BOOK REVIEW: "A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband"

Linda Herron with book

Linda Herron with book

(1917) by Louise Bennett Weaver & Helen Cowles LeCron

by Chris Carr

The book delights me, but I do NOT recommend the recipes.

Hideously over-cooked vegetables. Meals that are a symphony of one color. Very few seasonings. Meats cooked to shoe leather. Lots of bizarre things put in aspic and served in the oddest combinations according to my palate.

Possibly the candies and biscuits are edible (although I'd lower the salt) but I wouldn't try anything else.

I did try the rice-pudding. As my tactful younger daughter said, "Mommy, this was your first try- you'll do better next time." (I make fabulous rice pudding, but not from this recipe!)

However, this is a portrait of what new marriages and house-keepers were supposed to emulate within a certain social class of Americans in 1917. I was delighted by the care and feeding of an icebox, and by the 1942 version where the care and feeding of the modern refrigerator is mentioned. There were two types: The electric, which conveniently screwed into a light socket, and the gas-powered!

Sleeping porches, themed teas. Cleaning your kid gloves using gasoline in the kitchen. It's a wonderful book, but kids- don't do this at home.

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