To Begin. . . .

I’ve always been fascinated by domestic histories. I don’t think there’s anything more interesting than to hear about Perfection Salad — that exemplar of heavenly domesticity from the turn-of-the-last-century. Or about freezing diapers in Northern Canada because it’s assumed to be the only way to properly disinfect them. Or about children learning their letters from copying “receipts.” I’ve managed to intersect my scholarship with entertainment and daily chores quite frequently in my adult life. And this is just more of the same.

When my mother-in-law, Mona Faye, gave me this huge stack of old cookbooks, I was elated, and I knew I had to share with you all. And I’ve had this blog ready for some time, but I just can’t begin. I don’t know how to start. I read Lileks for inspiration. Or a classic women’s history for facts. And still I sputter.

So I’m just going to jump in. This blog will have recipes and newspaper clippings, advice and advertisements, history and entertainment. All things to think about while scrubbing the floors and ironing the shirts. Because we women have been doing it for millenia. And by now, we should be pretty funny while doing it.

One Response to “To Begin. . . .”

  1. Mona Faye says:

    I don’t think Mama really liked to cook, but she (like me, too) collected recipes with good intentions. When I went through her stash of recipes, I found notations saying, “Made this for Mona Faye’s 16th birthday”, or “Walter didn’t like this”.

    I remember one time she made Prune Pie and told Daddy, ” I made this especially for you.” Now, for some reason, that made him angry and he wouldn’t even eat it. (the old prune !)

    Sometimes, when she was not in the mood to peel potatoes, she would cook them as is, and say to me, “Look at the cute little potatoes with their jackets on. Wouldn’t you like some?”

    Another trick of hers was to cook turnips every once in awhile and tell me they were potatoes. Now, that is the dirtiest trick in the book, and it only took once for me to ogle each and every serving of “potatoes”.

    Ask me about washing day and ironing day sometime. Where does that belong? In “History”?