Eat My Words: Reading Women's Lives Through the Cookbooks They Wrote

By: Janet Theophano

Price: $19.95

Quantity: 5 available


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Some people think that a cookbook is just a collection of recipes for dishes that feed the body. In "Eat My Words: Reading Women's Lives through the Cookbooks They Wrote," Janet Theophano shows that cookbooks provide food for the mind and the soul as well. Looking beyond the ingredients and instructions, she shows how women have used cookbooks to assert their individuality, develop their minds, and structure their lives. Beginning in the seventeenth century and moving up through the present day, Theophano reads between the lines of recipes for dandelion wine, "Queen of Puddings," and half-pound cake to capture the stories and voices of these remarkable women.The selection of books looked at is enticing and wide-ranging. Theophano begins with seventeenth-century English estate housekeeping books that served as both cookbooks and reading primers so that women could educate themselves during long hours in the kitchen. She looks at "A Date with a Dish," a classic African American cookbook that reveals the roots of many traditional American dishes, and she brings to life a 1950s cookbook written specifically for Americans by a Chinese emigre and transcribed into English by her daughter. Finally, Theophano looks at the contemporary cookbooks of Lynne Rosetto Kaspar, Madeleine Kamman, and Alice Waters to illustrate the sophistication and political activism present in modern cookbook writing. Janet Theophano harvests the rich history of cookbook writing to show how much more can be learned from a recipe than how to make a casserole, roast a chicken, or bake a cake. We discover that women's writings about food reveal--and revel in--the details of their lives, families, and the cultures they help to shape.

Title: Eat My Words: Reading Women's Lives Through the Cookbooks They Wrote

Author: Janet Theophano

Illustrator: Reg. Price: $19.95

Categories: Women's Studies, Cookbooks,

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan: September, 2003

ISBN Number: 1-4039-6293-6

ISBN Number 13: 9781403962935

Binding: paperback

Book Details: 384 pages, paperback, Palgrave Macmillan

Seller ID: 962936

Description: Some people think that a cookbook is just a collection of recipes for dishes that feed the body. In Eat My Words: Reading Women's Lives through the Cookbooks They Wrote, Janet Theophano shows that cookbooks provide food for the mind and the soul as well. Looking beyond the ingredients and instructions, she shows how women have used cookbooks to assert their individuality, develop their minds, and structure their lives. Beginning in the seventeenth century and moving up through the present day, Theophano reads between the lines of recipes for dandelion wine, "Queen of Puddings," and half-pound cake to capture the stories and voices of these remarkable women.The selection of books looked at is enticing and wide-ranging. Theophano begins with seventeenth-century English estate housekeeping books that served as both cookbooks and reading primers so that women could educate themselves during long hours in the kitchen. She looks at A Date with a Dish, a classic African American cookbook that reveals the roots of many traditional American dishes, and she brings to life a 1950s cookbook written specifically for Americans by a Chinese émigré and transcribed into English by her daughter. Finally, Theophano looks at the contemporary cookbooks of Lynne Rosetto Kaspar, Madeleine Kamman, and Alice Waters to illustrate the sophistication and political activism present in modern cookbook writing. Janet Theophano harvests the rich history of cookbook writing to show how much more can be learned from a recipe than how to make a casserole, roast a chicken, or bake a cake. We discover that women's writings about food reveal--and revel in--the details of their lives, families, and the cultures they help to shape.

About Author
Janet Theopano is a leading social historian and Associate Director of the College of General Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She writes widely on food and foodways in American life.

Reviews
"She has enriched our appreciation for the texture of women's domestic lives across centuries and an ocean."--Women's Review of Books
"Janet Theophano [is]...nourishing the mind and changing the way old cookbooks are perceived."--Oakland Press
"Eat My Words is the perfect introduction."--Baltimore Sun
"...she is at her very best when penetrating her material, like a light shining through paper, to illuminate the characters of her women authors."--Toronto Star
“. . . a remarkable achievement. . . Eat My Words is not merely a history of cookbooks, but an exploration of women's lives in their own words. . .”--Phyllis Pray Bober, author of Art, Culture, and Cuisine
“...an engrossing study of how individual women and entire communities have, for centuries, expressed themselves through culinary instruction both formal and funky.”--Francine Prose, Elle
"Theophano has read between the lines of hundreds of cookbooks dating from the 17th century, and uncovered fascinating tidbits about women's lives. In our ancestors' day, cookbooks weren't used just for meal preparation; they also served as reading primers and outlets for creativity. Genealogists especially will enjoy the chapter 'Lineage and Legacies,' which disucsses the passing down of recipes. By hunting for Great-grandma's cookbook, you might uncover more about your family history than you thought you would." --Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, Family Tree Magazine

Table of Contents
Introduction
Cookbooks as Communities
Cookbooks as Collective Memory and Identity
Lineage and Legacies
Cookbooks as Autobiography
Cookbooks, Literacy and Domesticity
Becoming an Author: Cookbooks and Conduct
Recipe and Household Literature as Social and Political Commentary
Epilogue