What Cookery Is This? My Great Recipe Cards, 1984

I remember being completely fascinated by my mother’s set of Betty Crocker recipe cards when I was but a wee paisley.  At that point in my life I was in the running for the title of Pickiest Eater: Anything Not a PB&J, but those cards…there was something about them that always drew me in.  I would look through them and reject them on principle.  Onions?  No.  Peppers?  Gross.  Mushrooms?  HA HA!  HA HA!  HA HA!  All I had to learn was that they were a fungus and then?  Profoundly no with an irritated hand flip for good measure.

But those cards…they were shiny and…well, shiny…and they held the promise of exotic meals that I’d never heard of and probably wouldn’t have eaten anyway, often presented curiously.  Who in their right minds would put spinach in a clear glass trifle dish?

Elegance fail.from davidstable.com

Wee me deemed this an elegance fail. Nothing personal, Betty Crocker.
from davidstable.com

Spinach was something that was meant to be hidden away in the darkest recesses of our unholy present, never to be spoken of again.  Betty Crocker people, you so crazy!  And just to be clear, despite my current infatuation with the kitchen,  I didn’t care one bit about cooking at that point in my life.  Who knows why I found them so mesmerizing?  I just did.  I’m not sure if my mother got them in the mail (it could be that someone gave them to her, and it’s not as though she was consulting me on her cooking choices at that point in my life) but I do remember climbing up to the top of the fridge to get my tiny little meat hooks on that plastic box with the clamshell cover.

And so I lust for a set of my own.  The other day, my boyfriend and I were trolling the aisles at our local and amazingly awesome flea market when we stumbled upon an incomplete set of not-Betty-Crocker.  The cards we found were from My Great Recipes, circa 1984-1988 but you know what?  Still craptastically satisfying.  The foodie revolution had not yet begun except, perhaps, for Alice Waters‘s small corner of northern California and so much of the food presented largely originated out of cans and bags.  Food photography has also come a long way since 1984, so there’s a lot of cheesetastic, era-defining food horror contained in a relatively small amount of cards.  And the pack I found was only a–one, singular–dollar.  You can’t go wrong with that.

Thus, without further ado…a completely biased sample of the My Great Recipe card set.  There will be more to come as I work my way through the cards.  Prepare brain bleach.

Mmm, appetizers!

Mmm, appetizers!

Apparently, deep in the confines of this hallucinatory green nugget of Astroturf, there lives some boiled, shredded chicken breasts.  Two things: the only time I’ve willingly eaten boiled chicken breasts is when I was so sick I could only handle a bland diet.  Yeah!  Where do I sign for more memories of the stomach flu?  And, they want you to wilt spinach, then unfurl it.  Which is sort of akin to unfurling wet tissue paper.  It CAN be done, but more likely than not will require a scanning tunneling microscope so you can successfully move the spinach atoms without tearing the leaves.

Remind me not to bring this to a barbecue.

Remind me never to bring this to a barbecue.

Charred forearm of a burn victim, served with broiled fatty tumors.  It’s what’s for dinner.

Aloha, chicken!

Aloha, chicken!

The good people of Hawaii should stage a revolution in response to this…this…”chicken aloha”.  First of all, this recipe is an express ticket to Diabetesville, since it involves pineapple chunks in syrup, yams in syrup, and an unreasonable amount of currant jelly.  Would you like some chicken with your sugar?  And at first I couldn’t figure out the name (no matter how much you try and argue differently, Hawaiian is not made by pineapple alone) until I remembered, “aloha” can mean both “hello” and “goodbye”.  So I think it actually means “goodbye, chicken” and “hello, whole roasted juvenile pelican“.  Because I’m pretty sure that’s what’s in the pan.

Even I'm at a loss for words on this one.

Even I’m at a loss for words on this one.

Hi.  My name is Hannibal Lecter.  For my dinner this evening, I would like to order a half-cup of mayonnaise served on a cross-section of human ass, please.

Rare.

Thank you.

Ummmm...

Ummmm…

Are you sure you wouldn’t prefer the slabs of granite left over from your countertop installation, served with soothing river stones and watercress?

Erhmm...

Erhmm…

Ooh, tempting.  But no, I’ll take the crusted meat that’s been left out to dry for three days, topped with your phlegm and melted plastic reduction.

Savor the flavor.

Savor the flavor.

And for dessert, perhaps some sliced grapes with welts?  Sitting in a pastry crust and covered with slime?  Perfecto!

