I love old cookbooks, not the ones from the fifties, although I have a couple of those, too. I love the ones that compile recipes & helpful hints from the pioneering days or the ones that are reprinted online for our viewing pleasure. I love looking at the stuff they had to do to keep a proper house back before houses had electricity.
Women got to do all day every day what I do in my spare time for fun. Right now I’m making rice wine, but back in the day housewives did that all the time with blackberry wine, dandelion wine, etc. I make my own yogurt & my grandmother used to make her own cottage cheese.
Now, to find ingredients to do most of my fun-time food projects, I have to go to the Asian market because the Asians still make things like bone broth & kimchi & rice wine. Oh and look, the Asian women are still skinny – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fat Asian woman at the market.
I think keeping house before modern appliances was incredibly more satisfying than it is today. Back in the olden days, women did things on a daily basis that would require a degree in chemistry today. Look at these “helpful hints” from the 1887 White House Cook Book:
To Clean Brass-Ware, etc.:—Mix one ounce of oxalic acid, six ounces of rotten stone, all in powder, one ounce of sweet oil, and sufficient water to make a paste. Apply a small portion, and rub dry with a flannel or leather. The liquid dip most generally used consists of nitric and sulphuric acids; but this is more corrosive.
Polish or Enamel for Shirt Bosoms is made by melting together one ounce of white wax, and two ounces of spermaceti; heat gently and turn into a very shallow pan; when cold cut or break in pieces. When making boiled starch the usual way, enough for a dozen bosoms, add to it a piece of the polish the size of a hazel nut.
An Erasive Fluid for the Removal of Spots on Furniture, and all kinds of fabrics, without injuring the color, is made of four ounces of aqua ammonia, one ounce of glycerine, one ounce of castile soap and [Pg 567]one of spirits of wine. Dissolve the soap in two quarts of soft water, add the other ingredients. Apply with a soft sponge and rub out. Very good for deaning silks.
Holy hell, can you even get those ingredients anymore? Not that I’m going to start enameling shirt bosoms or anything, but back in the day (after indoor plumbing became all the rage) the drain was a series of foot-long clay pipes & people flushed copper sulfate down the toilet to keep tree roots out of their drains. Today you have to go to an industrial chemical company to get the stuff & you have to call ahead because they have to order it. Now everyone calls Roto-Rooter.
Taking care of the home was not only vastly more interesting, but a lot more exercise than today. If you’ve ever done laundry by hand, and I’m not talking about your delicates, I’m talking about sheets & towels, you will realize how much exercise it is. You will be huffing & puffing in no time. Have you ever churned butter? Yeah, me neither, but that is some good exercise (I imagine, lol).
Now, women sit in front of a computer all day doing busy work in their boring make-work jobs. They grab food on the way home & fill their brains with trashy scripted “reality” shows showing “glamorous” “housewives” & wonder why their lives aren’t like the ones they see on the idiot box. If only I had a spray tan! Maybe if I had a Brazilian wax! Oooo, a Carnival Cruise!
And why are they fat? Fast Food. It’s the only thing I can think of. Seriously, every old cookbook is half desserts. As a kid we had dessert almost every evening. My grandmother always had something sweet coming out of the oven. None of us were fat. It’s not sugar. They cooked all those deserts with Crisco, so it’s not industrial seed oils. There was wheat flour in all those deserts, so it’s not the wheat.
Fast food is making them fat, but not necessarily because of the nasty ingredients, but because they don’t have to work for their food. It is abundant, so they can get a Big Mac on the run & eat it in the car on their way home to sit in front of the boob tube while perusing facebook.
Tl;dr: Women today are boooored because they are boring & they are fat for the same reason.