The Betty Crocker Project


The Betty Crocker Project

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It all started the day I saw the movie Julie & Julia.

It seemed made for me. I mean, here was an amateur foodie wearing vintage clothing and cooking in a tiny apartment. She even wore pearls in the kitchen—one of my own personal dreams (although my dream pearls would be fake). I admit, finding someone so like myself in so many ways charmed me… but as you can imagine, she lost me at the scene where she overcomes her conscience and boils those poor lobsters alive.

I kept waiting for her to have a change of heart and save them… but she never did.
And that is just not OK. This scene planted a little seed in my brain. Slowly it became clear to me – there needed to be a humane alternative to the Lobster Killer.

When I pitched to my dashing husband that we should cook our way through a classic cookbook and make every recipe vegan, I might have teared up a little with his overwhelming eagerness to eat my experiments and maybe try out a few himself.

Dan patiently drove me to every secondhand bookstore in town to find just the right one. And at Barnes & Noble, I found myself drawn to a bright red binder decorated like Bavarian gingerbread–a reprint of the original 1950s edition of the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook.. It had been reprinted for someone just like me – in saddle shoes and thick black-rimmed glasses – and had been sealed up so I guess less ethical versions of myself wouldn’t steal pages from it.

But after some debate, we agreed on the current 2005 version of the Betty Crocker Cookbook. It came a binder so we can add pages, had large margins to write in, and contained a wide variety of more current recipes to make vegan. AND THE BETTY CROCKER PROJECT WAS BORN.

For three years, Dan & I veganized every recipe in the Betty Crocker Cookbook, sharing our tips and secrets with the lurking regulars and loyal readers on our blog. Then we wrote a book about it: Betty Goes Vegan. We’ve always said that you can make anything vegan … now we can say that we’ve proved it!

Thank you, Lobster Killer, for inspiring a project that I suspect you would hate.

OX – Annie

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