Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Betty Dean's Lament

My Mom gave me a stack of cookbooks and I was pleased to find this cheerful one amongst them:



It's from Anderson, South Carolina (1955) and it's nothing short of joy with it's pretty pink motif and cheerful bird perched upon the lacy trim surrounding the title. And who can resist the smiling girl with her pigtails tied with little bows?

Inside the book, there are lots of illustrations of the girl preparing food. For the most part, the book has meat recipes since one of the main sponsors is the National Livestock and Meat Board. Here she is even singing about it. Boy, she's happy!



The back of the book shows some tips by the legendary Dr. Norman Vincent Peale on "How To Break The Worry Habit":




All in all, a positive cookbook experience. Until you see this handwritten note:


It reads: Betty Dean I am not going to have a party. Isn't that the saddest thing ever? Poor Betty! One wonders if she wanted to have a party and couldn't or if she'd had such horrible experiences that she had decided to never have one again. I want to somehow find her and ask her. What made her write that single plaintive sentence on the cookbook cover?

For some reason, my senses tell me that she wanted to have a party but couldn't so I've decided that I'm going to have a party for Ms. Betty Dean and I'm going to make recipes from this cookbook! (but not the Deviled Kidneys in Rice) Stay tuned......

Until next time (start ironing your party dress, Betty Dean...wherever you are!),
x's and o's,
Eartha

14 comments:

Sherrie said...

Oh, I hope I get an invite :::crossespaws::::: Betty Dean!! Okay, seriously, that is the BEST name ever, in the entire world of names. I may just have to name a shelter cat, Betty Dean.

catslye said...

Absolutely priceless! Love it.

Charm and Poise said...

Oh, Betty Dean! Don't worry, honey, you're going to have a party now!

Eartha Kitsch said...

Sherrie: Come on down! You can bring the Cactus Cones! And yes, please do. I think that it would make an awesome kitty name! :)

catslye: Me too. I'm so set on finding her that my hair is standing on end.

Charm and Poise: She sure will! I found someone by her name that really sounded like it should be her! She had an email address listed from 2001. I sent a hopeful email only to have it returned saying there is no member at that address anymore. Back to the drawing board! It would be great to have the actual Betty Dean at my party.

Amber Von Felts said...

I'm kind of surprised to see all of the "Mind Clearing" exercises in a cook book from the 50's! It was getting a little wishy washy till they started in with the Jesus stuff. That kind of brought it back around. I can just imagine some poor little housewife clearing the worry from her life through the practice of "Skipping It". --What a neat glimpse into the past. As for Betty Dean, wherever she may be. I hope she can sense that you are having a party in her honor!

Barbara said...

Oh come on! Let's do kidneys!! Please invite me too!

Miss RM said...

Poor Betty Dean! I'm glad you're throwing her a party now. It's never really too late!

Eartha Kitsch said...

Amber Von Felts: It's interesting, isn't it? I found another cookbook by the same newspaper and it looks like they were really pushing their weekly articles and sermons by Dr. Peale at the time. And I sure hope so too! She deserves it, wherever she may be.

Barbara: You KNOW that you're invited but no, no, no kidneys. Unless you want to do this part: "remove skin, white tubes and fat"

Miss RM: I agree! And there is no BAD excuse for a party!

Sara In AZ said...

OMG! How sad! Wouldn't it be great if you could have a "Bill Copp" moment with Betty Dean. :)

Eartha Kitsch said...

You KNOW that's what I'm hoping for, Sara! :)

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

Someone I follow just posted a vintage recipe for jellied moose nose. Maybe Betty Dean realised that all the cool kids were eating that at their parties and couldn't face the food fascists.

Eartha Kitsch said...

Jellied Moose Nose - now THAT I want to see! And wow, yeah...if that's the case - no party for me either.

Lost Star said...

Fabulous post.
Inspired me to make this: http://instagr.am/p/EhN-L/

Eartha Kitsch said...

Very nice!