March 26, 2007

A Handi-Book of Meat Cookery

Like her counterpart Betty Crocker at General Mills, Martha Logan was the fictional corporate spokeswoman for the meatpacking giant Swift & Company. Under the guise of Martha Logan, Swift's staff of home economists dispensed advice, recipes and tips to consumers from Swift's Chicago office, on radio shows and in cooking demonstrations across the country. Many women had jobs as a Martha Logan over the years when the various promotional situations called for a live person.

Martha Logan's Meat Handi-Book (1968, 16 pp.) was only one of the many Martha Logan promotional booklets published by Swift & Company. The booklet was designed to help consumers choose and cook their meat properly.

As in many of the Swift & Company cookbooks, a short personal note from Martha Logan is found inside the front cover:

"Hi--Meat Makes the Meal--if it's cooked properly! The fame of each cut of meat depends upon the way you cook it! For instance, a Swift's Premium Porterhouse Steak would be quite tasteless if it were braised and a low-grade round steak would be unchewable if it were broiled.

I hope this booklet will help you treat each cut right.--Martha Logan"

The booklet is made up primarily of tables and charts with no other illustrations save the one on the front cover. While similar information may be found in other cookbooks, the tables in this booklet include not only generic cuts of meat but also specific cuts and brands produced or packed by Swift such as Swift's Premium Corned Beef Brisket and Swift's Georgia Peanut Cook-Before-Eating Ham.

One chart shows the drawings of the bone shapes of beef, veal, pork and lamb, divided into tender (T-bone, rib bone, wedge bone and round bone) and those less tender (blade bone). This chart is meant to help you identify a cut of meat and predict tenderness.

Other charts and tables found inside were the Refrigerator Storage Time Chart, Freezer Storage Time Chart, Roasting Schedule for Fresh Meat, Roasting Schedule for Cured and Smoked Pork, Roasting Schedule for Poultry, Braising Schedule for Meat, a Water Cooking Schedule and a Broiling Schedule.

Short discussions on the storage methods and preparation of different types and cuts of meats and poultry are included, as well as instructions on how to use a meat thermometer.

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March 21, 2007

Pillsbury Lovin' from the Oven

Consumers could obtain Lovin' from the Oven (1987, 49 pp.) from either the grocery store aisle when two packages of Pillsbury's BEST Flour were purchased or from an order form found in the rear of the booklet. I guess this form could be used for additional copies or passed on to friends since you had to get the booklet anyway before you could get the form. There was no limit to the number of cookbooks that could be ordered by mail; each copy required one UPC from the Pillbury flour package and 50 cents for postage and handling.

I like this recipe booklet. The size is convenient and the 38 recipes include many favorites that I use over and over. The recipes are divided into four sections: The Cookie Jar (favorite cookies and bars), The Dessert Table (cakes and other special favorites), The Bread Basket (quick breads, muffins and more) and The Holiday Home (delicious ideas for every special day of the year.

If you do a lot of basic, uncomplicated baking you will probably find this booklet convenient too. Recipes for Peanut Butter Cookies (and Peanut Blossoms), Chocolate Chip Cookies, Favorite Fudge Brownies (with frosting), Snickerdoodles, Sunburst Lemon Bars and Swedish Tea Cakes can all be found inside along with color photographs.

Some of the cake recipes are: Sour Cream Pound Cake, Chocolate Sour Cream Cake (and frosting), Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Shortcake, Streusel Pecan Pie Squares (a Bake-Off winner), and a simple Carrrot Cake with Creamy Supreme Frosting.

All the basic bread recipes are here too: Old-Fashioned Baking Powder Biscuits, Honey Granola Bread, Pineapple Zucchini Bread, Corn Muffins, Blueberry Muffins, Popovers, Pancakes and Waffles.

Some of the Holiday recipes are St. Lucia's Wreath, Braided Holiday Stollen, Ginger Cookie Cut-Outs, Miniature Custar Cream Puffs, Chocolate Truffle Cookies and Honey Bear Breads.

See what I mean? It's got a bit of everything that you can bake.

There are three pages of Baking Tips in the rear of the booklet. This includes a section on Pan Alternatives if a recipe calls for a size of baking pan that you don't have. They offer some substitutes you can use that generally work out well.

This little cookbook, being published in the 80s, includes Nutritional Information per Serving with each recipe.

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