Secret Ingredients Race, Gender, and Class at the Dinner Table

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2005-12-23
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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In Secret Ingredients , acclaimed author Sherrie A. Inness exposes how women have used recipes and cooking to challenge the status quo. Hiding within seemingly ordinary cookbooks are revolutionary messages from women about social and cultural norms. Surprising but true, something as mundane as a cookbook can contain subtle and not-so-subtle protests against traditional and accepted viewpoints. Exploring cookbooks including 1950s convenience food, 1970s natural food, 1980s "white trash" cuisine, and the surprise success of the Two Fat Ladies books from the 1990s, Inness reveals recipes for social change in Mom's pot roast and even mini-marshmallow Jell-O salad. She shows that cookbooks are rich and complex, and reveal more than they seem to about women's evolving role in society. Secret Ingredients uncovers how modern cookbooks continue to be a valuable tool for understanding the ways race, class, ethnicity, and gender intersect in the United States.

Author Biography

Sherrie A. Inness is Professor of English at Miami University. She is the author/editor of over a dozen books including Action Chicks (Palgrave 2004) and Kitchen Culture in America.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: Recipes for Revolution 1(16)
1 "34,000,000,000 Work-Hours" Saved: Convenience Foods and Mom's Home Cooking 17(22)
2 "Unnatural, Unclean, and Filthy": Chinese-American Cooking Literature Confronting Racism in the 1950's 39(22)
3 "All Those Leftovers Are Hard on the Family's Morale": Rebellion in Peg Bracken's The I Hate to Cook Book 61(22)
4 "Boredom Is Quite Out of the Picture": Women's Natural Foods Cookbooks and Social Change 83(22)
5 "More American than Apple Pie": Modern African-American Cookbooks Fighting White Stereotypes 105(22)
6 "You Can't Get Trashier": White Trash Cookbooks and Social Class 127(22)
7 "Dining on Grass and Shrubs": Making Vegan Food Sexy 149(20)
8 Thin Is Not In: Two Fat Ladies and Gender Stereotypes on the Food Network 169(20)
Notes 189(22)
Works Cited 211(24)
Index 235

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