In one of the Washington Post’s blogs, it discusses how the calorie count in classic recipe books has been creeping up more than 40% over the years. So, the dinners you make from the updated Joy of Cooking are going to be more fattening than those you make from Grandma’s old book. Part of it has been attributed to an increase in portion size: home portion sizes are growing, just as restaurant portions have. Also, with great prosperity over the years, more expensive and often, more fattening, ingredients have been added to the recipes.
I’m surprised. I have my aunt’s John Roberts Powers modeling notebook from the 50’s. In the diet section, she was given meal guidelines and had to record her own food intake. What was approved — and what she ate — would have had me gaining sizes within a month. The meatloaves, dressings, cakes…it’s clear that recipes had to have changed, or else she would not have remained model-sized. And trust me, she did.