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A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove: A History of American Women Told through Food, Recipes, and Remembrances

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Filled with classic recipes and inspirational stories, A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove will make you think twice about the food on your plate. Here is the first book to recount how American women have gathered, cooked, and prepared food for lovers, strangers, and family throughout the ages. We find native women who pried nourishment from the wilderness, mothers who sold Filled with classic recipes and inspirational stories, A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove will make you think twice about the food on your plate. Here is the first book to recount how American women have gathered, cooked, and prepared food for lovers, strangers, and family throughout the ages. We find native women who pried nourishment from the wilderness, mothers who sold biscuits to buy their children's freedom, immigrant wives who cooked old foods in new homes to provide comfort. From church bake sales to microwaving moms, this book is a celebration of women's lives, homes, and communities. Over fifty recipes, from Federal Pancakes to Sweet Potato Pie, are beautifully presented along with over one hundred images from artists, photographers, and rare sources. A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove is the shared history of all American women and the perfect gift for anyone who ever put food on the table. 140 illustrations. "The profound relationship between women and food is a story admirably told by Laura Schenone in a book filled with historic insights, moving anecdotes and lively illustrations. While paying tribute to the generations of American women who have felt joy in feeding families, Schenone avoids sentimentality by recognizing that many of the kitchen chores expected of women have been tedious and repetitious. The result is a balanced and clear-eyed view of a women's history that until recently has been misunderstood and overlooked." -Barbara Haber, author of From Hardtack to Home Fries: An Uncommon History of American Cooks and Meals "A passionate, groundbreaking book that will not only make you appreciate the culinary journey of the apronned ones who stood the heat of thecookstove for centuries, but also understand why they sometimes had an attitude! It might inspire you to put on an apron and cook some of the mouth watering, time-kissed recipes in this remarkable book." -Dr. Vertamae Grovenor, NPR cultural correspondent and author of Vibration Cooking "Cooking is a fascinating and very real lens through which to study the history of women in our culture. In this beautifully written work, Laura Schenone takes on the dual roles of historian and story teller, reminding us of how women have expressed and experienced and created so much through and with food. And she inspires us to hold onto and extend the heritage, even in the face of our modern, hectic lives." -Mollie Katzen, author of The Moosewood Cookbook "Lively, well-researched and thoroughly engrossing." -Newsday "This fascinating culinary history documents the intimate, ever-changing ties between American women and food." -Utne "[Schenone's] delicious book is truly food for thought." -Chicago Tribune "An amazing and wonderful book." -Providence Journal "Fascinating social history with a heaping helping of home cooking." -Booklist "A millennium's-worth of history, social commentary, anecdotes and recipes in one literary stewpot." -January


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Filled with classic recipes and inspirational stories, A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove will make you think twice about the food on your plate. Here is the first book to recount how American women have gathered, cooked, and prepared food for lovers, strangers, and family throughout the ages. We find native women who pried nourishment from the wilderness, mothers who sold Filled with classic recipes and inspirational stories, A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove will make you think twice about the food on your plate. Here is the first book to recount how American women have gathered, cooked, and prepared food for lovers, strangers, and family throughout the ages. We find native women who pried nourishment from the wilderness, mothers who sold biscuits to buy their children's freedom, immigrant wives who cooked old foods in new homes to provide comfort. From church bake sales to microwaving moms, this book is a celebration of women's lives, homes, and communities. Over fifty recipes, from Federal Pancakes to Sweet Potato Pie, are beautifully presented along with over one hundred images from artists, photographers, and rare sources. A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove is the shared history of all American women and the perfect gift for anyone who ever put food on the table. 140 illustrations. "The profound relationship between women and food is a story admirably told by Laura Schenone in a book filled with historic insights, moving anecdotes and lively illustrations. While paying tribute to the generations of American women who have felt joy in feeding families, Schenone avoids sentimentality by recognizing that many of the kitchen chores expected of women have been tedious and repetitious. The result is a balanced and clear-eyed view of a women's history that until recently has been misunderstood and overlooked." -Barbara Haber, author of From Hardtack to Home Fries: An Uncommon History of American Cooks and Meals "A passionate, groundbreaking book that will not only make you appreciate the culinary journey of the apronned ones who stood the heat of thecookstove for centuries, but also understand why they sometimes had an attitude! It might inspire you to put on an apron and cook some of the mouth watering, time-kissed recipes in this remarkable book." -Dr. Vertamae Grovenor, NPR cultural correspondent and author of Vibration Cooking "Cooking is a fascinating and very real lens through which to study the history of women in our culture. In this beautifully written work, Laura Schenone takes on the dual roles of historian and story teller, reminding us of how women have expressed and experienced and created so much through and with food. And she inspires us to hold onto and extend the heritage, even in the face of our modern, hectic lives." -Mollie Katzen, author of The Moosewood Cookbook "Lively, well-researched and thoroughly engrossing." -Newsday "This fascinating culinary history documents the intimate, ever-changing ties between American women and food." -Utne "[Schenone's] delicious book is truly food for thought." -Chicago Tribune "An amazing and wonderful book." -Providence Journal "Fascinating social history with a heaping helping of home cooking." -Booklist "A millennium's-worth of history, social commentary, anecdotes and recipes in one literary stewpot." -January

