Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Houswives in the past
I have been looking through some of my old cookery and houewifery books - it really is amazing how much things have changed. The differences between the above 'Cookery and comforts' book and the 1950 edition of 'Housewife' are, I think, not as great as the gulf between the 1950's and today.
The hints and recipes here are for little dishes, and a fairly fussy sort of menu. It was not easy photographing these books, the pages are a creamy sort of old, and the printing is not very crisp. But I am sure if you click on the photos you will be able to find the recipe for 'Curry Croquete'.
Meatless meals were becoming less eccentric, and pasta was making an appearance. But only macaroni and spaghetti! Most of those recipes sound a bit boring!
And how about this lovely apron whilst you do your housework?
When we get to the 1950's copy of 'Housewife' it is quite clear that, whatever women have been doing during the war - working in factories, on the land or in the armed services, their place is now firmly at home. And they are expected to do all the housework themselves. Which is why in mid morning, brush and dustpan in hand, our now frilly-aproned housewife goes 'flop'!
Some of the advertisements are lovely! Don't you just fancy this coat in the 'New Look' length? Actually, I had one very like that, with a big snuggly collar, in a dark teal colour. I loved it!
And hands up those who are old enough to remember Oxydol! Ah! How we were supposed to worry over whether our whites were whiter than our neighbours'!
It was too difficult to photograph the pages, but there are several reminders that, even in 1950, five years after the war had ended, food was still short, and rationed. In a short feature entitled 'Recipes for Sick Children' there are instructions for making a fish custard, and a recipe for Tripe Mould, which is supposed to taste like chicken (??) and for disguising rabbit as chicken. As the poor child had probably never tasted much real chicken, he or she could well have been deceived!
(And for those of you who don't know what tripe is, its the stomach of cows - comes in various types, honeycomb is one I can remember. Nasty, flabby white stuff, since you ask!)
I'm off to browse through 'Housewife' again - the hairstyles are wonderfully tight and curly, the babies all chubby and wearing wool next to the skin, and the women incredibly glamorous with minute waists and long flowing dresses!
And some of the recipes aren't bad, either!