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Manly Meals and Mom's Home Cooking: Cookbooks and Gender in Modern America

by Jessamyn Neuhaus Johns Hopkins University Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 352 pages
AU$72.00 NZ$74.78
Product Status: Out of stock. Not available to order.

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From the first edition of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook to the latest works by today's celebrity chefs, cookbooks reflect more than just passing culinary fads. As historical artifacts, they offer a unique perspective on the cultures that produced them. In Manly Meals and Mom's Home Cooking, Jessamyn Neuhaus offers a perceptive and piquant analysis of the tone and content of American cookbooks published between the 1890s and the 1960s, adroitly uncovering the cultural assumptions and anxieties and mdash;particularly about women and domesticity and mdash;they contain. Neuhaus's in-depth survey of these cookbooks questions the supposedly straightforward lessons about food preparation they imparted. While she finds that cookbooks aimed to make readers and mdash;mainly white, middle-class women and mdash;into effective, modern-age homemakers who saw joy, not drudgery, in their domestic tasks, she notes that the phenomenal popularity of Peg Bracken's 1960 cookbook, The I Hate to Cook Book, attests to the limitations of this kind of indoctrination. At the same time, she explores the proliferation of bachelor cookbooks aimed at 'the man in the kitchen' and the biases they display about male and female abilities, tastes, and responsibilities. Neuhaus also addresses the impact of World War II rationing on homefront cuisine; the introduction of new culinary technologies, gourmet sensibilities, and ethnic foods into American kitchens; and developments in the cookbook industry since the 1960s. More than a history of the cookbook, Manly Meals and Mom's Home Cooking provides an absorbing and enlightening account of gender and food in modern America.




"The Purpose of a Cookery Book"PART ONE

"A Most Enchanting Occupation":

Cookbooks in Early and Modern America, 1796–1941

From Family Receipts to Fannie Farmer:

Cookbooks in the United States, 1796–1920


Recipes for a New Era:

Food Trends, Consumerism, Cooks, and Cookbooks


"Cooking Is Fun":

Women's Home Cookery As Art, Science, and Necessity


Ladylike Lunches and Manly Meals:

The Gendering of Food and Cooking

"You are First and Foremost Homemakers:

Cookbooks and the Second World War

Lima Loaf and Butter Stretchers


"Ways and Means for War Days":

The Cookbook-Scrapbook Compiled by Maude Reid


"The Hand That Cuts the Ration Coupon May Win the War":

Women's Home-Cooked Patriotism

The Cooking Mystique:

Cookbooks and Gender, 1945–1963

The Betty Crocker Era


"King of the Kitchen":

Food and Cookery Instruction for Men


The Most Important Meal:

Women's Home Cooking, Domestic Ideology, and Cookbooks


"A Necessary Bore":

Contradictions in the Cooking Mystique

From Julia Child to Cooking.comNotes

Essay on Sources


"This is a fascinating history that delves into the world of home cooking, cookbooks, and changing perceptions about males and females in food production, and is recommended for any college-level American history or culinary arts program."

Jessamyn Neuhaus is an associate professor of U.S. history and popular culture at SUNY Plattsburgh. She is the author of Housework and Housewives in Modern American Advertising: Married to the Mop.