Betty Crocker, 1975

My mom taught me how to bake. One of the most frequently referenced cookbooks was her Betty Crocker. This particular Betty had red tape up the spine, and the rings of a small electric stove burner scorched onto the back cover. She was an old copy, though I can’t tell you when she was published. When you opened Betty, her pages automatically turned to the most often used recipe – pie crusts. Mom and I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen together, often with my sister and Dad. After moving out, when  it came time to visit  and bake,  Betty came out of the cupboard above the stove. I’d lament not having my own Betty, and Mom would wish she had one of the copies bound in a three ringed binder.

A few years ago on a visit home, my Mom had a surprise for me, found in a second hand book shop. My very own Betty, bound in the three ring binder, circa 1975, glorious color photos and all.

When I bake (I cook too) I often mine the internet for new recipes, but for some things I always return to Betty. Tonight I’ve opened her pages to the Banana Nut Bread recipe, though I’ve taken out the nuts and added a handful of chocolate chips.

The calendar says its May, but its chilly and raining outside. Turning on the oven and opening Betty’s pages seems like the perfect way to warm up.

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