Advice for the Bride to Make Your Blood Boil

March 19, 2016


You all loved  the vintage advice for new brides I posted the other day so I went looking for more in the same vein.  And what did I come up with?  A book from 1947 that just makes me mad.

Not only does Ms. Malone offer instructions on heating up canned soup, she also upholds the terrifying ideal of the subservient and perfect – in deed and demeanor – little wife.

As you’ll see, the first ingredient for a successful breakfast is essentially you, the reader, the new wife, all dewy and well-groomed…  No wonder my mother and her friends were all so angry!


IMG_5060I assumed the whole book would drone on in this fashion, but then I got to the section called, “We deal in trickery.” Reading it I was almost ready to forgive Ms. Malone. “If you cake has fallen, don’t grieve for a second. A fallen cake is always richer.” Shades of Eve – apple and all.

And one day I’m going to try those cookies…..


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  • Caroline says:

    Amazing! Thanks for sharing this. Aside from being slack jawed through it all, I’m still laughing. Very thankful to live in a world where Ms. Malone’s ideals do not exist.

  • Mark. says:

    I hope that a vintage-recipe blogger like the one who writes The Mid-Century Menu tries those cookies… Maybe I should give her a link…

  • Gail says:

    I think the suggestions about getting yourself together by breakfast are wonderful–IF followed by both spouses!

  • Elyse says:

    Re: the cookies, add chopped nuts and flaked coconut to the mixture and you have something very much like the still-popular Magic Cookie Bars (recipes all over the internet).

  • Carol Hollis says:

    So glad that I had a strong independent mother in the late 40’s. When one afternoon she arrived home after being out with a girlfriend & myself her daughter, my father voiced that he didn’t like that she was away from the house. Mother quickly picked up my hardback school notebook, & wacked him on the head! That’s when I learned to always stand up for myself.

  • Linda says:

    RIP Ms Malone…. I might try your trickery 🙂

  • Daphne Kirby says:

    Dearest Ruth…..I am glued to the page reading “My Kitchen Years” and have ordered a copies for my girlfriends. The photographs of Hudson Valley are so stunning and invoke a precious time when we rented a home there while our son went to CIA. I miss the eggs!! So thank you for sharing this journey of yours and all the incredible recipes I cannot wait to make. Bison chili is up first with the apricot crumble pie!! I am curious if you might know the whereabouts of a beloved sushi chef named Katsu Michite?? If anyone knew where he landed, I figure it is you!! All the best. Happy spring, Daphne

  • Oh, what would grandma say! Reminds me of the gal that went on a strict diet here in Texas to “please her hubby”… back in the old days. Found out he had a chicky babe on the side and said “lets go to the market now”. She ran in, got a half gallon of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice cream, sat there in the front seat of her car and ate the whole thing with her car keys.

  • Joy Kramer says:

    Apparently no first-thing-in-the-morning hanky panky for this bride…

  • dana jenkins says:

    ruth, I appreciate Scientific American as much as the next baby boomer but I need some new Reichl fiction…could you tell us if that is likely to happen anytime soon? I’m re-reading Garlic and Sapphires but am still yearning to be back in the Delicious secret room.

    • admin says:

      Dana, yes, two more novels in the pipeline. But at the moment I’m halfway done with the Gourmet memoir. At the same time, I’m getting to know the characters in the next novel; I’m pretty sure you’re going to like them.

  • Connie Fletcher says:

    I have read all of your books and have enjoyed them so much. My favorite is “My Kitchen Years.” I want to make every recipe. I have to say, you are truly my favorite writer! Keep the the books coming!

    Warmest regards,

  • Nancy Burns says:

    Reading My Kitchen Year. What a wonderful book. Thank you so much! I can almost smell and taste the recipes. And can’t wait to try them. You have a wonderful way with words and food!