As people in the States prepare to greedily gobble down delicious delights, I’m currently reading about the women who use to make such possible inside other people’s kitchens year round. No, this isn’t the book that inspired The Help. I’d say this non-fiction read is something more scholarly. Here’s a Tuesday Teaser:

Cooks who did not wish to give away their recipes might give incorrect proportions or directions to people who pushed them. White cookbook writer Marion Flexner told of a family cook named Molly, whom Flexner’s aunt tried to beg for the recipe for her “famous Shredded Apple Pie.” Molly gave her a recipe with ingredients left out and incorrect proportions. Flexner asked Molly why she didn’t give away the recipe and reported Molly’s response in dialect: ‘Lissen chile,’ she said seriously, shaking her finger at me, ‘dat pie is ma specialty—see? Effen Ah gives my receipts to everybody what axes for ’em, what Ah gwine ter hafe lef’ ter surprise ’em wid?’ She put her hand kindly on her arm. ‘Ah’ll give you a piece of advice from an ol’ woman—always keep sumpin’ in reserve what you kin do better’n ennybody else, and don’ share dat secret wid no one.’ Molly realized she had created a very special dish, and she wanted to continue to use that creation for her own advantage.

Happy reading, y’all.

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