Something From The Oven (2004) It's easy to sugarcoat American food of the 1950s as a menu of marshmallow salad and frozen dinners served by housewives happily freed of kitchen… 2004-03-25 Nonfiction
Book Review

Something From The Oven (2004)

Details Release Date: Mar 25, 2004; Writer: Laura Shapiro; Genre: Nonfiction

It's easy to sugarcoat American food of the 1950s as a menu of marshmallow salad and frozen dinners served by housewives happily freed of kitchen drudgery. Shapiro upends that notion, showing that women were loath to give up home cooking in favor of prepackaged food, despite the efforts of manufacturers who created icons like Betty Crocker. Not only did innovations like canned deep-fried hamburgers and dehydrated wine taste terrible, convenience food had another problem: ''The moral obligation to cook simply was not satisfied.'' Shapiro laces her dissection of '50s kitchen domesticity with enough statistics and social theory to fill a feminist research paper. Like many processed foods, Something doesn't quite satisfy.

Originally posted Apr 23, 2004 Published in issue #761 Apr 23, 2004 Order article reprints