From the Factory to the Table: Advertising Cookbooks and the Changing Face of American Domestic Cookery 1880-1941
2. Efficiency: Less Work for Mother
"Everything is expertly and freshly prepared for you... Nothing could be quicker or easier than that!"
Horn and Hardart Retail Shops. c. 1930. Less Work for Mother Meal Planner: Your Cookless Cookbook. Philadelphia: Horn and Hardart.
1 v., unpaged : ill. ; 15 cm.
Many of the cookbooks in this exhibit champion increased efficiency for the domestic cook. None take this concept quite as far as this book, which presents the possibility of unending variation in meals without needing to cook. The title of the book clearly indicates that the the household food preparer is necessarily the woman and, more specifically, mothers. It offers the busy woman of the 1930s the ability to turn food preparation into menu planning. The final page (item 5) goes further, offering mothers the prospect of no prep or cleanup by taking the family to a restaurant. One can see television dinners and family restaurants as the natural conclusion of this philosophy of efficiency through delegation of cooking duties to corporations.
While this food is pre-prepared, the freshness and quality of the product are touted (see item 2). Purchasing prepared food from Horn and Hardart is put forward not as second best, but as the best option for family and invited guests alike. This claim is ambiguous, and the statement seems to apply to the domestic cook as well as competing businesses: a housewife's cooking may suffice for normal events, but Horn and Hardart will give a special touch.
For further description, including call number, please see this item's catalog entry.