The Wackadoodle Adventures of 1956 Mom

1956 Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book

In 1956 Betty Crocker Cookbooks not only cared deeply about 1956 Mom’s cooking; they cared deeply about her life.  As proof, here’s some hints from the “Special Helps” section.

Let’s start with this little gem of a helpful hint:

woman lying on the kitchen floor relaxing

Apparently in 1956, it was perfectly acceptable for Mom to lie down on the kitchen floor to  relax and/or fall asleep for as long as 3 to 5 minutes without anyone thinking she was completely out of her gourd.
It’s not clear if this odd form of  “relaxation” was reserved only for the kitchen floor or if one might come across 1956  Mom relaxing on, say, the floor of the Post Office or while waiting in line at the bank.

But a wise 1956 Mom would have  kept this handy little tip bookmarked should  she ever need to explain to dinner guests why they  found her lying down on the kitchen floor after sampling,  god forbid,  one too many Brandy Alexanders.

1956 Mom gets all her thoughts from Betty Crocker!

Woman thinking about activities such as sailling, relaxing on a desert island, golfing and dancing.

Not only does Betty Crocker want 1956 Mom to harbor pleasant thoughts while scrubbing the kitchen floor so clean she’ll be able to lie down on it for 3 to 5 minutes, she is even giving 1956 Mom some suggestions about what these thoughts might be.

Such as relaxing on a tropical island for instance.  Or dancing one-legged with a guy whose center of gravity is somewhere around his knees.

Or maybe 1956 Mom could distract herself from her work by thinking about  a sailboat with a dangerous starboard list that perhaps the guy with the low center of gravity just happens to be sailing on.

But chances are what 1956 Mom thought was the pleasantest of all these suggestions was thinking about  her husband holding her golf bag  waist-high for her while  she leisurely takes thousands and thousands and thousands of practice swings.

If only 1956 Mom could find a kitten in a tree . . . it would be hilarious!

1956 Illustration of woman coaxing a kitten out of a tree

This tip is a little more tricky, however.  Betty Crocker is only suggesting 1956 Mom find a kitten in a tree so that 1956 Mom will have something —  anything to talk about — besides relaxing on the kitchen floor and  thinking about cookbook-suggested topics.

This is just a suggestion because searching for a kitten could be dangerous to 1956 Mom’s health.  Obviously, it took 1956 Mom hours and hours of uninterrupted hiking to happen upon a kitten in a tree.

Which means by the time 1956 Mom found the kitten in the tree, she was horribly emaciated and her waist had dwindled from its normal  circumference of 7 inches to a measly 5 and 3/4 inches.

Of course, maybe it was well worth it because, in the end, 1956 Mom did  have a wonderful story in her brain about finding a kitten in a tree to tell to her family at dinnertime and — when the time was right — she managed to tell her story with good humor and aplomb.

It was a story that her family would  have found uproariously funny too had they not already left the room.

Until next time . . . I love you

22 thoughts on “The Wackadoodle Adventures of 1956 Mom

  1. I wonder what Betty Crocker would suggest for 2011 mom. Maybe something like….Pretend that you’re dining in a 5 star restaurant as you wipe away the grease from the bucket of chicken you just brought home for your bratty children and ignorant husband.

  2. On the bright side, driven-crazy 1956 mom would probably have a delightful smile, perfect hair and a perfectly ironed dress as she stabbed anyone 72 times for suggesting that was how she spent her day.

    Seriously, did anyone besides Donna Reed live like that?

    • Ha ha! Yes, things were pretty rigid back then. I remember I couldn’t play outside on Sundays because it was a day of rest. I still don’t like Sundays very much to this day. There must have been a lot of stabbing going on behind closed doors. Neat stabs with straight, even lines, that is!

      • And remember ladies, when stabbing, be sure to wear that fabulous red print dress. Not only will you look spectacular, but the colors and pattern will easily hide any unsightly splatter until you get to do the laundry again!

  3. Thank the Lord there is no 1956 Lizzie ! I would suck – seriously be all messed up and how DID anybody do that? Do you really think they did that? I lie on the floor all the time but not cause I am tired. Oh they would have for sure committed me to the looney bin. Actually I think my grandmother was the 1956 Lizzie – and she had EST – really. Ackkk

    Ok enough of me you are so good at making it funny – I actually envisioned for a quick minute – I bet you would be a nose thumber back then too – and I saw that you used this weeks word – with aplomb I might add – Too cool you ROCK!
    (as usual!)
    🙂 Peace

    • Your comments always make me laugh! And make me feel so good! And you’re right I definitely didn’t go along with the “program” as much as my mother would have liked. She was always lamenting why I couldn’t be like another girl named Julie who I went to school with — because JULIE kept her knee socks pulled up and Julie always kept her hair combed. I’d like to say that Julie grew up to be a crack addict but she went on to become first runner-up for Jr. Miss America. Proving something. I’m not really sure what! If you figure it out Lizzie, let me know, will ya? 🙂

      • Proving….. 🙄 .yeah I am at a loss right now too. I was a hot mess as a kid. Not much has changed – I have always been the one whose hair doesn’t behave right forget knee socks I didn’t have matching socks. ack. I’ll let you know if I come up with anythng.

  4. My aunt and I compared our Betty Crocker children’s cookbooks over Xmas (I have both at my house). Hers is from 1962 and mine is from 1989. Anyway, while mine had more or less full recipes to follow, her book wasn’t so complete. Her spaghetti recipe was “a box of noodles and a can of red sauce.” And the macaroni and cheese recipe was “a box of macaroni and cheese and a can of Vienna sausages.” Yum.

    • Now that’s the kind of thing I find fascinating! I would be P O’d if I bought a cookbook and they put in box of noodles and a can of red sauce in leiu of a spaghetti recipe. Say What? Betty Crocker must have had iron poor blood in 1962. She was definitely just phoing it in (and probably reversing the long distance charges!)

      I love collecting old cookbooks. The ones in the 30’s are really interesting and everything is even more wholesome than the 50’s cookbooks if you can believe that.

  5. My mom needs to get this cookbook. The only thing she relates at the dinner table are stories from her work, and she’s a lactation consultant. I wish she would find more kittens in trees. Or a new puppy.

  6. I love that it’s acknowledged that moms get tired,but I take issue with a cat in a tree being interesting. The happy thoughts are certainly taken care of with all the anti-depressants mommy needs to be on.

  7. I grew up with a 1950’s edition of Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book. It was used so much we could no longer read the recipes on some of the pages, especially the ones for cookies.yuuummmy. Anyway… I recently found one at a used book store in excellent condition and I grabbed that puppy for only $1.50. What a find. What a deal. I hardly ever (never) cook, but IF I did I’d use this sucker all the time. I love how they show you how to cut tomatoes, peel potatoes and grate cheese. Who knew?
    Enjoy always. T

    • I know! I love the old cookbooks. They remind me of simplier days, back when my mom was responsible for doing all the cooking and all I had to do was come in from playing outside and sit down to a big hearty, dinner cooked every single night of the week! My mother made fantastic homemade cinnamon rolls and chocolate chip cookies to die for! And of course she only used the Betty Crocker Cookbook! And it seems to me that the raw fruits and veggies were jucier and more flavorful. Ah the 50’s! Of course we did have to worry abit about exploding any moment from and atomic bomb. But hey the food was worth it!

  8. absolutely marvelous… I went and tried the laying down for five minutes, I got more tired, so it is time for a nap now (grin) I love the way this was written. (~_~) I like the way you look at life.

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