It is, however, still a kind of Holy Grail of cookbooks, teaching the reader to plan ahead, be organized, make meals that make other meals (leftovers) and combine overlapping jobs in the kitchen: all good advice no matter what decade you live in. There are clear and concise instructions for proper measuring, a glossary of common terms and emergency substitutions, and each section contains basic information about the techniques the cook will need to apply in that section. The poultry section, for instance, contains a chart outlining how long to cook a chicken or turkey by weight, and approximately how many diners you can expect to feed.
Up there with Fanny Farmer; Betty is part of our culinary heritage, even if she never really existed. Yes, our ideas of both nutrition and sophistication have changed, sometimes for the better, sometimes worse, but there is a core of solid recipes to be found in its pages. When it comes down to it, books like this are the fundamentals of American cooking and the family meal. The final word, here, still belongs to Betty.
“Make mealtime a special time in your home by serving appetizing food in a relaxed, happy atmosphere. The buoyant health and feeling of well being that results will be reward enough for the care and loving through you give to your family’s meals.”