A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Butter was once a USDA food group, according to Steven Gdula in his microhistory The Warmest Room in the House: How the Kitchen Became the Heart of the American Home. That is only one of many startling statements in this entertaining book. Though the author says that the kitchen is the topic of his book, the focus seems broader to me. How the kitchen transformed from a hellishly-hot sinkhole to a shiny, comfortable room where you entertain guests is one of the major plots, but there are many others. He chronicles trends in meat-eating and vegetarianism, the appliance industry, government food regulation, the restaurant industry, and food habits displayed through motion pictures and television. He also concentrates on the history of cookbooks and the home economics movement, as well as diet crazes through the century.
Review by Rick