30 review for A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove: A History of American Women Told through Food, Recipes, and Remembrances

  1. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This book has been on my TBR list ever since I saw the review in Booklist. I love reading about food & cooking and the title of this work really interested me. Unfortunately, the book does not live up to it’s title. The book was fine, but not what I was expecting…a better title would have been 400+ Years Over An American Fire. The book had some interesting stories & recipes, but also contained a number of sweeping generalizations and stereotypes. There were no footnotes and works consulted were This book has been on my TBR list ever since I saw the review in Booklist. I love reading about food & cooking and the title of this work really interested me. Unfortunately, the book does not live up to it’s title. The book was fine, but not what I was expecting…a better title would have been 400+ Years Over An American Fire. The book had some interesting stories & recipes, but also contained a number of sweeping generalizations and stereotypes. There were no footnotes and works consulted were listed at the end of the book, by chapter (although during each chapter there was no notation of where from which source the information came). I guess I was expecting something more scholarly.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Dyson Eitelman

    I don't remember exactly why some of the reviewers diss'd this book. I saw some bellyaching about a limitation of scope, but I don't agree. It seemed properly scoped to me--It covered over a thousand years of cooking and eating in America, from fine cuisine for the rich politicians to down home eats of grits and greens. Maybe it skipped some of the interesting outliers--jambalaya from swamp country, beef brisket from Texas, cabbage stew from the poor folk in Maine with the compressed growing sea I don't remember exactly why some of the reviewers diss'd this book. I saw some bellyaching about a limitation of scope, but I don't agree. It seemed properly scoped to me--It covered over a thousand years of cooking and eating in America, from fine cuisine for the rich politicians to down home eats of grits and greens. Maybe it skipped some of the interesting outliers--jambalaya from swamp country, beef brisket from Texas, cabbage stew from the poor folk in Maine with the compressed growing season--but it hit the mainstream right in the guts. It filled me with deep sadness and loss as I recalled how housewives turned away from the food of their mother's and anxiously studied the nutritional guidelines that the government said would make their family strong. Spicy food was harmful; beans gassy. A well-balanced meal consisted of an overdone pot roast of beef, boiled potatoes, green beans seasoned with butter and a sprinkle of salt, a slice of clean, pure white bread, and a jello mold with canned fruit. I suffered through "home economics" myself, and while I did learn how to preheat an oven and measure brown sugar, I never learned the really useful stuff--like how to chop an onion. There's a good way and a lot of bad ways to chop an onion and I didn't learn the good way until I was fifty years old. I had to find out for myself how to cook a pot of pinto beans seasoned with garlic,cumin and jalapenos. How to throw ears of corn in a 450-degree oven for 40 minutes and eat them with just a sprinkle of Kosher salt and cayenne pepper. How to saute collard greens with onion, garlic, bell pepper and vegetable broth, then season them with cider vinegar and a touch of sugar. Okay, I didn't mean to go all Food Network on you. I should be blasting Home Ec classes for different reasons--not for the crimes they committed against taste, but the crimes against healthy. Even though we didn't know the true nature of milk, meat, white grains and cheese back then, we did know that fresh fruits and vegetables were good for you. We knew that oatmeal made a hearty breakfast and black-eye peas gave you good luck. They never taught