Laurel Wemett, owner of Cat’s in the Kitchen, is available for speaking engagements.

From Fannie Farmer to Betty Crocker:
the American Kitchen in the 20th Century


Their names are familiar, these two divas of American cooking. Fannie Farmer, famous for her role in teaching cooking classes, and Betty Crocker, a marketing invention of Gold Medal Flour, together epitomize changing culinary habits in America in the 20th century.

Are cookbooks one of your favorite things to read? Learn how the kitchens of our grandmothers and mothers went from the woodstove to the microwave with this slide show presentation which will explore cookbooks and show the progression of labor-saving devices introduced into the kitchen.

There are references to numerous other well-known cookbook authors and an opportunity to learn how major events such as World War II influenced meal preparations. The program also looks at popular charity cookbooks, those collections of favorite recipes published together for the purpose of fund-raising. Advertising recipe pamphlets, which serve as a lasting record of changing tastes, will also be included.

The speaker will bring copies of cookbooks to examine and the audience members are encouraged to bring a favorite cookbook to share.

Laurel has presented this program for many public libraries, historical societies, and women’s groups. For more details see Search in Rochester region under keyword: cookbooks.