1941 Recipe Contest

1941 Clipping from American Weekly Housewife's Food Almanac

While going through pictures I took of my great-grandmother's recipe box this clipping from 1941 caught my eye. Recipe Contests were not a new thing.  So many of Grammy Grace's recipes had names attached to them, such as "Hermits - Mrs. Freese" or "Hannah Thompson's Rolled Oat Cookies."  In "How National Cooking Competitions Changed the Way We Talk About Recipes", Sarah Baird links cooking competitions to women's quest for autonomy. 
"Cooking became a means of celebrity for women, and to that end, a celebration of not only their creativity in the kitchen, but the pure, adrenaline-pumping pleasure of competition. 

Cooking morphed into something that was—quite literally—valuable for women, putting cash in their hands and fire in their bellies. Without even knowing it, national recipe competitions became a quietly feminist act."

In 1941, a $5 win in a recipe contest would be the equivalent of almost $100 today. In 1941, married women with children didn't often work outside the home, so these competitions offered a way to make a good thing happen in life, if not a living. But a win like this might offer something else for women of that time - that they independently had worth in the world. And that "women's work" had value outside the home. 

Here are the cookie recipes by Mrs. Freese and Hannah Thompson. Mrs. Freese and Hannah Thompson, 80 years later, I salute you! 

No comments:

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden