A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband with Bettina’s Best Recipes, by Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen Cowles LeCron (Published 1917)
To every little bride who has a “Bob” to please; and says she’s tried and tried and tried to cook with skill and ease; and can’t — we offer here as guide, Bettina’s Recipes!
To her whose “Bob” is prone to wear a sad and hungry look; because the maid he thought so fair is — well — she just can’t cook! To her we say: do not despair, just try Bettina’s Book!A Dedication, from A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband
Okay! I can hear the feminists among us gnashing their teeth and screaming at their screen as they read that dedication 🙂 and wondering why I chose this book as one that has meaning for me.
Obviously, it’s a book from a very different time and even though I was a teenager coming of age in the 70s amidst the turbulent times of all the movements that were changing everything, especially the Women’s Movement, I was still a product of my upbringing. I was still the young girl with a hope chest who had been taught to embroider, knit and crochet and how to cook and bake and keep house — not that I keep a very tidy house now 🙂 or, for that matter, that I cook much or ever bake … and knitting and crocheting? not in years!
I found this book in a yard sale and just because I love old books, I picked it up. All the recipes are set within the context of the story of this fictional young woman’s first months of married life and her setting up house and coping with all the responsibilities of a new homemaker.
This book appealed to my love for a previous time and to my love of a good story. I lived a very domestic life for the first years of marriage — cooking, baking, quilting, crocheting (I even earned money by embroidering pillow tops for a high end antique Victorian pillow vendor) and tending to my sons.
This book told the story of a dream that was probably never a reality for any young woman in any time, but it was a pleasant dream nonetheless.
My companion music for this book: A Woman’s Touch from the movie, Calamity Jane