Life At Point C

Experiencing Life along the Silk Road

Betty Crocker to the Rescue


When moving to Kyrgyzstan I found a treasure. Somehow I came into possession of a very old Betty Crocker Cookbook. Its pages are yellowed, torn and creased.  The binding has been lovingly taped together and parts of the Index are completely missing. I first started flipping through it when I arrived 3 years ago, and immediately saw that it was a gold mine for my new lifestyle.

The Betty Crocker Cook BookInside the Betty Crocker Cook Book

It so happens that moving to Kyrgyzstan not only has forced me to learn a new language, but also to learn to cook… from scratch. I love America’s ability to create shortcuts, as far back as Bisquick existed we have worked to make life easier in the kitchen. But, just like learning to drive an automatic does not prepare one to drive stick-shift, so buying pre-shredded, pre-whipped, processed and frozen did not prepare me for cooking with the basics. And yes, I concur that there are many websites that have fantastic recipes, but I find that there is an expectation that in every town of America is a specialty market, or in the international foods aisle every variety of sauce, paste, vegetable and fruit can be found.

Bazaar FoodFresh Veggies in the Bazaar




Here is our unique challenge: we have limited, healthy, locally available foods in the village.  The emphasis is on limited. And this seemed to be the case in 1950s America as well, because armed with this cookbook I have embarked on a great adventure of trying new dishes. There are very few recipes that I cannot tackle because something is unavailable, or because the recipe calls for a product like cool whip or BBQ sauce. If it calls for it, it tells you how to make BBQ sauce. And what a triumph it is when I can whip up something in my kitchen that tastes like home.

I have learned to drive stick in my kitchen!

3 thoughts on “Betty Crocker to the Rescue

  1. Sarah–I thought I was a “from scratch” cook until I came to Moldova, and it has taken my cooking to an entire new level. It is a challenge, but the creativity we learn is also a reward. I love what I can do with limited ingredients. I found that back in the states, we didn’t want the other stuff anymore. We’ve learned the real taste of food without preservatives and know how wonderful it can be. Love the discoveries you are finding in what you can do in the kitchen! By the way, my mom had that cookbook…it is great.


  2. Love it, Sarah! Wish I could can and bake with you! I also wish I could get my hands on that cookbook, sounds like a real treasure trove!


  3. Pingback: The Big Deal with Baking « Life At Point C

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