Downsizing: The Cookbooks


Fanny Farmer


When one of my mom’s friends gave me the The Fannie Farmer Cookbook as a wedding shower gift, I couldn’t have imagined the Internet.

Any recipe you want, at your fingertips.

Hence, thirty years later, what to do with my ratty old cookbooks?

Fannie Farmer, above, is so worn that her cover is long gone. They’re only a few recipes inside that I love. My favorite  is Hot Milk Cake.

It’s so easy! I use it for cinnamon cake, the bottom of an English trifle, and strawberry shortcake. Yum!

I’ve made it so many times, the page is spotted with gunk.  (I’m not a very neat cook).

Hot Milk Cake

Cooked Cake


This time, I topped the shortcake with Reddi-wip, and served it to Cliff on our wedding china, which, unlike my cookbooks, looks brand new.


But back to my wedding cookbooks

I’ve got four of them, all shower gifts.

I wondered about cutting out favorite recipes and putting them into a single scrapbook. I’ve got about six favorite recipes in each book.

Do I dare?

And what about you?

Will you take your old cookbooks to your grave or are you ready to say farewell?


Fanny Farmer

Speaking of Reddi-wip!

I’ve been a buddy to Reddi-wip long before I became a bride. It’s made with real whipped cream, and one squirt is only fifteen calories.


Reddi-wip invites you to join their Berry Joyful Sweeps. Check it out here.

Now through July 7, 2014, you can share your everyday Reddi-wip® berry-licious moments on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using the #BerryJoyfulSweeps hashtag for the chance to win a trip for two to the 2015 Watsonville Strawberry Festival, Reddi-wip coupons, or berry keepers.

For Fourth of July recipes and lots more, check out Reddi-wip recipes here.


I participated in a Vibrant Influencer network campaign for Reddi-wip. I received a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I’m not affiliated with Reddi-wip and don’t earn a commission or percent of sales.

21 responses »

  1. Each year I get rid of a couple. I also have a huge plastic file box of loose recipes in files, and try to cull that too– I tend to make the same things, especially with baking. Can you email me the cake recipe– sounds perfect for strawberry shortcake- I haven’t made in years- and I use real whipped cream.

  2. I just turned to FF a couple of weeks ago! I keep the old and new ones I use and get rid of others I don’t. My summer project is to put all loose recipes I like in sheet protectors. Just yesterday i scored at Goodwill 75 sheets and a new notebook!

  3. Our local Farmer’s Market use to do a cookbook swap. Great idea. And our church does a book swap. Four shelves of books that you can browse and borrow. We need to add cookbooks now!! I love looking at cookbooks as a pastime but often go to internet now. I keep my favorite cookbooks.

  4. I know what you mean. I have cut out a few of my favorites and use a notebook with clear binder pages to store them in. But have also found that over the years I cook differently, less, and smaller. I finally got rid of some recipes that I’d held on to for YEARS (baking shape birthday cakes for the kids–which I never did) when I thought, “I’m ever going to use this!” ANd actually thought of you Barbara, when I did it. Because it was a sign of “I’m in a different time of my life now.” (In fact, I took a picture of one of the recipes I threw out thinking I might blog about it sometime…looks like you beat me to it!)

  5. Don’t throw away your Fannie Farmer Cookbook!!

    I used my paperback version, of the I think it was probably the 1965 11th Edition, until its cover fell off, and the yellowed pages were getting really loose from the spine. I can’t tell you how many a chocolate fudge or an open faced blueberry pie (with yes, whipped cream on top – sorry, Reddi-Wip, I did it whipped by hand!) were made using that book! I’m not sure any of the current versions of the Fannie Farmer cookbook use the recipe that I had! Whenever I see a current edition of any former classic cookbook, it seems to be cutting out the best ingredients of all!

    But, you see, I have to confess, I’m a Julia Child gourmand. Huffington Post last year, in honor of Julia Child posted some of her most memorable quotes, such as:

    “The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook,” and “If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.” If you want to enjoy the classic comfort foods, keep some of those great cookbooks!

    Side Note: In tribute to Reddi-Wip, I just so happened to have loved eating it tablespoonful by tablespoonful right out of the can onto my spoon as a teenager!

    • I remember squirting Reddi-wip directly in our mouths if Mom wasn’t looking.

      Love the Julia Child quotes!

      Fun to read your tribute to Fannie Farmer. I have a hunch I’ll be saving mine.

  6. Love your mother’s old cookbook. My favorite reipes are old clipping from newspaers, stashed in a plastic bag. Hunt and peck when I need them, Lost, frayed. Should go through them. How many recpes can imake? Salvage your mom’s bet recipes, in a scrap book, web site, whatever. Yur tastes change and often there are new and better ways to create the same dish. Sometimes, not.

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