Saturday, March 5, 2011

"All About Home Baking"

Among the recipes I have been posting, there is also a very worn book entitled, "All About Home Baking".  The first few pages are missing so I cannot speak to the age of the book or the publishing house. It has a yellow and black gingham hard cover and I hope you can see from the photo just how worn it truly is - from age as well as a lot of use, I assume, because there are recipes jotted down on the inside and back covers as well as grease stains, etc. throughout the pages.

I am particularly drawn to the first page I see when I open the cover: It's a Wise Woman Who Knows Her Baking Rules.  This gets my blood going!  I had a similar reaction years ago as I browsed an antique store and found a small soft covered cookbook, "Desserts that Men Love".  So sexist, right?  It suggests that a woman's job is to serve and please her man - with a smile on her face and a spring in her step, and in a dress and heels.  Unfortunately, while the dress and heels have fallen away, the expectation still exists.  Many husbands now help in the kitchen with cooking and cleaning up, but for the most part it is the woman who is expected to grocery shop, plan and prepare meals.  Thank goodness for store bought baked goods and mixes.  Thank goodness for Wegmans!

Even more fascinating is that at the time of its writing this book fashions itself as modern.  "Today's busy women...will not take time to learn their (baking) tricks that way (through practice and repetition) and modern knowledge makes it unnecessary.  The progressive homemaker walks right up  to Science and says, 'You tell me how.'" Ha!

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