Cooking With Betty: Finances and 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!


Family finances were as important in the 1950s as they are now. Enjoy Betty’s thoughts from Raising Children in Grande Prairie during the 50’s:

Records in old expense books states take-home pay from $75.00 to $90.00 every two weeks. I did some custom sewing; had boarders (two junior boys who worked for the Royal Bank and Bank of Nova Scotia) their wages were $100.00 a month. They paid $30.00 a month board and room, each sharing a room. I did their laundry for $3.00 a month which included 10-12 dress shirts a week. I also did some mending for them. They had to wear suits or blazers and dress pants and good shoes to work – neither had a car and walked to work. Family allowance was $5.00 a month per child. Senior pension started at age 70 and was $20.00 a month in 1957.

Like any good cook, Betty collected recipes from her friends, family and neighbors. Her recipes are often accompanied by the name of the person who shared them. This week, we are showcasing two of Betty’s pickle recipes.

Thousand Island Pickles (Jessie L.)


8 large cucumbers
1 “ cauliflower
12 “ onions
2 sweet green peppers
2 “ red “
1/2 c. salt


8 c. mild vinegar
6 c. w. sugar
1 tbsp. mustard
1 “ celery seed
3/4 c. flour
6 tbsp. mustard
1 “ turmeric


Grind all above veg. sprinkle with salt & add 5 c. H2O let stand 1 hr. Mix above ingred. & cook till thickened stirring carefully. Add well drained vegetables & cook 20 min. Bottle and wax.

Dutch Pickle


1 qt chopped green tomatoes, onions, cabbage, cucumber, cauliflower & 3 heads of celery.


Soak in salt H2O overnite [sic] and in A M drain & cook in following solution:

5 tbsp. mustard, 2 tsp. turmeric, 1 c. flour, 4 c. br. sugar & a little vinegar.

Stir till smooth & add 3 pts. vinegar & cook slowly till thick. Pour over vegetables & cook slowly 15 min.

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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