My First Cookbook, An Imperial Sugar Tradition


When I was a child, my mom bought me a 34-page paperback cookbook with easy kid recipes and drawings.  The cookbook was a freebie you could order from Imperial Sugar.  It was the first in their series of My First Cookbook released every five years from 1959 thru 1991 and then again 2004 thru 2015 with new covers and updated contents.   I do not remember using it much as a child because my mom preferred to be queen of the kitchen and work alone.  I occasionally got to stir stuff that was not on the stove, make jello and tea, and often got to lick the spoon when she prepared sweets.  It seemed like every day, my mom was always baking something,


However my son and I used it a lot to make recipes for the cookbook together.  The book had 14 recipes for bread, main dishes, salads, vegetables, and eggs.   His favorite one to fix form my childhood book was Meat Loafettes because his dad loved meatloaf.  We made it with ground turkey instead of hamburger in a muffin tin which produced individual serving size meat loaves.  We served it with my son’s favorite corn and “real” mashed potatoes complete with lumps and my Grandmother’s secret ingredient.  The book also contained sweet 14 recipes for cookies, cakes, candy, and other items.  The fudge and fruit jello were the recipes we used most from sweets.


I received a copy of the new version of my old cookbook as a prize in a contest.  The 2015 version of My First Cookbook of Easy Recipes and Crafts.  This version is a notebook style with 6 tabs and 86-pages of instructions and photos.  The notebook allows the new cook to add recipes as they learn to loe working in the kitche,  It is beautiful but the edible recipe categories are not as well-balanced as some of the older versions.  You get breakfast, beverages, snacks, desserts, and candy.  Then the last category is crafts: bird food, finger paints, dye, play dough, jewelry, and bath bombs.  Both the old and new books have a “cooking basics” section that includes how to measure, kitchen safety, and cooking terms for beginners.

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