us future "frugal housewives" (aka single moms on food stamps) how to make nutritious, economical meals out of the stuff found at the A&P. We learned nothing about buying in bulk, canning, drying and freezing. Nothing about the staying power of a one pound bag of dried beans. Nothing about seasonal fruit.... I could go on and on, but back to the book. As I said, the most heart-breaking thing was the loss of the immigrant's skills and tastes as they homogenized into American culture. But the most warming thing was the story of how a generation of cooks were led by Julia Child, James Beard, Alice Waters and many others to start thinking of cooking as love, not duty; kitchen time as a privilege, not a pain to be avoided; and good taste as a joy, not a forbidden fruit. The story of how America learned to love cooking again.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This is a great read, in spite of Schenone's tendency to go a little overboard with the notion that women have always done all the cooking and have invented everything of interest in the kitchen and for dining. Laced throughout the narrative are wonderful illustrations, photographs and recipes. Particularly fascinating are the accounts of how people lived (and the influences they had on each other) in America when first arriving, when travelling across it during Gold Rush times and with the sudde This is a great read, in spite of Schenone's tendency to go a little overboard with the notion that women have always done all the cooking and have invented everything of interest in the kitchen and for dining. Laced throughout the narrative are wonderful illustrations, photographs and recipes. Particularly fascinating are the accounts of how people lived (and the influences they had on each other) in America when first arriving, when travelling across it during Gold Rush times and with the sudden influx of immigrants from all parts of the world. It was fascinating to read about the African influences on cookery. Apparently, most of the southern recipes were transcribed from the recipes used by the southern kitchen cooks – ie: slaves. I'm also amazed to learn that there were slaves who cooked cakes, bread, etc AFTER their chores were done, and then went to the market to sell their wares. (I gather this was to get enough money to purchase their freedom. The glitch was that their owners – it really sticks in my craw to even write "owners" when talking about people – would take a cut of their earnings so it took decades to earn enough. One woman finally managed to buy her freedom not long before the end of her shortened life (she was 65 when she died). After reading the section about the settling of the west, I realize I must not have been paying attention in history class at school. I had no idea that California, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Colorado were all part of Mexico before the USA invaded Mexico City in the Mexican/American War in 1845 nor had I even heard of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. It has also come as a great shock to learn that the US government sanctioned the slaughter (yes, that's right!!) of the bison to push the Plains Indians out and make the area ready for farming. Yikes. Are all governments short-sighted? (I don't know whether the Canadian government was just as foolish but it wouldn't surprise me in the least.) There are a number of recipes we're planning to try. The book is full of interesting looking recipes – I'm particularly intrigued by the recipes for "red rice" and "molettes". I love that she transcribes each actual recipe and then gives her ideas for how to change it - but not so much that it won't still be similar to the original dish. (We already made black-eyed peas and rice, based on the Hoppin' John recipe on pages 78 and 79.) There are also a number of recipes we'll never try – like the 1884 Angel Cake that calls for eleven egg whites, the 1905 Stewed Celery with White Sauce, or the circa 1970's recipe for Blueberry Cream Salad made with canned blueberry pie filling. Definitely worthwhile reading.

