Sugar and Spice: Kids in the Kitchen

This week, coming off a Halloween-candy-sugar-high, we feature Sugar an’ Spice and All Things Nice, by Julia Kiene. Published in conjunction with the Home Economics Institute of the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company in 1951, the book features basic recipes, cooking hints, and gentle advice (not grumbling about eating one’s vegetables, and just what makes a girl look her prettiest while cooking, for example), as well as red and black illustrations.

It’s very much a “mother’s helper” style cookbook. Although the book addresses both boys and girls, there is a strong emphasis on young women. In the introduction above, the author points out that a “good cook never starts until she understands the recipe.” She, not he. There is a set of recipes for throwing a tea party, illustrated with images of girls, but no parallel for boys. Still, at least Ms. Kiene is letting young men use the stove. And in fact, the collection here contains several other cookbooks for children that do feature manuals and recipes aimed at boys. All of which is an improvement of some later publications (see For Men Only: Mastering the Microwave, 1986).

Other recipes in this book include cakes, hot chocolate, breakfast in bed (for mother!), tuna casserole, muffins, and vegetables. Just don’t try them all at once. Tuna casserole rarely goes with devil’s food cake, and creamed snap beans don’t mix well with scrambled eggs in bed.

That’s all for this Wednesday. We’re coming up on a series of eating and entertaining holidays in this last part of the year, so be prepared for anything. 🙂 Until then, happy cooking, baking, and eating!

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