Review: “Favorite Brand Name Recipe Cookbook” By The Editors Of Consumer Guide (1981)


Sometimes it’s fun just to pull a random book off the shelves or out of a box, dig into it and enjoy it for what it is. This was just such an adventure. I had actually found this book in an abandoned storage building several years ago. Being one who believes no book should be an orphan, I grabbed it, along with some others, and squirreled them away to read in a few days.

Well, a few days ended up being a few years. I was digging through a box of books and ran across this again and decided to give it a look-through.

First, this is the original 1981 version of the book. It’s not high-quality paper, and it’s definitely shown the wear and tear of its presumed years in storage: torn and bent pages, plenty of spine and cover wear and tear, and even a spattering of roach droppings inside the front cover. So maybe that storage building wasn’t completely abandoned after all…….

Whoever picked up this book obviously didn’t invest a lot in it. But at least we know where they picked it up:

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Alright, enough humor and such for now. This cookbook is essentially a collection of recipes gathered from various manufacturer-approved sources: product boxes, recipe books, inserts in products, what have you. As each recipe promotes a particular product, I’m sure the manufacturers didn’t mind the inclusion of the recipe in this cookbook as it would essentially be free advertising.

While there are plenty of recipes from major players and products in the food market (Nabisco, Jell-O, Keebler, Liptop, Pillsbury, Smucker’s, Hunt’s, etc.), I was also pleased to see other surprising products included. Perhaps the most surprising? Johnny Walker Red. Yeah, like any of that actually ended up in the recipe.

There are also plenty of local or smaller products I wasn’t familiar with, either due to them being regional or international, or simply something I didn’t encounter growing up in Arkansas.

They even have several plates of photos of finished products in the center of the book, although this is certainly a very small sampling of the recipes included:

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Overall, I really enjoyed this. There are, as with any cookbook of this size, countless recipes I want to check out. I’m sure some will be popping up on the menu in the near future.

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

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