  4. 5 out of 5

    carrietracy

    The subject matter was quite interesting, but I often felt as though I was reading a high school or college paper rather than a published text. The book does not truly cover 1000 years, the early years in America are covered through brief mention and frequent speculation that Native Americans or Mexicans living in the 19th or 20th century were doing thing exactly as they had for hundreds of years. The book also did not follow in strict chronological order, which was annoying at times. All that a The subject matter was quite interesting, but I often felt as though I was reading a high school or college paper rather than a published text. The book does not truly cover 1000 years, the early years in America are covered through brief mention and frequent speculation that Native Americans or Mexicans living in the 19th or 20th century were doing thing exactly as they had for hundreds of years. The book also did not follow in strict chronological order, which was annoying at times. All that aside, it really was quite interesting and I did learn a lot about how American cooking altered over the years.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I LOVED this book, a friend a church recomended it to me as I love history and cooking. Well it covers both so it was right up my alley. It really made me appreciate my fore-mothers and the work they put into feeding families. We really do have it easy today!! I cannot wait to share this with my daughter-in-law who is an excellent cook. My husband even enjoyed when I would read him pieces from it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tara Jersey

    An excellent, exhaustively researched look at cooking and domestic life through the centuries. Amazing compendium of recipes. It's not a "read it in one sitting" kind of book -- think of it more like a very entertaining encyclopedia. You'll want to savor it, one chapter at a time. After reading this you'll want to churn your own butter. An excellent, exhaustively researched look at cooking and domestic life through the centuries. Amazing compendium of recipes. It's not a "read it in one sitting" kind of book -- think of it more like a very entertaining encyclopedia. You'll want to savor it, one chapter at a time. After reading this you'll want to churn your own butter.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I like this book because it is a great way to connect with women through all the previous generations. I have read about half of it and each section has had something facinating, although some of the reading is a little slow. It has definitely made me appreciate my modern appliances!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dree

    I did enjoy this book, but I really hate history books without citations. It drives me nuts. With proper citations (and I could have lived with endnotes rather than footnotes) I would have given 4 stars. This book is good, though it skips too much back and forth in history. Chapters 7, 8, and 9 should have been 8, 7, 9 I think. The discussion I found most interesting was chapter 8, Technology's New Homemaker, on the Home Economics movement, and how the original goal was "to bring the masses up to I did enjoy this book, but I really hate history books without citations. It drives me nuts. With proper citations (and I could have lived with endnotes rather than footnotes) I would have given 4 stars. This book is good, though it skips too much back and forth in history. Chapters 7, 8, and 9 should have been 8, 7, 9 I think. The discussion I found most interesting was chapter 8, Technology's New Homemaker, on the Home Economics movement, and how the original goal was "to bring the masses up to a certain minimum level of proficiency and nutrition" (248--without a knowledge of vitamins) and that "efficiency was their hallmark" (249) which turned into a goal of Americanization. This chapter then goes on to discuss the convenience foods of the 1920s, and the middle-class housewife as "Consumer in Chief of the household" (265) as recognized by food companies (many with names we all recognize) and appliance companies (the same). However, when she gets to chapter 10, Apron Strings: Did She Cut Them, and mentions the current epidemic levels of obesity and heart disease and junk food advertising for kids, she does explore how the domestic scientists pushing meat 100 years ago, the convenience foods of the 1920s, and/or the "cuisine of disguise" of the plentiful 1940s could have helped lead to our current obsession with huge portions and fast, easy, junky food. She even asks "...why have Americans been willing to sacrifice quality? Why has food come to have such little value in our lives that we expect it to be so cheap, abundant, fast, and convenient?" (346). Her best answer (high on the list!) is "our constant lack of time"--which she does not explore but assumes is real. Rather than explore how the last ties into the present, and exploring our "lack of time" (or our perceived lack of time--how did we get to this?) the book ended. Frustrating!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amity

    I loved this book! I didn't want it to end. I loved this book! I didn't want it to end.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lee

