American Home Cooking
A Popular History
Americans eat four to five meals per week in a restaurant and buy millions of dollars’ worth of convenience foods. Les mer
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Americans eat four to five meals per week in a restaurant and buy millions of dollars’ worth of convenience foods. Cooking, especially from scratch, is clearly on its way out. However, if this is true, why do we spend so much money on kitchen appliances both large and small? Why are so many cooking shows and cookbooks published each year if so few people actually cook?
In American Home Cooking, Timothy Miller argues that there are historical reasons behind the reality of American cooking. There are some factors that, over the past two hundred years, have kept us close to our kitchens, while there are other factors that have worked to push us away from our kitchens.
At one end of the cooking and eating continuum is preparing meals from scratch: all ingredients are raw and unprocessed and, in extreme cases, grown at the home. On the other end of the spectrum is dining out at a restaurant, where no cooking is done but the family is still fed. All dining experiences exist along this continuum, and Miller considers how American dining has moved along the continuum. He looks at a number of different groups and trends that have affected the state of the American kitchen, stretching back to the early 1800s. These include food and appliance companies, the restaurant industry, the home economics movement of the early 20th century, and reform movements such as the counterculture of the 1960s and the religious reform movements of the 1800s. And yet the kitchen is still, most often, the center of the home and the place where most people expect to cook and eat – even if they don’t.
Forlag: Rowman & Littlefield
Format: 24 x 16 cm
«As Miller notes, cooking in the American household has radically changed from the country’s colonial past. In earliest days, cooks had to collect wood, light fires, haul water in from the well, and more before they could actually touch food. It took a couple centuries until home cooking was reduced to opening a can or a box. Early American home cooks had only a fireplace, and in many a settler’s abode, it dominated the household, serving as stove, oven, and drafty cabin’s furnace. The advent of food-preservation techniques such as canning and then refrigeration radically changed everything about cooking. By the late nineteenth century, scientists contributed their growing command of microbiology to both detect and prevent spoilage and food-borne illness. This ever more efficient and ubiquitous technology had even greater effect, revolutionizing gender roles in the home and unleashing social forces that continue to resonate. Miller’s microhistory goes from colonial days through the 1960s and will be appreciated by readers interested in American history and in cooking in general.»
«In American Home Cooking: A Popular History, Tim Miller writes an easily digestible survey filled with over two centuries worth of anecdotes, facts and insights. This is a timely book given the current resurgence of home cooking in the United States.»
«How much has putting dinner on the table for one's family changed in the past two hundred years? Mercifully, quite a bit. Anyone who has ever wondered what to fix for supper will enjoy standing next to the stove with Tim Miller as he explores the evolution of food and meal production in the American home.»
«American Home Cooking is a lively and accessible introduction to how Americans have fed themselves from the colonial period up through the present. The book delivers even more than the title promises as Miller instructs his readers not only about what his fellow citizens have cooked at home but also about the various strategies Americans have used to escape from cumbersome kitchen duties. Students interested in a crash course on food history will find this volume a useful starting point.»
Chapter 1: Cooking in 1800
Chapter 2: The Early to Late 1800s
Chapter 3: The Late 1800s Through 1945
Chapter 4: 1945 to the early 1970s
Chapter 5: The Early 1970s Through Today
Chapter 6: The Future of Home Cooking