Cooking With Betty: Expenses and (More) Pickles

Cooking with Betty is a new limited-run blog series showcasing transcriptions from the Betty Welter Fonds. Each week, we will be sharing Betty’s recipes and her thoughts on raising children in Grande Prairie during the 1950’s. Each blog post will feature recipes from her handwritten recipe book and excerpts from her reflection piece Raising Children in Grande Prairie during the 50’s. This blog series is made possible by volunteer Suzanne Dunn, who transcribed the records, and practicum student Alec Moreau, who compiled the posts. We will try to keep things short, simple, and sweet!


Like now, balancing expenses and managing credit and finances were just as important to running household in the 1950’s , as you can see in this week’s excerpts from Raising Children in Grande Prairie during the 50’s:


Water and sewer was installed on 103 Avenue by our house in the summer of 1950 and we got a bathroom installed and water on by the fall. First electric ringer washing machine for me that fall – cost $148.00, before that in the wash tub and scrub board. The electricity and water bill paid every month, property taxes once a year. House heated and cooked on coal and wood stoves, so this had to be ordered and purchased. Natural gas installed on our street in 1953 so changed to a gas heater and electric cook stove. No vehicle for two years, truck ordered and it arrived in ’49 or ’50 – a new Chevy pickup truck – cost $995.00


Most grocery stores ran a monthly credit system, also butcher shops. We didn’t use credit very much – planned and saved for a purchase before buying it and paying cash. With boarders and my gang we were 10-12 per meal, three times a day, so lots of cooking and food bills.

Pickling was an excellent way individual households could preserve food for long periods of time and were, as you can see, quite popular, given Betty had four distinct recipes for them.

Dill Pickles


Soak cucumbers overnite [sic] in H2O with alu [sic] about size of 1/2 pea to 1 qt. pickles. In A.M wipe dry & cut & pack in jars with 2 heads of dill. Make following solution & pour over pickles boiling hot & seal.


2 c. vinegar 2 c. water & 1/4 c. salt
4 c. 4 c. 1/2 c covers 9 qts
10 lbs cukes makes 8 qts pickles

Green Tomato Pickles


19 green tomatoes & 10 onions, soak overnite [sic] in salt H2O. In AM drain and add 4 apples, 8 red peppers, 4 c. br. sugar 1 tbsp. cinnamon & cloves 1 qt. vinegar. Cook slowly 4 hrs or till thick.

Join us next week as we continue Cooking with Betty!

Image: A page from Betty’s handwritten cookbook (From SPRA 0129.07.01)

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