Sunday, June 14, 2009

Reminiscing: The Presto Cooker Recipe Book

After the delicious sounding recipes from Gebhardt's, I thought that I would follow up with some from the Presto Cooker Recipe Book, which was published in 1947.

Clicking on the pictures will enlarge them if you want a closer look.

This book begins with a photo of the ultra modern National Pressure Cooker Company kitchen:

The illustrations in this book are what really sells it for me. Doesn't this look like a tasty dinner? Also, you can read about the "scientific saucepan" on this page.

One of my favorite features of this book is the table decor in the color photos. Often, they match the food (as you will see), but sometimes it is completely random. Here is a giraffe sitting next to a bowl of hot cereal. What exactly is the connection here?

How about a tasty bowl of soup? I love the salt and pepper shakers in the bottom right corner:

Here we are. Everyone knows that when you eat meat, the most appropriate table decoration is a miniature ceramic figurine of the animal from which the meat came. Ham? Roast? Stew? Pig. Cow. Cow. This reminds me of Mary and Larry's wedding reception when another member of the wedding party came back from the buffet and said "Pork, chicken, beef--three dead animals on one plate!"

I chose a few recipes from this section of the book to include here. How about some stuffed beef heart? What kind of table decoration goes with that? A cow figurine and one of those heart-shaped stress relievers from the American Heart Association?

This book not only offers a recipe for fresh tongue, but it also offers a recipe for smoked tongue! I noticed that there were no pictures to go with these recipes.

As for table decor, perhaps some of these would be appropriate?

Here again, the table decorations are so thoughtful and creative. A fishing net-like table cloth and a ceramic figurine of some guy with a cart, which is filled with fresh shrimp.

If you're having chicken, you have to have a set of chicken salt and pepper shakers.

And this one is for Larry--I thought he'd like to have this as a special Father's Day treat:


What a festive holiday table! A couple of candles and a sprig of obviously fake greenery. Don't go too crazy Presto people...

I can't even tell what some of this is supposed to be:

Just in case you haven't learned enough from the Presto people about table setting and decoration, they have provided two more pages of invaluable advice at the end of the book.

I think my favorite part is the sage advice at the bottom of the second page: "The secret of good service is serving foods appetizingly, thoughtfully, and cheerfully." Really? I'm not sure they succeeded based on the photos they included in the cookbook.

The end. Next up: Prize Dairy Dishes.


Anonymous said...

I bet Manuel could roast a better squirrel than that! -F

Ken said...

I know that Manuel would make squirrel taste like heaven ;-)