Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Frightened Housewife Rejection

Julia Child's wonderful cookbook series received many rejections. One misguided editor wrote: "It is a big, expensive cookbook of elaborate information and might well prove formidable to the American housewife. She might easily clip one of these recipes out of a magazine but be frightened by the book as a whole."

1 comment:

zumabitch said...

Remember that at the time of this rejection, there had been a big movement towards ease of preparation, mostly facilitated by canned soups. This started after World War Two and reached its apex in the 1950s, when it added "Polynesian" influences like canned pineapple and water chestnuts. However, it continued unabated and even more elaborately well into the 1960s.
The American housewife was persuaded by advertisers to think that the opening of cans was a form of liberation from kitchen drudgery and I don't suppose there were many mothers who didn't gleefully serve some variation of tuna casserole. Or, in my case, Wiki Waki Meatballs (canned pineapple and mushroom soup). So strong and popular was this "cuisine" that it was almost, I tell you, downright unpatriotic to suggest that the mothers of America gut a fish!

Still, common sense held out in the end.