Something From The Oven: Reinventing Dinner In 1950s America
Something from the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America
In this delightfully surprising history, Laura Shapiro—author of the classic Perfection Salad—recounts the prepackaged dreams that bombarded American kitchens during the fifties. Faced with convincing homemakers that foxhole food could make it in the dining room, the food industry put forth the marketing notion that cooking was hard; opening cans, on the other hand, wasn’t. But women weren’t so easily convinced by the canned and plastic-wrapped concoctions and a battle for both the kitchen and the true definition of homemaker ensued. Beautifully written and full of wry observation, this is a fun, illuminating, and definitely easy-to-digest look back at a crossroads in American cooking.
From The New Yorker
In the fifties, we're always told, the food industry barged into the American kitchen, waving TV dinners, and destroyed home cooking. Not so fast, Shapiro says. As she reveals, women refused many of the new convenience foods. Fish sticks they accepted, but not ham sticks. Canned peaches, yes; canned hamburgers, no. The industry people hired psychologists to help them combat such resistance; the women's magazines, fond of their advertisers, told readers how, by splashing some sherry over the frozen...