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14 February 2014

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You might enjoy Elaine Tyler May's Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era. One of the things I remember from reading this years ago in college was that cake mixes weren't selling very well when they were first introduced. They found out that women felt like they were cheating their families by not baking from scratch. So they re-engineered the mixes to require a fresh egg and cooking oil so women would feel better about using the labor saving mixes.

Thomas,
Thank you for the interesting suggestion--I'm going to look into it!
That's VERY interesting about cake mixes. I use them, but have never found them all that much easier than just doing a cake from scratch. Once I've pulled together the mix, the egg, and the oil, after all, I'm not that far off having all the necessary ingredients for a cake. I wish they'd just gone for broke and made the mix that didn't require the other stuff!

Hey CR,

Suzanne McMinn, author of Chickens in the Road blog, just came out with her memoir last fall. I confess I haven't read it yet, although I do follow her blog somewhat, but it's gone out several times here and makes an interesting complement/contrast to the Pioneer Woman's memoir of meeting and marrying her husband. (Be warned, it's definitely more detailed and darker than PW's; she had some unpleasant experiences which she didn't cover in the blog but does address in the book.)

Suzanne was a suburban housewife who chucked it all to move back to her father's family's homestead, and she regularly embarks on new voyages of discovery in the homesteading and crafting areas.

She does interesting things like deconstruct a cake mix, and then write up how one can make one's own mixes without the preservatives. Basically, you're just mass-producing and then you add your egg. I too find it easier to just assemble the cake from scratch, but her instructions are always very thorough and entertaining; you may want to check her out.

Lynne!
Thanks for the tip. I'll check out the blog and the book--I don't mind "darker"! If anyone else wants to see the blog, it's at
http://chickensintheroad.com/

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