The Gold Medal Century of Success Cook Book has certainly played a big role in my very local standing with friends and family as a good cook.
I ordered this book 28 years ago from a coupon on the back of a bag of Gold Medal Flour. It was published in 1979, on the eve of the 100th Anniversary of Gold Medal Flour.
The book is soft cover. Mine is now coming completely apart. It’s 8.5 x 11 inches, and 112 full-color glossy pages. There is a picture of every single recipe.
The book begins with an introduction about the history of Gold Medal Flour. It actually was the gold medal winning flour at the 1880 Miller’s International Exhibition in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cadwaller C Washburn had just built a 6-story mill in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that the local people had nicknamed Washburn’s Folly. But at the 1880 Exhibition- the very first, Washburn took all three top medals. The rest, as they say, is history.
Washburn went on to establish the first test kitchens (still the Betty Crocker test kitchens of today, which can be toured), and began publishing cookbooks. In 1928 Washburn joined with Sperry Flour of the west coast, and General Mills was born.
These are the best recipes published over the first 100 years. I’ve tried about 50 of them, and I think there are only two that I’ve marked that I should use a different recipe for that item. Everyone has different tastes, so not every recipe has become a family favorite, but I would say that a higher percentage of these are than from most cookbooks.
I probably should say that there are only about five food items to which I am brand loyal, but Gold Medal Flour is one of them.
The sections in the book are:
Main Dishes (fewer entries)
Some of our all time favorites from the book are: Potato Refrigerator Rolls, Overnight Pecan Rolls, Orange Rolls (which we just had on Christmas day- see picture of the LAST one), Steamed Brown Bread, Pumpkin Spice Bars, Hermits, South of the Border Pie, Hot Fudge Pudding Cake, Cranberry Apple Pie, and Buche De Noel (Yule Log).
Not sure how to rate complexity. This is all about baking from scratch, not from a mix, so some people would call the recipes complex. But very few of them are all day kinds of cooking projects.
There are over 150 recipes in the book. If you ever run across this at a used book sale or on eBay, snag it without a moment’s hesitation if you like to bake from scratch.