Dec 28 2012
08:09 pm
By: Tamara Shepherd  shortURL

My daughter pulled out her new Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, a Christmas gift, and dazzled us last night with this solution to all that leftover ham. You must try it! Yum!

Cheesy Vegetable and Ham Chowder

2 cups water (and we added 2 tsps. ham base, from a jar)
2 cups chopped potatoes (2 medium)
1/2 cup chopped carrot (1 medium)
1/2 cup chopped celery (1 stalk)
1/4 cup chopped onion (1 small)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (10 ounces)
1 15-ounce can cream-style corn
2 cups cubed cooked ham

Instructions follow.

1, In a large saucepan or Dutch oven combine water (and ham base, if desired), potato, carrot, celery, and onion. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Do not drain.

2. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan melt butter. Stir in flour and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; add milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly.

3. Add cheese to milk mixture. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Add cheese mixture to potato mixture. Stir in corn and ham. Heat through but do not boil. If desired, season with additional pepper.

Makes 6 main-dish servings.

Mello's picture

Thanks! I love to see the

Thanks! I love to see the history of their recipes. I have about a half a dozen of those old red and white checked cookbooks. This recipe first appeared in the first edition in 1953 sans the corn and ham and was called Cream of Cheese Soup. The next revision in 1962 was the same recipe and was newly named Cheese Chowder. In 1969 they went wild and added paprika and changed the cheese from shredded to cubed.

I'll bet by 2020 the recipe changes from cheese, milk and meat to silken tofu and soy milk with the addition of kale!

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Yes, I told my daughter that she'd discard many cookbooks over the years, but she'd never part with this red and white checked one.

Mine dates back to the early Seventies. I bought it myself, with wages from my very first part-time job, because Mom had advised it should be the first item placed in my "hope chest!"

(Little did Mom anticipate that I'd be using that cookbook for nearly 20 years as a bachelorette! Ha, ha!)

Min's picture

When I set up housekeeping in the 80's... mother bought me two cookbooks--the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook and the Mary Starr Cookbook. Those were the two cookbooks out of which she had taught me to cook, and I use them to this day.

redmondkr's picture

Mom had a habit of putting

Mom had a habit of putting recipes torn from the KNS and magazines into her 1953 edition of the BH&G cookbook. She also wrote recipes in every piece of real estate in the book.

bizgrrl's picture

I love my red and white BH&G

I love my red and white BH&G cookbook. I received mine as a gift from my sister in the seventies. I'll have to check out the version of this soup recipe in my copy. I believe I'll make the soup. I already have all the ingredients except for the cheese, and may be able to make up a variation of cheeses to not go to the store.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Looks like a family heirloom to me, Kenny!

I advised the kidster to write in the margins of hers, too, especially to indicate which recipes she'd tried, any variations she'd chosen, and what her sentiments were as to the results.

I suggested that this would be very helpful to her after she became menopausal and couldn't remember what happened last week...

Pam Strickland's picture

I was reading a memoir the

I was reading a memoir the other day, and the author commented that her sister, who was tragically murdered at a young age, had kept notes on what recipes she had tried and liked in a cookbook, included who she had prepared the meal for. It was a very touching bit of information for the surviving sister to have.

redmondkr's picture

Mom used to make Martha

Mom used to make Martha Washington Jets (chocolate covered bon bons) from the Mary Starr Cookbook. She made one variety that had a small amount of instant coffee in the fondant and they were fantastic.

Bbeanster's picture

I've lost my Mary Starr

I've lost my Mary Starr cookbook. Dammit.

There are some orange frosted sugar cookies in it that I used to make for my kids at least once a month.
Got my first red velvet cake recipe there, too.

Min's picture

Unfortunately, it's out of print.

I know this, because I have friends in Nashville who have actually gone looking for it, because they love the pumpkin bread and gingersnaps that I make using Mary Starr's recipes.

Mello's picture

Why are they NEW cookbooks?

Better Homes & Gardens NEW Cook Book. Every recipe triple-tested by our Tasting-Test staff.

Was there an 'old' cookbook?

redmondkr's picture

The copyright on Mom's says

The copyright on Mom's says it's a 'first edition, ninth printing. Copyright 1953'.

They also boast a 'Loose-leaf binding with patented page booster [that] gives you all the advantages of both ring-bound and stitched books'.

The section on canning has instructions for using jars with glass lids, rubber gaskets, and wire bails. I have a feeling later editions dropped those.

SleepyJean's picture

First edition, 2d printing

-- with "new" on the gravy boat on the red and white checked cover.

My mother was no cook, so I guess it was required for display in the kitchen, whether you used it or not.

More fun than BH&G, however, are the two KUB Home Service Section pamphlets, "Holiday Foods Spectacular" and "Festive Fare." No dates that I can find, but a 626 Gay Street SW address for KUB.

bizgrrl's picture

I used this recipe and made

I used this recipe and made the Cheesy Vegetable and Ham Chowder. It was great. Thanks Tamara.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Glad you liked it, Biz, but thanks go to BH&G.

My daughter and I pulled the last of the Christmas ham from the freezer and made it again tonight. Scrumptious again.

Baked some of those Bisquick Cheesy Garlic drop bicuits to go with it this time. Great compliment to the soup.

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