Tag Archives: Betty Crocker

Guess Who Came for Dinner?

I’m on a quest.  A quest to become……drum roll please…….Betty Crocker.  Feeling inspired to become the “modern” homemaker of 1950 in order to be a better homemaker in 2010, I am heeding the advice of my “imaginary friend,” Betty.

Betty asked a wonderful question…..

Is Your Table Attractive at Mealtime?

Oh Betty…..in my whiniest voice…. Did you really have to go there??  Alrighty then….. I need to take a gander at my table…..

Anyone seen the Fair God-Mother??
It is 4:45pm and I need a Fairy God-Mother!!

It’s 4:45pm and as you can see….the after school snack trays, my work station and other clutter is making my table so unbelievably  UNattractive!!  Wasting no time, I quickly cleared the clutter…..Betty will be here to inspect my table and to answer the attractive question in any minute!!  Oh, by the way, the clutter was thrown to the kitchen counter.  Hopefully, Betty will have blinders on!!

Cleared table….. check

See...miracles never cease!

So, now on to the table setting….. Betty says….

1.  For formal dinners: use all-over cloth of white or pastel colored damask or lace.  For informal dinners and luncheons:  lace or linen mats or runners.  For breakfasts:  gay, colorful cloths or mats.

I heard you snicker at "gay."  Careful Betty is watching!!

Running straight for my “linen” closet, I quickly discovered  remembered that I put all the place-mats, table cloths, and the finer things I got from my wedding shower (14 yrs ago) into the consignment shop.  I had figured since the lovely things had  never adorned my table in the 14 yrs I had them…. they would be better off elsewhere.  Not giving up, I dashed to my material stash…..nothing big enough to even be considered as a table cloth.  Well, Betty will just have to deduct points…..scratch the cloths and mats.  On to #2.

2.  Place napkins, folded in squares or rectangles, at left, as near silver as possible without touching it, or on the service plate.  If no service plate is used, napkin may be placed in center of cover.  Place open corner of napkin at lower right.

What is a service plate??  Thank God for Google!!  A service plate is also called a Decorative Charger Plate….. apparently it is to hold the napkin and to look pretty…..I think……

My biggest worry is the napkins.  I have purchased several kinds of linen napkins over the past couple of years.  Remember folks…. I don’t purchase paper products anymore.  I have a basket of odds and ends that we use….and I have two styles that I actually have 4 of……which do you think will go with my pink rose china pattern with a silver edging?

Green screams, "Flashy-Fun." Blue makes a statement.

Green….Blue….green….blue….. I think I will get a nod of approval with the blue.  So, napkins….. check.

3.  Place silver 1″ from edge of table in stright line even when edge of table is curved.  Place no more than 3 pieces of silver on each side of plate.

4.  Place all forks (except cocktail fork) at the left of plate with prongs up.  Place knives at right of plate with sharp edges toward plate.  Place spoons at right of knives.

5.  Each piece of silver should be placed in order of use, beginning at outside. (When salad accompanies main course, dinner fork may be used for both meat course and salad.)

6.  At informal dinners, dessert silver is usually on the table at beginning of the meal.  For more formal service, dessert silver is brought on with the dessert.

I know….I know…. picky picky picky…..Now I need to recover some points so I did exactly as she advised……

Measuring ever so exact.....

#3, #4, #5, #6…. check, check, check, and  CHECK!

Doesn't it look lovely??

Feeling pretty confident now…. I skimmed over #7, #8, #9 and #10….. basically they told me where to put the drinking glass (just above the point of the knife).  They were so technical that my head began to spin…….

11.  Always observe neatness, order, and balance.  Avoid crowding center of table.

Mark!!  We need a bigger table!!!  No…. a bigger dining room for a bigger table!!  Betty will just have to accept the fact that I have a small table….. (squeaky voice)…. more points deducted……

Running towards the end of the check list……we finally reach #12…..

12.  The centerpiece for informal family meals may be a few well arranged flowers, a growing plant, or colorful fruit in a low bowl.  Even for more elaborate dinners, the bouquet or pyramid of fruit should be low enough so guests may see across the table.  The soft glow of candles lends a festive air to the evening meal.  Candles should never be used for daylight parties.

Centerpiece???  Betty are you for real?  You just said not to over crowd….okay…okay…. I will figure something out……..

….well arranged flowers???  No fresh flowers yet…. would a sprig of wild onion do??

…..a growing plant???  Could use my 8 yo’s cabbage plant he brought home from school the other day……does it have to be growing???  could a dead one or a plastic one suffice???  Another bust…..oh no…. not any more deductions!!!

….bowl of fruit????  Jar of applesauce maybe????  No time to run to the market!!

