Everyday Foods (Home Economics Textbook 1933)


by Jessie W. Harris and Elisabeth Lacey Speer, Houghton Mifflin Co., revised and enlarged edition, 1933. Riverside Home Economics Series. Textbook, hardback, dark blue covers, titles in gold on spine, no DJ as issued, 550 pages. Harris and Speer were home economics professors at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. As you might expect, the text is serious in tone and "scientific" -- weights, measures, vitamin values, nutrition charts, planned "balanced" family meals, bacteria growth in not-cold-enough refrigerators, etc. Black and white photos throughout of such scientific things as white laboratory rats and guinea pigs before taking a certain vitamin and then afterwards.

I'm sure a prospective customer won't be buying this book for the writing style, but the unenthusiastic style of the authors defines the word prosaic. They inform us, for example, that the book was written "primarily for girls from thirteen to seventeen years of age, in secondary schools" and the material "comes within the experience of high-school girls and is selected in accordance with their daily contracts, interests and responsibilities both at school and at home in matters pertaining to food: the wise selection of food for themselves and others; good manners and courtesy; marketing; preparing and serving meals; planning for special occasions." The recipes, I don't have to tell you, are bland, without fresh herbs (much less garlic) as ingredients, and uninspired. Gonna be some fun, eh, kids?

Condition: The book is clean, without notes or underlining; pages equally age-tanned; shelf wear at extremities: VG.

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