All posts tagged: technology

Teaching Food Studies, Cookbooks & Writing

How do cookbooks speak? What stories do they tell—and whose? What do cookbooks reveal about power and how it operates? How do cookbooks communicate and construct gender? These are some of the questions my students and I have pondered lately in our course “Food and Gender in U.S. Popular Culture” at Brown University. For our first assignment, students analyzed how cookbooks prescribe and transgress conventional gender roles. A uniquely interdisciplinary field, food studies scholarship often employs various methods, but the close reading of cookbooks is one method that approaches universality. I’m working with a thoughtful and engaged group of 20 mostly first- and second-year students. While most had read and used cookbooks for cooking, few had previously considered them as elements of popular culture, as valuable historical evidence, as prescriptive literature that shape notions of gender, or as sources in which the so-often-silenced voices of women and people of color can be heard. In an effort to fully scaffold and support our work with cookbooks, we first did some reading. While there are many incredible texts I could have assigned, we read from: Jessamyn Neuhaus. …

Ann Seranne: America’s #1 Expert on Blender Cookery

In 1961, Ann Seranne and Eileen Gaden, both former Gourmet Magazine editors, published The Blender Cookbook to rave reviews. Not at all gimmicky, the cookbook was heralded by Craig Claiborne as an inspired, functional, and welcome resource, penned by “probably the world’s leading authorities on what a blender will and will not do.” Not only the nation’s top blender cookery expert, Seranne wrote more than two dozen cookbooks, published mostly in the 1960s and 1970s. A woman with dual passions, she also bred champion Yorkshire terriers—who ate very well and loved garlic. Her name also buzzed among foodies a few years ago, when Amanda Hesser revived Seranne’s 1966 rib roast of beef recipe in a “recipe redux” in the New York Times. Read more about this lesser known cookbook author in my most recent Zester piece, “How the Blender Was Elevated to a Kitchen Staple,” and enjoy this image gallery, an ode to the humble blender.