a gelatin mold, i just can’t get over the weirdness of it all. now your apfelstrudel, that i could handle! especially with a comfy house pop dress and warm fingerless mitts 😉

  2. Oh MY. What exactly was in the pimento “Easy Perfection Salad”? I can NOT ever imagine eating my veggie salad in a gelatin mold form.
    This was great. And I do believe that at James’ bday party I will be serving pickle-sickels. Thanks for the idea! 🙂

    1. oh sus, i’m totally going to send you the recipe when i get home. they even have a shortcut to save on your assembly time “use your kitchen scissors to cut the sauerkraut while still in the can!!” 🙂
      i LOVE that you are going to have pickle-sickles. it’s so fun to say, too. recipe on its way in a few 😉

      1. 2, 3 oz packages of lemon-flavored gelatin in loaf dish. add 2 cups boiling water, stir to dissolve. 1 T vinegar (this is getting good) and 12-15 ice cubes and stir til melted. snip 6-7 green onions and 1 pimento (ding!). cut through contents of 1 pound can sauerkraut. gently distribute “vegetables”. chill. serve with horseradish mayonnaise (my fave). tempted much?? 😉

  3. Oh yikes! Those are so funny/weird/cute! Pickle Sickles! What are the discs in the teen party – bagels?

    I spotted some deviled eggs in that first shot – I love deviled eggs, such a great throwback – those happen to be the subject of my next post if I ever get to it…

    1. haha, the book actually didn’t draw attention to what look like bagel chips/rounds close up. i’m guessing the tamale heroes and pickle-sickles overshadowed those boring little treats! 🙂
      you can have all of my deviled eggs (i’m a no mayo, no mustard kind of girl), but i look forward to reading about yours when you get a few minutes back to back to share! hang in there!!

  4. This is so great!! Thanks for sharing. We just spent some time going through my husband’s grandparents things and even though his grandmother was featured in a cookbook, I’m realizing we have none of her recipes. She was quite the entertainer so I can only imagine that she (proudly) made some of these. So glad jello has become less trendy to serve. 🙂

    1. ohhhh, how i wish you had some of those recipes. AND photos! it would be so great to see how she hosted, which i’m sure she did in style!
      and i totally agree – so glad we don’t serve things inside iridescent, jiggly molds anymore. ew! 🙂

  5. Love This!!! It reminds me of all the crazy 70’s cook books my parents had when I was growing up. Funny how chicken kiev and black forest gateau where the height of sophistication! That picture of the man getting his fat rolled out is hilarious!

    1. right?! such an interesting era for food. i do love how everything was given food decor, too, like the carrot and olive flower toppers. ha. glad you were entertained as much as i was, grace 😀

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