Exploring Cookbooks: 1947 International Harvester Freezing Foods

Ok, so not a cookbook. I know. But I recently found this at a thrift store and couldn’t pass it up.

This is a “booklet” offered by The International Harvester Company teaching you how to freeze food – a novel concept in 1947 for sure. Not bad advice, just outdated now somewhat. No vacuum sealing for instance. Or thawing in the microwave.

What really impressed me about the book though was the amount of color on every page. Just loaded with color everywhere! I mean look at the front and back covers:


This book is 6 inches wide by 9 inches long and 62 pages long.


I wanted to show this page just because of the kitchen. Its hard to see without actually looking at the book but those are linoleum counters, of course. I love the steel cabinets.

This page highlights the EXACT scientific nature of what is present in the book and that is all indeed safe. Lots of reassurances around.


I thought the packing materials (and the use of an iron to seal a bag) was interesting here. Cartons and plastic bags…hello freezer burn! Interesting enough I didn’t see one mention of freezer burn in the entire booklet. Not one mention.


Good advice for freezing a few veggies and a bizarre fruit salad picture.


Good advice that still stands…except there is advice for slaughtering your own animals. Love the “aging” advice. Why do you think Omaha Steaks are so good?


Some generally good advice on freezing game and dairy products. Only one line intrigued me. Second paragraph at the top: the freezing and storage of game meat is restricted in many states and you should familiarize yourself with these state laws in the locality where you live and hunt. I wonder if that is still the case? I am not familiar with that information at all, in history or in life so I have no idea. But it intrigued me completely. I’ve only lived in states where they basically encourage you to hunt down the local wildlife so I have no concept of not storing something that we just killed. I think its time for me to do some research just for the heck of it.


More wonderful, and time tested, advice on freezing dough, cake and cookies. My only amendment would be that you CAN keep unbaked dough frozen for longer than a week, unlike what the book says. But like a lot of things, it does taste better the less time it is frozen.


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