This book shows how cooking developed and evolved during the twentieth century. From Fannie Farmer to Julia Child, new challenges arose to replace the old. Women found themselves still tied to the kitchen, but for different reasons and with the need to acquire new skills. Instead of simply providing sustenance for the family, they now had to master more complex cooking techniques, the knowledge of "ethnic" cuisines, the science of nutrition, the business of consumerism, and, perhaps most important of all, the art of keeping their husbands and children happy and healthy.
"A compelling account of the evolution of American attitudes toward food and its preparation from the privations of the Depression through World War II and into the explosive growth of processed foods during the last half of the century. She notes the irony of how each 'liberating' technology added further expectations from the household manager."—Booklist
"This book would be an excellent beginning for in-depth research or for a pleasant introduction to the field. It will have a wide appeal to those interested in women's roles in the 20th century and in home cooking."—Choice
"An enjoyable excursion, bringing together history, cookery, narrative, women's studies, and biography/autobiography in ways that will help readers make new connections and will give them new interests and insights."—Anne L. Bower, editor of Recipes for Reading: Community Cookbooks, Stories, Histories
"An easy read—graceful and often witty. I was often charmed and just as often instructed. It is a book that could be used in American studies and women's studies courses, as a route to understanding that activities of daily life that are often treated as unproblematic have social and political histories."—Linda K. Kerber, author of No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship