WISCONSIN DAIRY COUNTRY RECIPES (A Collection from America’s Dairyland)

You may know by now that I am especially fond of manufacturer’s recipe booklets, cookbooks, recipe card collections or even leaflets. I began collecting these booklets when I was about ten years old—my only source was the backs of containers and boxes in my mother’s pantry—the can of Hershey’s cocoa or the box of baking soda – all offered free recipe booklets. All you had to do was mail in a post card request. At that time, a post card cost a penny. Ten prepaid post cards cost me ten cents—I was off and running.

The great thing about manufacturer’s recipe collections is that you know the recipes have been thoroughly tested—with good reason. The company product is on the line. If the recipe doesn’t turn out exactly right, customers may be lost.

WISCONSIN DAIRY COUNTRY RECIPES, published in 1986, is a perfect example of how exemplary a manufacturer’s cookbook can be. First of all, the recipes were tested in the Better Homes and Gardens Test Kitchens. This means that every recipe is practical and reliable and meets the BH&G high standards of taste appeal.

Next, photographs were done by Grand Heilman Photography (Wisconsin Dairy Scene) with food photographs by deGennaro Associates. And what photographs!

In this little green spiral bound cookbook you will find some of the most beautiful, lush food photographs I have ever seen…and we all know the importance of being able to see what the finished recipes should look like. I have made many impromptu trips to the kitchen to drag out baking pans, based solely on the appetizing, tantalizing photographs in a cookbook or magazine illustration. I defy anyone to be able to resist the layered vegetable salad pictured on page 56 or the pasta pizza on page 36!

There are over two hundred recipes (yes, I counted) ranging from Apple-Cheddar turnovers to Vegetable-and-Cheese Medley. Sandwiched in between you will find an appetizing variety of breads, cakes, cookies, dips, spreads, main dishes, puddings, soufflés, and other good things to eat.
A little feature that foodies like myself appreciate are the interesting dairy historical facts…for instance, did you know that vending machines began offering small cartons of milk in 1950? Or that the first American ice cream parlors began cropping up in the 1940s? Or that Wisconsin produces more than 200 varieties of cheese? Or that some varieties of cheese, such as Colby or Brick, are Wisconsin originals? Colby is named for the Wisconsin town where it was first produced. This is just a small sampling of ‘food facts’ to be found in WISCONSIN DAIRY COUNTRY RECIPES.

The recipes themselves are signed by contributors, and in some instances, the contributors offer tips and suggestions…this leads me to suspect that the book itself may have been the result of a dairy recipe contest.

Another major plus when it comes to this type of cookbook is the cost…years ago, they were generally free or offered for a very minimal fee. WISCONSIN DAIRY COUNTRY RECIPES is still a bargain, available on Amazon.com for $2.75 for a pre-owned spiral bound copy or for $8.98 for a new copy. The lowest price I found on Alibris.com was $2.77.

Review by Sandra Lee Smith


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