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Stand Facing the Stove: The Story of the…

Stand Facing the Stove: The Story of the Women Who Gave America The Joy of…

by Anne Mendelson

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I was never that big a fan of the Joy of Cooking. Yes, yes - I turned to it pretty regularly to answer questions in the days before the internet, but it was just always there. Then I read this book and it made me start collecting the different editions and some of Rombauer's other books. A well-written biography that doesn't pander to anybody. ( )
  mcglothlen | Apr 25, 2007 |
The Story of the Women who gave America the "Joy of Cooking". Bittersweeet, erudite, and intricate biography of Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker. ( )
  AnneliM |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743229398, Paperback)

In 1930 Irma Rombauer's husband killed himself, and to help make ends meet she decided to write a cookbook. The Joy Of Cooking was initially self-published, but went on to sell 14 million copies over 60 years, and became the most influential American cookbook of all time. The crucial factor in this unexpected success was Rombauer's lively voice as an unpretentious amateur. America's home cooks were desperate for down-to-earth instruction and they could relate to Rombauer's strong personality. Anne Mendelson chronicles Rombauer's life and work and that of her daughter, later co-author and successor, Marion Rombauer Becker. She offers too a view of the evolution of American cooking from the mid-19th century onward, and of the impact of Rombauer's joyful contribution.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:36 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In 1931, Irma S. Rombauer, a recent widow, took her life savings and self-published a cookbook that she hoped might support her family. Little did she know that her book would go on to become America's most beloved cooking companion. Thus was born the bestselling Joy of Cooking, and with it, a culinary revolution that continues to this day. In Stand Facing the Stove, Anne Mendelson presents a richly detailed biographical portrait of the two remarkable forces behind Joy -- Irma S. Rombauer and her daughter, Marion Rombauer Becker -- shedding new light on the classic kitchen mainstay and on the history of American cooking. Mendelson weaves together three fascinating stories: the affectionate though often difficult relationship between Joy's original creator, Irma, and her eventual coauthor, Marion; the bitter dealings between the Rombauers and their publisher, Bobbs-Merrill (at whose hands the Rombauers likely lost millions of dollars); and the enormous cultural impact of the beloved book that Irma and Marion devoted their lives to refining, edition after edition. Featuring an accessible new recipe format and an engaging voice that inspired home cooks, Joy changed the face of American cookbooks. Stand Facing the Stove offers an intimate look at the women behind this culinary bible and provides a marvelous portrait of twentieth-century America as seen through the kitchen window.… (more)

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