    Anchored by well known events lots of us have heard about, Laura Schenone weaves women and food into history. Although the title suggests the book is limited to 1,000 years of the woman's story, Schenone actually begins her tale with people living in Old World caves and learning how to cook meat and season it with herbs--which pushes her timeline back by least 120,000 years. She moves rapidly across the ocean to the Americas and tackles Native American, African, and Hispanic contributions. In ea Anchored by well known events lots of us have heard about, Laura Schenone weaves women and food into history. Although the title suggests the book is limited to 1,000 years of the woman's story, Schenone actually begins her tale with people living in Old World caves and learning how to cook meat and season it with herbs--which pushes her timeline back by least 120,000 years. She moves rapidly across the ocean to the Americas and tackles Native American, African, and Hispanic contributions. In each chapter she offers a speculative explanation of how women learned about plants, pharmacology, and meal preparation. I call her history speculative because, as she often points out, the role of women through time is poorly chronicled and there are few documents to provide descriptions of the daily life they lead. Schenone therefore relies on a woman's common sense, practical needs, and family traditions. She punctuates her narrative with recipes, including many modern expressions of traditional preparations. It was a quick, informative look at the importance of womens' abilities to nurture and survive as seen from the hearth.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Pattie

    Loved this. Yes, it was a hard read at points, but history is hard when presented to someone, like myself, who has lived a life of privilege. The author's ability to paint the time period was vivid enough that I have a sudden sympathy with the women on the Mayflower. Seriously, what were they thinking? The book's layout was awkward. The sidebar inserts too often interrupted the narrative flow, but this made it super easy to start and stop reading. Cover to cover this was an incredible exploration Loved this. Yes, it was a hard read at points, but history is hard when presented to someone, like myself, who has lived a life of privilege. The author's ability to paint the time period was vivid enough that I have a sudden sympathy with the women on the Mayflower. Seriously, what were they thinking? The book's layout was awkward. The sidebar inserts too often interrupted the narrative flow, but this made it super easy to start and stop reading. Cover to cover this was an incredible exploration of America, its people, and their food. Highly recommended.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    An interesting viewpoint of the role women played in the feeding of her people. Thoroughly researched and full of tidbits of history, it also includes recipes from antiquity. I borrowed this book from my local library.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sheryl Hoehner

    Good review of history of food. But some a bit too general and not a foot note to be found which would have been so helpful. Our bookclub had a lot of food reviewing plus adding favorite memories from our past! Highly recommend!!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amber Hughey

    I would have liked it if had covered more of the pre-1900s, but it was interesting, just the same.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    A comprehensive review of cooking which includes familial, ethnic, political, and scientific reasons for why we cook the way we do. I found this to be a fascinating read!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cyndi

    Book seemed a bit uneven. Some parts were interesting and insightful. Others seemed to just be repeating things one can easily read elsewhere.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Carol Randell

    The book was a fun read and packed with information. Who knew reading about the kitchen would be so much fun

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    History of women, food and cooking with recipes included. Interesting

