Happy New Year to my online friends! Thank you for joining me for A Year With Bettina! Please allow me to introduce you to Bettina.
Bettina is a fictional wife to Bob in two fictional cookbooks/novellas from the early 20th century. One book is A Thousand Ways To Please a Husband With Bettina's Best Recipes by Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen Cowles LeCron. The second book goes by the same title except she's pleasing a Family rather than just a husband. In the second book she is mother to a daugher, Sue and a son, Robin. There are a couple of other Bettina cookbooks as well, but they do not have stories attached and are simply recipes.
The stories are charming, even if Bettina is one of those perfect wives and mothers who has everything together and has no problem telling her girlfriends how it is done. I admit, she is slightly annoying at times, but endearing nonetheless.
The books go month by month, each month featuring several chapters of a continuing story along with recipes. The books are hard to come by and if you do find original copies, they are quite expensive. I was given the first book as a gift from my mother who secured a copy at a tag sale of some sort. I spent over a year looking for the Family book and finally found a copy I could afford in Britain from a bookseller going out of business and selling her stock off at a discount. Both are original copies. The Husband book is from 1917 and the Family book is from 1922. Thankfully, I know the Husband book is available on Google Books and I believe is even being reprinted (though in a less charming state. I have a soft spot for old books.)
I will be spending the year 2011 with Bettina in both of her books, sharing tidbits and trying out recipes to be featured on this blog. If you'd like to follow along, just look for "A Year With Bettina" labels and titles. I'd be ever so grateful if you shared on your own blogs about this. Bettina really is a lot of fun.