……ding ding ding…….I have a small flower arrangement I use to decorate for Thanksgiving…….Ta-DA!!!!

A lovely arrangement of "fall" colors.....sadly though... it is March.

Perfect!!  Now…. oh my goodness….. the time has just slipped by…..I have everything in place…… doesn’t our very informal dining room look like a million bucks pennies??

Picture Perfect!!

You may be wondering what I served at this elegant dinner….. frozen lasagna, frozen green beans, fresh spinach salad…. from a bag, and iced tea.  It was a lovely evening and dining experience.  We gathered together in our formal attire  everyday wear…..my 8yo son was shirtless and shoeless because it is like summer outside…..couldn’t convince him otherwise.

After the meal, I felt so satisfied that Betty could come over to see the Dettras  experience a more formal…..informal…..formally informal dinner.  I believe I saw her add points on the family interaction and poking fun at mom and her “imaginary friend.”

God Bless…….

Tidbits

After a long shaky night of being glued to the TV and watching the skies for funnel clouds, I slept like a baby once the storms had blown over.  This morning I woke up to sunshine pouring into the house.  The chickens and roosters next door were making their noise alerting us that it was finally morning.  The birds feasting at the feeder provides entertainment for our sun soaking lazy cat in the windowsill.  Just a glorious morning to hang out the laundry.

My praises were sent out while hanging the clothes out on the line.  Praising for last night…..only one minor injury reported during last nights tornadoes. (I typed this blog about an hour ago…..a fan got word to me that there was a tragic death due to last night’s storms….. my heart broke….my prayers and thoughts go out to the family members…..and to all those who lost their homes…..May God comfort you during this time of struggle.) Praising Him for the morning sun and the birds singing.  Praising Him for providing for us.  Praising Him for the chance at another day…..and praying that I won’t mess things up……

My morning walk with my dear friend was finally outside!  We have been walking in our church’s gym since fall.  We had such a wet fall and cold winter that we had almost forgotten how beautiful our walk is around the Christmas tree farm.  Just a glorious morning… I tell ya!!!

At breakfast this morning, I got the biggest kick out of my 13yo.  Apparently, she thinks I am nuts.  Mark asked what my topic may be for today’s blog.  I perked up and said, “Betty’s wisdom…… I am, like so, addicted to this cookbook and Betty.”  My 13yo piped in, “Oh you have a new  friend?”  Sounding so interested in my new friend, she put down her fork and waited on all the details. “Yes, dear, I do have a new friend.  Betty Crocker.”  I snickered. ” She is not a real person but a “image” the cook book industry came up with back in the 20’s”

“So Betty isn’t a real person?”  she asked.

“No.”

Hanging her head down, “Great, now my mother has imaginary friends.”

Yep, I do.  And Betty is chopped full of useful information on being a “Modern Homemaker”….. in the 1950’s that is…….Won’t my 13yo be surprised when she sees what Betty is having me do this evening…….come on back tomorrow and find out!!  You are going to love this!!

I so lovingly entitled today’s post, “Tidbits.”  Perhaps, “Ramblings” would be the better title.  I just wanted to “chit-chat” today….. feeling a little goofy, I guess…..and oh…. wait I forgot to share a picture of my 13yo’s birthday cake…..Don’t you just love it??


It almost looks professionally done……I was very pleased with the outcome!!!

Oh, and I almost forgot….. I’m so ADD…… there is one tidbit I really want to share…….

God is so good….. really all the time……He is the reason the sun rises each morning and sets each evening…… But He’s more than that……He is my creator, my healer, my counselor……. and most importantly He is my savior.

Hope you’re day is as glorious as mine!!

God Bless

Meal-Planning

Well, Betty Crocker had some really cool ideas about Meal-Planning and Table Service in 1950.  According to Betty……

Good Eating brings happiness two ways.  First, there is the joy and satisfaction of eating delicious, well prepared food.  Then there’s the buoyant health, vitality, and joy of living that comes from a wise choice of foods.  Both are important to good nutrition.

Betty tells the homemakers in the 1950’s to use the “Basic Seven Foods” when planning the meals to be served.

Check this out…… (click picture to zoom in)

Notice how things have changed??  In Group 6, enriched or restored flour is encouraged….. And Group 7…… where’s the olive oil???  Interesting isn’t it!!

I am a big meal planner.   I have found over the years that it helps me with my grocery shopping.  I sit down each week and plan my meals for the ENTIRE week.  I even include snacks for my hungry darlings after school.  I have to keep in mind all of our family activities so my calendar isn’t but a hand reach away when I plan.

Betty was big on meal planning, too.  She even says it is an art:

Planning, preparing, and serving meals is an art which develops through inspiration and thought.  And meal-planning is really fun!  It may look difficult to the beginner, but like driving a car, swimming or anything we learn to do without thought or conscious effort, it is a skill which grows easier with the doing.

