I was cleaning out my books and came across these gems. When Saucepans and the Single Girl was written in 1965 it apparently caused quite a stir. It was actually updated and republished a few years ago because of its retro appeal. Chapters include Food Fit For A … Man in a Brooks Brothers Suit, Man’s Man, Man in a Gray Flannel Lederhosen, Amorous Athlete, Happiness is a Very Dry Martini, Deadly Dinners and Posh Picnics. It is a fun book that actually has some good recipes. I love the illustrations too.
The authors said that their book was inspired by this one by Peg Bracken. The introduction, written by the author is witty and she attempted to give simple advice and easy recipes for people who don’t like to cook and I thing she succeeded. I have the paperback version that was published in 1960. My mother gave me Peg Bracken’s I Hate to Cook Book when I was moving into my first apartment. It has some good recipes and helpful advice for new cooks. Some of the chapters are “Luncheon for the Girls or Wait Until You Taste Maybelle’s Peanut Butter Aspic with six different luncheon menus. The chapter named “Spuds and Other Starches has multiple recipes for dressing up a plain baked potato. Other chapters are about potluck dinners, parties for little kids, last minute dinners and a chapter with 75 helpful hints that really do seem useful, even today. The chapter Company’s Coming or Your Back’s to the Wall has eight menus with recipes for entertaining. This book also has some fun illustrations.
One thing I noticed in both of these books is that canned soup is used in many of the recipes with Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Chicken being two that were used most frequently. Maybe using canned soups today in recipes isn’t as popular as it once was but my mother used these soups in casseroles when I was growing up and I do too, sometimes. Both of these books are fun to read and many of the recipes can still be used today. If you can find a copy in a used bookstore or the library, don’t hesitate to pick these books up. You will enjoy reading them and might even find some recipes to make. I have decided to keep them because they have brought back some fun memories for me.