22 April 2009


I hit 5 estate sales and a thrift town on Saturday with Marianne and Chad. Last weekend's scores were almost unanimously kitchen oriented, are you shocked? These were the brightest stars by far:

A good old can that still smells faintly of laurel leaves. Very orientalist, as you can see faintly from the illustrations on the side panels.

And this little book, published 1960 by Harcourt Brace & World. The I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken, drawings by Hilary Knight. Though written with sly sincerity, this book is chuckle-worthy from cover to cover and features such classics as "Bisque Quick", a bulked up version of the Campbell's original and "Homebody Beans" which boasts a handwritten notation deeming it fabulous! An excerpt for your dessert:
A parenthetical note here. It is understood that when you hate to cook, you buy already-prepared foods as often as you can. You buy frozen things and ready-mix things, as well as pizza from the pizza man and chicken pies from the chicken pie lady.

But let us amend that statement. Let us say, instead, that you buy these things as often as you dare, for right here you usually run into a problem with the basic male. The average man doesn't care much for the frozen-food department, nor for the pizza man, nor for the chicken-pie lady. He wants to see you knead that bread and tote that bale, before you go down cellar to make the soap. This is known as Woman's Burden.

But sometimes you can get around it. Say, for instance, that you are serving some good dinner rolls that you bought frozen and then merely put into the oven for a few minutes, as the directions said to. At dinner, you taste them critically. Then you say, "Darn it, I simply can't make decent rolls, and that's all there is to it!"

If you are lucky, and have been able to keep him out of the kitchen while you were removing the wrapping, he will probably say, "What's the matter with you? These taste swell."

Then you say, in a finicky sort of female voice, "I don't know--they just don't seem as light as they ought to, or something..." And the more stoutly he affirms that they're okay, the tighter the box you've got him in. Admittedly, this is underhanded, but, then, marriage is sometimes a rough game.

That Peg, sure knows how to tell it.

1 comment:

Emily said...

how can something be kind of offensive and righteously proto-feminist at the same time?

the part about the dinner rolls is straight out of "i love lucy" or something. a-mazing.