I can remember starting the meal planning process.  It would take me hours to get everything together and planned.  Now, 30 minutes is the most I spend.  It has become second nature for me.

Betty has her plan broken down into 5 catagories that will ensure the homemakers build a happy home life.

1.  Appropriateness:  Cut your meal pattern to fit your situation, the occasion, and your family’s needs.

2.  Appearance:  Prepare, serve and present each food attractively for greater appetite appeal.

3.  Satisfaction:

a)  Good cooking and seasoning

b) Right combinations of food

c)  Follow tested recipes carefully

Betty’s wise advice:

Something soft and something crisp should always go together,

And something hot with something cold no matter what the weather,

Something bland needs the complement of something with tang and nip,

Follow these rules and all your meals with have taste appeal and zip.

4.  Nutrition:  Serve a wide variety of foods.  Balance meals by including foods from the 7 basic groups.  Breakfast should give about 1/3 of the day’s food supply.

5.  Cost:  A food budget will help you.  Buy the basic food needs for the family first.  Buy less of the more expensive foods and  more of the less expensive foods.  Grow your own fruits and vegetables, if possible.

How wise Ms. Betty was back in the 50’s!!  Fast forwarding to today…..most of her advice can be used today.  Perhaps, I will need to consider how attractive my mealtime should be…..oh will I ever be so worthy???

Enjoy your day!!  God Bless……

Who's Betty?

Both of my grandmothers were great in the kitchen.  I loved the smell of their homes especially when either one of them had been preparing a meal.  My grandmother, Bonnie Cannon, was the typical housewife that prepared freshly grown goodies in her own unique style….. a little of this or that and then cook it alllllll day.  My granny, Aline Cornett, was a little more likely to follow recipes and has been known to correct them if they weren’t as pleasing to the palate as she had hoped.

It was from Granny that I inherited the surmountable boxes of newspaper “recipe” clippings, countless recipe cards that were handed down from generation to generation, and stacks of cookbooks.  Most of her cookbooks were pamphlets that she had picked up from here or there.  Some of the books were from church groups, co-ops, and county fairs….. of course they all were “prize winning” recipes….. especially after she had corrected one or two…….

Among all of the recipe books, I discovered a treasure….. a first edition (second printing) of the Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book.   The copyright is 1950 but according to Granny’s post-it note it is the original 1947 Betty Crocker.  {You must understand…. Granny labeled everything with a post-it note…..it is so her!!}

This jewel of a cookbook is absolutely priceless.  Shall I quote Betty Crocker from the dedication page…….

“We dedicate it to the homemakers everywhere, –to all of you who like to minister to your dear ones by serving them good food.  That’s the age-old way to express love and concern for their welfare.  And it’s just as important today when we make use of the latest short cuts, equipment, and prepared foods as it was when women made their own bread, butter, cheese, –all the foods their families ate.”

What a unique way to be considered…. a minister to your dear ones…..

So, I got to thinking…. I know… I know…. it is dangerous!!  Who exactly was this Betty Crocker???  I need a picture to the name…. ya know what I mean???  Betty has been a staple name for decades now and well, I would love to be introduced……

The idea of “Betty Crocker” was the brain child of the Washburn Crosby Company in 1921.  The idea was to personalize the answers to the housewives cooking questions.  “Betty” was chosen because it was a “cheery All-American name.”  Because all us housewives are so cheery!!  “Crocker” was the surname of a director of the Washburn Crosby Company….. a William Crocker to be exact.

The “Betty Crocker” brainchild became the handy work of  Marjorie Child Husted, a home-economist and business woman.  Her job was to establish and maintain the image of Betty Crocker. In 1921 the Washburn Company merged with other mills to form General Mills.  Then in 1929 Betty Crocker coupons were placed in Gold Medal flour.  The coupons were to reduce the cost of flatware.  In the 30’s Betty Crocker coupons were all the rage and made the Betty Crocker Catalog popular with the clip and save up method to redeem for cool products.  In 1945 the idea of “Betty Crocker” was the second most popular woman…..just under Eleanor Roosevelt.  In 1949 a face was given to Betty….. the actress, Adelaide Hawley Cumming.  She stared in CBS’s first in color commercial by baking a “mystery fruit cake.”  She was the face of Betty until 1964.

Today, Betty’s image is still upholding the knowledgeable and caring character as she did back in the 1920’s.  Betty Crocker has been the staple for many over the years and yet we still continue to look to her for the best tasting recipes.

Betty, if you are out there….. may I say… it has been delightful getting to know you and in the weeks to come, I will be blogging about your wholesome, caring knowledge…….until then…..

God Bless…..