how to cook husbands. Recipes for a successful marriage.“They are really delicious—when properly treated.”

A while ago I came across a newspaper clipping—a recipe written by a Baltimore lady—that had long lain dormant in my desk. It ran as follows:

“A great many husbands are spoiled by mismanagement. Some women go about it as if their husbands were bladders, and blow them up; others keep them constantly in hot water; others let them freeze, by their carelessness and indifference. Some keep them in a stew, by irritating ways and words; others roast them; some keep them in pickle all their lives. Now it is not to be supposed that any husband will be good, managed in this way—turnips wouldn’t; onions wouldn’t; cabbage-heads wouldn’t, and husbands won’t; but they are really delicious when properly treated.

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1930s-1950s, looking mostly to efficiency:

Chafing Dish

by Rena

Cooking with a chafing dish is ancient, but was popular in America, beginning c. 1880s — considered fashionable on dining tables, and a necessity in dorm rooms. First heated with a fueled wick, they became electrified around the turn-of-the-century. Here is a postal stamp depicting a fashionable c. 1930s couple using an electric chafing dish, now that electricity was available in more homes.

Kitchen Theater

by Rena

New version: Between the Soup and the Savoury with a Twist…. http://www.merrymeeting.com/historiccooking-ebooks/English-soup-and-savory.mp3

Since the 1800s food manufacturers often publish booklets to promote their product. In the 1980s Kraft and Disney produced this puppet kitchen theater. Click the link for the full script.

Since this Facebook posting, we’ve visited Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. Visit their Facebook page, and in-person if you can.