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    I love to cook. It's a love I come by honestly, as my great-grandmothers, grandmother, and Mom taught me. I remember being a tiny thing, standing in Granny's kitchen, stirring a vast bowl of batter for cornbread. I am Southern, so all occasions are marked by food. This is the best book I've read in a long time, for those reasons and more. A Thousand Years is history, science, anthropology, politics, immigration, colonialism, slavery, genocide, civil rights, and consumerism with a pile of recipes I love to cook. It's a love I come by honestly, as my great-grandmothers, grandmother, and Mom taught me. I remember being a tiny thing, standing in Granny's kitchen, stirring a vast bowl of batter for cornbread. I am Southern, so all occasions are marked by food. This is the best book I've read in a long time, for those reasons and more. A Thousand Years is history, science, anthropology, politics, immigration, colonialism, slavery, genocide, civil rights, and consumerism with a pile of recipes and old ads. It's wonderful and thought-provoking and funny. I learned about the rise of home economics and community cookbooks (if you ever bought a church or Junior League cookbook, you've played a part). About the local food movement, not unusual to those of us not in metropolitan areas. About the chemistry of corn. So much more that I cannot write a quarter of it in summary. Also, the book has an amazing bibliography and resources list. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must drag my wounded ankle into the kitchen, and consult the past.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Told through a series of recipes, anecdotes, historical lessons and personal recollections, A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove blooms into a field of fragrant flowers as it pollinates and harvests myths and perfunctory exaggerations about American women. Schenone explores the long trajectory of women's time in the kitchen and how they embarked on a world beyond. Women were of the first to display signs of cooking and would use books to raise money for worthy causes. Women's rights, suffrage and win Told through a series of recipes, anecdotes, historical lessons and personal recollections, A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove blooms into a field of fragrant flowers as it pollinates and harvests myths and perfunctory exaggerations about American women. Schenone explores the long trajectory of women's time in the kitchen and how they embarked on a world beyond. Women were of the first to display signs of cooking and would use books to raise money for worthy causes. Women's rights, suffrage and winning WWI Preparing food and cooking for wounded soldiers represented a point of freedom disguised as oppression. Women's frugality and inventive nature with what little foodstuffs they had, left them free of having to ingratiate themselves to higher powers for change. Their actions and intentions, born out of necessity and a nurturing nature, were loud and clear. Forced conformity, perpetuity of labels and roles for women in the late 19th century Still, in the twenty-first century, women are backed into a dusty corner, overrun with spider webs, and told we're supposed to be something that is innately not who we are. Conformity has bludgeoned most of us at some point in our life and if you are one of the fortunate few to have made it past your teens with nary a metaphorical bruise, I salute you. Schenone asserts that even in her role as a skilled physical worker of the land and a provider of nutrition, woman has been denigrated. Connecting our life to our nourishment A most touching motif of this book is woman's connection to the earth. I was reminded that what is most beloved about the kitchen, is the depth for which our hands and minds can connect us--by way of preparing a meal or baked good--to the beauty of nature's offerings. From one set of hands to the next, a fresh basket of green beans finds its way into my kitchen in spring, and I'm grateful for the love and care that will soon be transposed into my body. Schenone's book expresses a pure sense of gratitude, and I respect her perspective on women's roles because of this.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Don’t let the size and depth of the “A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove: A History of American Women Told through Food, Recipes, and Remembrances” overwhelm you and keep you from reading this wonderfully written book. This book is an amazing history of how with women at the center of the home families and communities survived and flourished, carried from the early days of the wooly mammoth, through the days of westward movement past early Betty Crocker and dinner in a box, to todays return to gre Don’t let the size and depth of the “A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove: A History of American Women Told through Food, Recipes, and Remembrances” overwhelm you and keep you from reading this wonderfully written book. This book is an amazing history of how with women at the center of the home families and communities survived and flourished, carried from the early days of the wooly mammoth, through the days of westward movement past early Betty Crocker and dinner in a box, to todays return to green living, to fresh and real food in the preparation of meals. This book makes each era come alive. Not only does this book explain the hardships and challenges of food gathering and preparation as part of our history, but it also gives wonderful glimpses of women's lives during those times. It shows what amazing endurance and commitment that women had (and continue to have) as they prepared the food necessary to sustain and nurture their families and communities throughout the years. There are recipes, stories of families and their struggles, and glimpses of history presented in a way that combines fact and storytelling and will expand your interest in those who have come before us. A wonderful book that can be read cover to cover or used as a resource and savored chapter by chapter. I loved this book and strongly recommend it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    The subtitle for this book is "A History of American Women Told Through Food, Recipes, and Remembrances". There is a lot to digest here (no pun intended). I scanned through a chapter at a sitting, reading more or less of the text depending on how it grabbed my interest. Schenone certainly did a lot of research -- there is a long bibliography at the back of the book -- and she tested all the recipes and added notes where needed. Starting with the American Indian, she continues through the settle The subtitle for this book is "A History of American Women Told Through Food, Recipes, and Remembrances". There is a lot to digest here (no pun intended). I scanned through a chapter at a sitting, reading more or less of the text depending on how it grabbed my interest. Schenone certainly did a lot of research -- there is a long bibliography at the back of the book -- and she tested all the recipes and added notes where needed. Starting with the American Indian, she continues through the settlement of the American colonies, the Civil War, women in the west, the many immigrants who came in the 19th century, through the two World Wars and on to how modern appliances and technologies have changed our eating habits today. I found it very interesting.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Rice

