We're gearing up for the big Summer Grilling Kickoff also known more formally as Memorial Day Weekend, shaking off grill covers, scouring down grill grates, and of course, flipping through collections of recipes for everything from barbecue meats to side dishes like potato salad and corn on the cob. Many of us will be turning to modern grillmasters like Steven Raichlen and Bobby Flay, but I'll have you know that the real secrets of barbecue are in a gem of a cookbook that came my way a few weeks ago: Better Homes and Gardens Barbecue Cookbook, published in 1956.
Now, I don't usually rely too heavily on cookbooks to begin with, and books from the likes of Better Homes and Gardens, even less so. However, when I started flipping through the pages of this book that my Mom gave me after salvaging from her neighbor's garage sale the week before, I told myself that at some point, I would have to fry corndogs, shove the ends of their sticks into a head of cabbage, hollow out the center and fill it with sauce, and serve the alien platter of "Broncos" to my family at our next "elegant tail gate."
All of course, while wearing a red and white dress with puffed sleeves wider than a doorway, to balance the 22" waistline.
There are photos of some choice illustrations, menus, serving suggestions, and recipes (for "Instant Coffee!") in the gallery: