Friday, December 24, 2010

We've Come a Long Way Baby!!

Any of you around my age will remember the following ads:

It would be laughable if it wasn't so sad. As women we've progressed so far along the road of freedom that we can now smoke and they even made a cigerrette just for us!  Yeah baby! 

Well that was back in the sixties. Go back in time just a few more years and you encountered something like this:

This is my mother's cookbook from 1953. Look at the names of the women who submitted recipes. I can remember some of those women as the recipe book was a local fundraiser in the village of Norwich where I grew up. They were amazing, strong, forward thinking women - even though we don't know their names.

I showed this to Kazi yesterday when we were baking cookies.  Then we got into a discussion about last names, getting married, taking our husband's name (which I didn't do), what her name would be if she married her greek boyfriend and paired his surname with her polish first name. Yikes - what a moniker!!

It doesn't matter to me what she decides to do...what matters to me is that she has the choice and that she won't be known as Mrs. George Gian_______.

Miraculously, one thing transcends this whole discussion, and that is the cookies themselves:

My thanks to Mrs. Jack McMillen, whoever you are, for the Rich Pecan Cookies recipe and to my mother Mrs. Edith Jane Eileen Harrison (Catton) for making them every Christmas. I am carrying on the tradition and they taste just as good as they did back in the l950's, 1960's and l970's when you baked them for all of us kids:

I'm the littlest one


  1. I always think about that same thing whenever I see older recipes! For years though my mom signed her name Mrs ___ ___ instead of using her own first name. I kinda like taking the hubby's last name but by God I have a first name and it's NOT Mrs!

    might have to get a magnifying glass to see those recipes better(but I'll wait and see if I'm still doing weight watchers) yes I'm officially attempting to lose weight and eat healthier now!


  2. lol, love the ad.
    And you're right - the names of those women! I cannot imagine being known like that.
    In fact, while I did take my husband's name, I did so with a pang.
    The family photo is great, too. I love those old photos.
    Have a great Christmas!

  3. I have old cookbooks like that, I remember when my mum couldn't get a payment plan to buy a television without my dads signature, ( which she refused to do) even though she had her own income, so I borrowed the money in my name for her, I was 18 & just started work, but I wasn't married so I could sign for the payment plan on my own.
    Sometimes I get frustrated that young women don't know how far we've come in just a few short years!

    on another note, merry christmas, hope you have a lovely day with the family.

  4. Ha, I didn't notice the names until you said something. Sure glad we have progressed from there! I took my husband's name...I liked it. But it's nice to know we have a choice!

    Cookies look delicious!

    Jane, Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

  5. Merry Christmas Jane! Your cookies look yummy!

  6. Oh I love those cookbooks. I actually just bought a new one recently from the Hospice Society. Recipes contributed from those who work with hospice and those who have received their services and contributed recipes in memory of their loved ones. There's so much history and love in a book like that. Have a wonderful Christmas and best wishes in the new year.

  7. It,s officially Christmas Day here in Australia, so I earn the right to say MERRY CHRISTMAS Jane to you and yours.

    My Gran had a black leather bound notebook which she wrote her recipes into, and at the top of each recipe she put the name of the Friend/Neighbour/Relative who gave her the recipe and a short note of who they were in relation to her. And in some cases she has even added the Womens addresses, I love that she gave each woman her rightful place in life and not just as some man,s wife.
    I imagine my Gran was a very emancipated female.


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