    Very cool book. There are actually recipes in this collection from Native Americans, early pioneers, and the biscuits General Lee liked best. At first, feminists may be turned off by this association with women and the kitchen. But whether modern society likes it or not, women have been closely linked to the preparation of food from almost the beginning of civilization. This fascinating account traces the amazing traditions passed along with recipes and colors the background with compelling stor Very cool book. There are actually recipes in this collection from Native Americans, early pioneers, and the biscuits General Lee liked best. At first, feminists may be turned off by this association with women and the kitchen. But whether modern society likes it or not, women have been closely linked to the preparation of food from almost the beginning of civilization. This fascinating account traces the amazing traditions passed along with recipes and colors the background with compelling stories of the women who made them.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    I picked up this book thinking it was as history of cooking over the last few centuries - but it's actually more of a history of women and how their role in society shaped our culinary traditions and vice versa. I found it a very interesting read that really made me think about why I cook the way I do. I wouldn't recommend it for the few recipes included, although they are intriguing in a museum quality way, but the history was interesting. I picked up this book thinking it was as history of cooking over the last few centuries - but it's actually more of a history of women and how their role in society shaped our culinary traditions and vice versa. I found it a very interesting read that really made me think about why I cook the way I do. I wouldn't recommend it for the few recipes included, although they are intriguing in a museum quality way, but the history was interesting.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rosalyn Eves

    This is a fascinating book that looks at what we can understand about the history of women through the foods they cooked--for instance, the recipe for beat biscuits (from the slavery era in the south) actually depended on servants, since it required such hard labor to beat the biscuits. Thus, the biscuits were a sign of social status, because they could only be made in a household with surplus labor. An interesting book, well told, and well worth exploring for those interested in food culture.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Adeline Lutts

    Full of well researched facts. A way to read history through the eyes and actions of women of the time. Lots on food, technology, and women's rights. I speed right through it and enjoyed it immensely. Really interesting chapters in the beginning about native American women and food. And wonderful insight to the first European settlers too. Recipes abound. Full of well researched facts. A way to read history through the eyes and actions of women of the time. Lots on food, technology, and women's rights. I speed right through it and enjoyed it immensely. Really interesting chapters in the beginning about native American women and food. And wonderful insight to the first European settlers too. Recipes abound.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melinda

    Wondrous history describing the intersection between American women, food, and cooking. There is a cornucopia of fascinating information about all three subjects here. I especially liked the photographs and recipes updated with the author's notes. Read slowly, a bit at a time, this is a tasty treat for those who enjoy history and food. Wondrous history describing the intersection between American women, food, and cooking. There is a cornucopia of fascinating information about all three subjects here. I especially liked the photographs and recipes updated with the author's notes. Read slowly, a bit at a time, this is a tasty treat for those who enjoy history and food.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Why, oh why didn’t she arrange the book chronologically? I feel like we were just revisiting the same eras again and again. Just as we would move into the 1950s, a reference to the civil war would pop up again. Why?

  29. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

    This is a great freakin' book for anyone who is into cooking or anthropology or history. As I am into all three, I loved it. It looks at the history of America as told through the food that has sustained its population and includes recipes and history and stories and anecdotes. Fun stuff... This is a great freakin' book for anyone who is into cooking or anthropology or history. As I am into all three, I loved it. It looks at the history of America as told through the food that has sustained its population and includes recipes and history and stories and anecdotes. Fun stuff...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Miera

    I wasn't as impressed by this book as I thought I would be, though it was an interesting overview of American women cooking long before America came into being. I wanted more detail nitty gritty. Instead, the author made some sweeping generalizations. I wasn't as impressed by this book as I thought I would be, though it was an interesting overview of American women cooking long before America came into being. I wanted more detail nitty gritty. Instead, the author made some sweeping generalizations.

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