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What Today’s Housewife Reads

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We’re a family of magazine lovers (here’s my husband’s list.) Maybe because they’re quick to read through? Fun to get mail? Often very cheap? Probably all of those things. I am a subscriber to Better Homes & Gardens, and every month when it arrives I think, “I can’t believe I am getting Better Homes & Gardens–how old am I? Am I my mother?” But you know what? It’s a great magazine. It has very modern and fresh decorating ideas (you’ll see some of the same things in Lucky, Marie Claire, and Blueprint–all of which I also get- each month) and great gardening advice. Like every magazine I read, it seems I read straight through thinking “ooh! I’ll do that! Oooh! Great idea!” and then I don’t follow through. (That said, last month, part of an article on someone’s redo of a room inspired my husband and I to come up with an excellent new storage solution for our games and son’s books.) But I still like it and have to say to younger people out there-don’t be put off by it! Give it a try! Something very amusing in this month’s issue is a feature on an all white kitchen (which looks sterile and expensive to me), followed by a piece on a woman’s kitchen painted and designed from the inspiration of Majolica pottery. It was very bright and cheerful and the pull out quote, in big letters at the top of the page, was “Everyone seems to be obsessed with white kitchens these days.” I thought that was a very funny juxtaposition and surely intentional (if not, lazy editor! I prefer to think funny editor, though).

The other magazine I have just started getting, albeit ironically, is Taste of Home. Now, I first encountered this magazine last winter when it came free in the mail. I must have read it through two times reading aloud pieces of it and cracking up. It is a magazine that surely comes not through the U.S. Post Office, but through some sort of time travel air mail, because it seems to come from the 1950s. Many of the recipes are designed for potlucks and church socials, the featured spices make it sound like we’ve just been introduced to the exotic cinnamon for the first time, and, well, I don’t want to be mean, but many of the recipes are straight out of the 50s, too. Orange Gelatin Pretzel Salad??? To be perfectly fair, I do like that none of the recipes seem to use shortcuts and that there is an assumed higher level of cooking skill (lots of yeast breads) and I have made several very good recipes from it. It’s just that overall it creates such a time warp (check out the section where people write in for recipes that could so much more quickly be found, um, anywhere else other than waiting to have it published in a magazine.) So imagine my surprise to find my husband got me a subscription to it as a joke! I’ll be sure to let you all know how my gelatin salads turn out…

About Sarah

I'm a librarian living with my lovely family in a gorgeous spot of New Jersey, where we raise chickens and love the outdoors. I try to find enough time to indulge all my hobbies-cooking, photography, gardening, sewing, and I write about it all on my book blog & personal blog.

2 responses »

  1. You cannot ever stop your subscription to Taste Of Home, because without you getting it, how will I keep up on the latest in cutting-edge gelatin salads? And how will I know what recipes all those 60-something women in the prairie states and provinces are hoping will fall out of the sky and into their recipe boxes?

  2. Oh my God, it sounds like Farm Journal or even better. I must see it.


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