Thursday, March 15, 2012

Advice from Betty Crocker

In my opinion, when one needs a little charge of energy because that one feels lethargic and listless, one can never go wrong by following the sage advice of Betty Crocker from my 1956 hardcover ring-binder cookbook, now held together by duct tape and hole reinforcements. The book may be old, but the wisdom for the average housewife will never go out of style. Let's see what we can learn in 2012. Oh, my lands, I just realized how many years that is.

Betty Crocker: For personal outlook, every morning before breakfast, comb hair, apply make-up, a dash of cologne, and perhaps some simple earrings. Does wonders for your morale.
Celia: Uh-uh, bad advice for some of us. I must drink  coffee for thirty minutes, then in my jammies and uncombed hair, I make it to the kitchen island where I will eat Cheerios and read my paper until I feel like talking.

Betty Crocker: Prevent unnecessary fatigue. Use a dust mop and a long-handled dust pan. Use self-wringing mop (no stooping.)
Celia: What is a self-wringing mop and dust pan?

Betty Crocker: Do head work while dusting, sweeping, washing dishes, paring potatoes, etc. Plan family recreation, the garden, etc.
Celia: I dust twice a year, I never "sweep," I have a dishwasher, and I do not plan family recreation. They can plan their own recreation. I'm busy.

Betty Crocker: If you feel tired, lie down on the kitchen floor on your back, put your hands above your head, close your eyes, and relax.
Celia: If I did that, my husband would walk in, gasp, and call 911.

Betty Crocker: Before your husband comes home from work, change your dress, refresh your make-up, add a little more cologne, and greet him at the door with a hug and welcome home kiss.
Celia: Okay, excuse me here. I'm laughing so hard I can hardly stand up.

Betty Crocker: Have the sink, work table, counter tops, etc. at a height that is comfortable to eliminate strain. If your dishpan is too low, set it on a box.
Celia: Huh?

Betty Crocker: Harbor pleasant thoughts while doing your household chores. Think of going to the beach, playing an outdoor game, sailing on a boat, or dancing with your husband.
Celia: I do all this on a regular basis. It's called daydreaming, and I'm very good at it. That's when I usually create a new story or scene in my head.

Betty Crocker: Check up on yourself. If after following all these rules for proper rest, exercise, diet, you are still tired and depressed, have a medical check-up and follow doctor's orders.
Celia: could take my advice. Eat some chocolate, drink some wine, read a romance novel, and make a comfort food for dinner, such as a Broccoli Rice Casserole.

 Comfort Food from the Fifties:
Broccoli Rice Casserole
Butter a 9X13 casserole dish
Sprinkle 1 cup raw rice evenly over the bottom
Chop one small onion and sprinkle over the rice
Cover rice with 2 pkg frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
In a one-quart mixing cup, blend:
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
Pour over rice and broccoli
Over top, sprinkle one cup grated cheddar cheese
Cover with aluminum foil
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes (uncover the last
ten minutes)
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas 


  1. Soooo cute. I agree with Celia. Mom had that cookbook. I think it ended up at my sister's.

  2. I love that part about lying on the kitchen floor. I'm sure you could eat off Betty Crocker's floor, but not mine!

    Great fun, Celia!

  3. I am currently looking at my kitchen floor which has a combination of dirt and dog hair from the border collie who lives here. It is pouring down rain outside and he and hubby and son have been tracking in ever since I swept that floor Wed. night.

    If I had to lay down on this kitchen floor in order to get rest I might be tempted to shoot someone. Plus the dog would only think I was there to play with him.

    In this house it is best to go lay down on the bed, with headphones and listen to some nice relaxing music to get rest.

    Thanks for sharing the 50's cookbook advice. I read it partly with laughter and partly with a wow, no wonder women took valium running through my head.

  4. Thanks for the laugh, Celia. I love those old advice bits. Life has changed a lot, not all for the better. Thank heavens, our lives don't revolve around housework! I remember going to a party with my mom when I was about eight. The women had a lively discussion about the best way to iron a man's shirt. Thank heavens there's more to life now!

  5. This is hilarious! It might also be a collector's item so hold onto that little nugget. I love Betty Crocker :-).

  6. And, I have the same cookbook held together with tape, etc. You gotta love that advice. I was laughing along with you so hard I had to read the advice out loud. I could never have survived without my Betty Crocker cookbook. Thanks for reminding me how fortunate I am now - dusting?? what is that?? I agree with you and living in the mountains with a wood stove is really harsh on dusting and then there are those pesky spiders who love to create beautiful webs that must be cherished and not destroyed. :)

  7. Thanks for the laughs Celia. Were we ever that crazy? I guess we were. I once read in a book for newlywed women that was written 1876. It explained how to do dozens of chores and cook great meals in half the book and the other half was how to lavish all this praise on your husband.

