Intensifying Taste, Intensifying Identity

Intensifying Taste, Intensifying Identity - Intensifying...

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Intensifying Taste, Intensifying Identity: Collectivity through Community Cookbooks Author(s): Kennan Ferguson Source: Signs , Vol. 37, No. 3 (Spring 2012), pp. 695-717 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: Accessed: 02-10-2016 13:52 UTC JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at The University of Chicago Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Signs This content downloaded from 130.160.4.77 on Sun, 02 Oct 2016 13:52:18 UTC All use subject to
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[ Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 2012, vol. 37, no. 3] 2012 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. 0097-9740/2012/3703-0015$10.00 K e n n a n F e r g u s o n Intensifying Taste, Intensifying Identity: Collectivity through Community Cookbooks I n 1975 , a collective of women in Spencer, Iowa, published a book of recipes as part of a church fund-raiser. Calling themselves “Lutheran Church Women,” as each was a member of Spencer’s Trinity Lutheran Church, they collected close to seven hundred recipes from other members (exclusively women), organized and typeset each recipe, designed and drew covers and dividers between sections, and added a number of un- attributed prayers and poems. At the bottom of many pages, they added helpful household tips and uplifting aphorisms. As an introduction, they reprinted their (male) pastor’s blessing, which included the honorific as- signation: “Lord of all pots and pans and things make you a saint in your ‘Kitchenthedral’” (Lutheran Church Women 1975, iii). 1 Finally, they sent the manuscript off to two women in Iowa Falls, Phyllis Harris and Dorothy Surratt, whose business provided templates, stock pages (in this case one Many community cookbooks were locally printed or printed through small incorporated publishing companies (e.g., Phyllis Harris and Dorothy Surratt’s General Publishing and Binding in Iowa Falls, Iowa). Often these publications were not copyrighted and do not have dates listed for their publication. Guesses as to broad dates of publication can be made, at least in terms of decades, according to paper stock, print, layout (e.g., on a computer’s dot matrix printer as opposed to typewritten), photography, the era in which the compiling organization existed, when the publishing company began dating cookbooks, or even trends in illustration. In these cases, an approximate date is listed. The majority of these uncopy- righted community cookbooks are archived in the Cookbook Collection at Texas Women’s University in Denton, Texas. My thanks to Dawn Letson and Kimberly Johnson, librarians
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