There are recipes and articles from a time when most women collected hints and recipes, while some studied “home economics,” which is called something else now, in preparation for a career as a wife and mother.
Few women choose homemaking as a vocation. Young women don’t do a great deal of prep these days, and marriage seems to be something they go through while going through something else.
My mother was a good cook, except for biscuits. She followed her mother’s method of using a metal snuff can as a cutter. They were small and hard as stones.
My mother wore an apron and looked like a cook despite that shortcoming.
“Little Miss Phillips” started cooking at the “Kansas Woman’s” elbow at a very early age and had her own aprons.
She understood that part of the magic of a meal is in your head, so as long as you look like you know what you’re doing, you’re that much ahead.
The KW was exposed to house “homemaking” of another generation.
In the Midwest, a publication to farm families included recipes and simple patterns on a grid system so that they were easily expanded by increasing the size of the grids.
I don’t recall seeing “Capper’s Weekly” but it included recipes, some quite unusual, and they eventually published a cookbook. I last heard of Capper’s in the 70’s.
Growing up in very rural central Kansas my mother-in-law knew what her adult life would be from the git-go and had the best preparation for it. She always knew that one day she’d leave home.
As a young girl she had chores and learned the mechanics of home-making until she was fully prepared to take care of a house and family at 18.
It was a time in which women knew things, like how to make things from basic materials (from scratch).
Things today are ready-made so that even the thought of catching a chicken by the leg with a coat hanger and turning it into dinner is as foreign as reading Russian.
Women's magazines featured advertisements for kitchen products, and each showed an apron-clad woman using the product.
Aunt Jenny wore an apron, too. She was a fictional advertising character for Lever Brothers and their product “Spry,” a product similar to Crisco.
Aunt Jenny was 50-ish, chunky with short curly hair, maybe gray, maybe not, but her husband was “Calvin;” I remember that.
She was on CBS radio for nearly 30 years with a 15-minute program, “Aunt Jenny’s Real Life Stories,”
“Betty Crocker” was another fictional advertising character who wore an apron, but today Betty is on Facebook.
My mother had aprons for everyday cooking and for Sunday.
My mother-in-law’s favorite apron was ornate, but today is threadbare.
It has a place of honor on her dress form.
Joe Phillips writes his “Dear me” columns for several small newspapers. He has many connections to Walker County, including his grandfather, former superintendent Waymond Morgan. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.