True story: I was visiting some friends for a long weekend, with a (now-ex) boyfriend.  He was going out to the store and wanted to know if I wanted anything.  I asked him to get me some fruit, I wanted fresh fruit, I needed to at least try and counter some of the effects of a weekend house party with something healthy.  And something like this?  Was what he brought back, only that version had kiwifruit, too.  I’ve been laughing about it for years.

I hear the cries for mercy.  And there’s only so many of these I can look at at one sitting.  So we’ll call this quits for now.  Just remember, there’s more coming!

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42 responses to What Cookery Is This? My Great Recipe Cards, 1984

  1. mudpuddlescampers

    Hilarious! My mom had a plastic clamshell lidded box full of recipe cards, too, which I would pore over as a wee kid! I particularly remember being impressed by the elaborately creative desserts such as the ladybug cake and caterpillar ice cream cake. I also remember feeling strangely fascinated yet horrified by the meat-in-aspic-in- jello mold card. Every time I looked at that card I had to ask my mom to tell me about that aspic stuff again; I still haven’t wrapped my mind around that one. Ha! Thanks for that walk down memory lane!

    Like

    • beyondpaisley – Author

      You see? This is why you and I understand one another. Yes, the desserts! I remember being enchanted by the baked Alaska. As for aspic…*shudder*…to this day it kind of freaks me out. Then again, Jello kind of freaks me out. Which is precisely why there will be a blog about it in the relatively near future. LOL Stay tuned! XO

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  2. Hahahaha! Loving this! My mum had something similar , although I suspect that Betty Crocker was considered dangerously sophisticated in our house 🙂

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    • beyondpaisley – Author

      I don’t remember what my mom actually used from that set of cards and suspect she liked them more in theory than in practice. But I thought they were crazy-interesting! I remember signing up for something similar that was being offered when I first moved out of my house, but it just wasn’t the same. LOL Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. jp

    Hmmmm, now I can’t decide what I am looking forward to most: your continuation of this series, or the next time you go to the mall and make fun of the clothes! (Mom & I lol’ing like crazy here, thanks!).

    Like

  4. Suzy Gerchalk

    I have had this recipe card collection for years and have used it many times….well, as I was rearranging things in my kitchen this morning, I dropped the boxed and completely broke it, does anyone know where I can get a replacement box?

    Like

    • beyondpaisley – Author

      Oh, no! What a shame, I am so sorry to hear it! I assume you’ve tried Googling “My Great Recipe Cards replacement box” and such? I have no idea where you can find a new box. 😦 Sorry! Good luck.

      Like

  5. Scott

    My wife has an almost complete set of these cards – I’m in the process of scanning them in so we have electronic copies in case something happens to them – if your interested in getting copies of those you don’t have – let me know. Maybe you have a few of the ones that are not in her set…

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    • beyondpaisley – Author

      How cool! Thanks. The set I have is a mishmosh of a few years worth of recipe cards, so we probably do have things that the other might not have.

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      • Scott

        Just finished the first set – Hot and Cold Appetizers – all the cards we have are scanned in. We are missing cards 12, 24, 26, 31, 33, 34, 36.

        Like

    • connie

      Scott I have a friend looking for some. I will post he numbers she has listed. She wants to pass on the the next generation .
      7 – #48
      9 – #75
      20 – #67
      23 – #191
      23 – #193
      23 – #210
      24 – #28
      plus Hints & Tips #9, 28 and 46

      email is cmcqb at hotmail dot com Please put recipe cards in subject box so I know not to delete email. She will love you for this!!

      Like

      • beyondpaisley – Author

        OMG, Scott, my summer has gotten so completely crazed that this completely slipped my mind. My most humble apologies…

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      • Roy Kelly 2

        Not sure if you are still looking Scott, given the time that has passed since you posted. We have some of the Hot and Cold Appetizer cards you needed – 12, 24, 26, and 31. We had not even started scanning them in – but that is a great idea! My email is roykellyii@gmail — use a subject like My Great Recipe Cards just in case it goes into my spam folder

        Like

      • Roy Kelly 2

        Hi Connie! Don’t know if your friend is still looking for any of these.

        We do have Hints & Tips (Group 33) #9 “Answers to Baking Problems”.

        Like

  6. Dianne South

    I had the complete set and my husband sold them at a yard sale for $3.00. He also sold my food processor for $5.00. Did I mention he is my EX husband?? Is there a recipe card for pretzel cookies? My son wants me to bake some, but I can’t remember if it was in the Great Recipe Collection or not. There was also a recipe for some Peanut butter meltaway cookies that I would kill for. Is anyone willing to share? LOL, I still remember the Chunk-O-Cheese Meatloaf recipe.

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    • beyondpaisley – Author

      Oy! $3.00? $5.00? No wonder he’s a ex! I’ll have to look and see what dessert cards I have, since my set is VERRRRRRY incomplete…I’ll let you know.

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      • Dianne South

        Thanks. I can’t remember if this recipe was in those cards or not. I made them with my kids and they have asked for them again over the years. My oldest is 33! They are a sugar type cookie, the dough is colored and they were shaped into pretzels.

        Like

      • Dianne South

        I lucked out and my youngest son found me a complete set on ebay for my birthday. All the cards I was yearning for are there. I actually have 2 big boxes full now. Thank you for your help.

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  7. Jil

    I am looking for one that I was sure I kept a copy of but can not find. It was for a corn casserole. Sems like it had green onions, mustard and sour cream in it. My friend says it was called deviled corn but I’m not sure that is right. Anybody got that one? I gave my box to a lady who over here from Puerto Rico and wanted to learn how to cook.

    Like

    • beyondpaisley – Author

      I’ll take a look at what I have. My set is wildly incomplete and quite small and, I realized, is culled from a few different release years. So my “set” is made up of cards from 1980, 1981…you get the picture. But if I have a deviled corn recipe (or whatever it’s called) I’ll let you know.

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  8. I am looking for the names of the recipe card sets from the Great American Cookie Collection. I heard that there are 60 sets. I collected 58 sets and am trying to complete the set, but I do not know the names of the ones I am missing. Can anyone help me out??
    Email me at xkarenb@tx.rr.com

    Like

  9. GMF

    Does anyone happen to have the cheese breadsticks recipe from the my great recipe box? I have been looking for it for about 15 years now. Thank you!!

    Like

    • Paula

      Yes GMF if your still looking for it ? I have the card ! Catergory “23” Card “78” Cheesy Bread Sticks 🙂

      Like

  10. I had acquired a few sets back then, but lost them during a move. I tried to get more, but I couldn’t get them to send me anymore! I begged them, I even slightly threatened them. I remember I loved the creme brulee recipe, the chicken enchiladas, and I used to make the filbert cookies that my then-husband used to love. But the one I really missed is Sliced Tomato Pie – can ANYONE help me out here? In the chicken enchilada recipe, the flour/corn? tortilla part – it’s hard to remember how I made it – was really tender.

    Like

  11. Dianna D'Alessandro

    I have two file boxes full of them from back in the day and I still use them all the time. I love them because they’re individual and you have a picture to see what it looks like. I’m baking a blueberry crumb coffee cake from My Great Recipes right now. It’s delicious and everyone is always asking me to bake this. I would love to get them again if they ever start up again.

    Like

  12. Taniesha

    I’m looking for the Pineapple Graham cracker cake, not sure if that is the correct name. It’s from the My Great Recipes set and it uses graham cracker crumbs in place of flour, and has a pineapple sauce for the top. My email address is tanieshawendlandt@yahoo.com

    Like

  13. Kylie

    I’m looking for the recipe card for “chocolate lovers torte” anyone have that one they could scan for me?

    Like

  14. Michele

    Hello,
    I am looking for a card from cat 26 cookies and I have a complete set so I’m not sure if it’s card #205 but the name has these 3 ingredients. “cinnamon, oatmeal, raisin” so it’s either cinnamon raisin oatmeal cookies or oatmeal cinnamon raisin etc… It may even have old fashioned in the name. I misplaced mine somewhere and really wanted to make these for Christmas. I appreciate any help!

    Like

  15. Rodney Keyes

    Hello, I’m looking for a My Great Recipes card, set 9, poultry card 38.Five Cheese Chicken Breasts, would love to have a copy of card with picture, mine is UN-useable. Thanks in advance.
    e-mail is hotrodkeyes@hotmail.com

    Like

  16. TiffanyLee Stalinsky

    I am looking for a recipe from these cards! I am not sure if this is the actual name, but I believe it was Baked Fish in a Cheese Dill Sauce. It had fish, the dill sauce cheese and rice. I try to recreate it, but it is just not the same.

    Like

  17. Darlene reirz

    I have almost all of the cards but lost the korean bulgogi one if any one has the card I would love to know how to make it

    Like

  18. Kit

    I love my “My Great Recipes” card collection! I am, however, looking for a single recipe that someone took my card. Could you please check your cards and see if you have a “Mudcake” card. I think it may have been in a section that you would not expect it to be in, also. I would greatly appreciate it!! Please and thank you!

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