    I've often wondered why no one wrote a book for newelywed husbands.


  8. Some of it sounds like good advice for women of the time who were housewives. It's amazing how things have changed. You added a touch of humor and made it fun to read.

  9. Celia,
    How sad that you mocked miss Betty. I myself, cannot function without her insightful wisdom to face my day.


  10. I have the 1960 version. My mom got it as a wedding present. It's still my go to cookbook for baking. As for the advice - my dog licks the floor. Lay on it - I think not! Betty does make a mean casserole. Add a little chicken, and that baby is dinner.

  11. Celia, this is tooooooo funny! Oh man, I remember that cookbook, but your answers are more memorable!

  12. Loved this post!
    Okay, I've been looking for this recipe for years!(Since I accidentally vleaned out my recipe box!) I add some cut up cooked chicken with the brocolli and wa-la! Thanks!

  13. After all that mopping, sweeping and ringing, I have a feeling I'd need a little more than a dash of cologne to greet my husband. LOL~

  14. I have a 1970 edition of Betty Crocker's Cookbook. Mine looks about as shabby as yours but, alas, mine had no sage advice in it.
    I loved the advice about greeting your husband when he returns home from work--like he was the only one out there working.
    Loved the part about chosing activities for the household--yeah. Like that's gonna happen.
    Loved your blog. You crack me up, Celia.

  15. Anyone who lies on my kitchen floor would probably get g-kid shoe prints on their foreheads. I wouldn't recommend it.

    Here's one for Betty Crocker: Train your husband to call on his way home from work to see what to bring for dinner. Mama's writing.

    True confession: I do feed him a decent dinner, but all the rest...well, there are only so many hours in the day. I name the dust bunnies and keep them for pets.

    Thanks for my laugh of the day, Celia!

  16. Celia, did you notice that lying on the kitchen floor got the most response here? I can tell you why the advice...and no,I didn't learn this firsthand. But I know from my mother and MIL that you did NOT lie on a bed after you made it unless you were dying. It was a rule. Great blog.

  17. Mona--you should have kept that cookbook. It may be worth a lot of money one day.

    Maggie--I cannot imagine, but the little picture on the page with the advice showed the housewife with her apron over her dress lying flat on her back in her kitchen. Weird.

    Thanks, guys!

  18. Debra--I thought about the valium thing, too.My mother kept a clean house, but not that clean.Sure, I thought, what's wrong with the bed? As one commented reminded me, and she is those days, once your bed was made you did not lie down on it. Not in our house anyway, until I was a teenage and all rules went out the window.Thanks so much for commenting.

  19. Caroline--that's so funny! Or is is? I remember discussions like that, too! Goodness gracious.

    Ava-oh, I love Betty Crocker, too. That's why this cookbook is so worn. There are some things you just cannot cook without that cookbook.

    Paisley--we live in a humid green area--hardly any real dust. But I grew up in West Texas, and at age 92, my mother could only remember all the sand she swept out of the house.

  20. Celia, LOL. This sounds more like the life of June Cleaver on "Leave It To Beaver."

    Real-ly. Does a woman wear high heels and a pearl necklace while she works around the house? June did.

    If this is proper etiquette, I've REALLY missed the mark in my sweatpants and hubby's old shirts.

    BTW, you are funnier than Betty. Hee-hee.

  21. I LOVE your comments, Celia! And did people in the 1950's really take this kind of advice onboard?

  22. Celia, give me your advice any day of the week! Sorry. I don't have time for make up and splash of cologne in the morning. I've just got enough time for coffee. LOL!!

    And I am not lying down on my kitchen floor. That's a scary thought.

    Thanks for sharing Betty's insights. They were a hoot


  23. Laurean-oh, yeah, we've all missed the 50s mark. My mother didn't wear pearls, but the word hose all day and an apron to keep her house dress clean. I'm not sure there was ever a real June Cleaver--close but not quite. Thanks!

  24. Paula--probably not completely, but to some extent. I think it's in the category of Dear Ann Landers--we read her advice for someone, but even if we were in her same situation, we wouldn't do it the same way. It's funny, isn't it? I love to read stuff like this.
    Thanks for coming by!

  25. Steph- oh, yes, we can make up our own advice. We do not need this kind of stuff in any decade! Thanks for your comment....

  26. Oh my, I can't quit laughing. Change your dress before hubby gets home? Ha! He's lucky if I'm in jeans and a T-shirt. Half the time I'm in my jammies and floppy robe, pounding away at the keyboard. Dear ole Betty would faint with shock!