A gift from Father Time

I’ve mentioned before that I find 50’s housewife-chic particularly interesting (and horrifying, in many ways). It should come as no surprise, then, that the neatest book I’ve read so far over break is the 1941 career story, Connie Benton: Reporter. I bought it at my favorite store in the entire country for vintage periodicals, Curious Book Shop in East Lansing, MI.

In it, Connie delivers this information (of particular relevance to this blog):

“Seriously, there’s a need for women who can write entertainingly about food, homes and clothes. Dad claims that women who write for women’s pages entertainingly, don’t know anything about it  — and the women who know their stuff, can’t be interesting!”

(In searching for online information about Connie Benton: Reporter I found a fantastic bibliography of sob sisters in popular culture, by the way. I must investigate this project more.)

My mom has noticed my growing obsession with mid-century journalists, probably beginning with my feverish pleas for anything in the Sally Baxter, Girl Reporter series last Christmas.

And so, she revisited her own past. She showed me her old home ec notebook from 1968, and let me rifle through her manila envelopes full of clipped recipes.

Recipe envelopes
Labeled & categorized recipe envelopes.

But my mom usually keeps her archived material close to herself (which, frankly, is the safest option). So imagine my surprise and delight when I received the full 1970 Detroit News cooking guide AND a general guide to good cooking.

A cooking little Christmas
Merry Christmas! Thanks, Mom!

I haven’t had a chance to read through all the recipes yet, but I’m eager to begin. What a treat, both for me and for you, fair reader.


Finally, some news related to food memoirs and food reporting. Author Amy Stewart did a great piece on NPR this morning regarding all the people eating local for a year (apparently, they’re called “locavores“), growing their own food for a year, etc. Stewart’s the author of one of the billions of nonfiction books I want to read, Flower Confidential.

Happy New Year!


Published in: on January 1, 2008 at 4:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

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