Hundred-Year-Old Poem: The Woman Who Cooks

Poem titlled "The Woman Who Cooks"
Source: Order of the Eastern Star Relief Fund Cook Book (1923) published by Michigan Grand Chapter Order of the Eastern Star

Often old organization and community cookbooks contain poems that describe cooking or foods. The poems sometimes are very dated, but they provide clues about what it was like to live years ago. For example, a 1923 Michigan Order of the Eastern Star cookbook had a poem near the beginning of the book which says that women who follow the recipes in the cookbook would be successful cooks and get lots of praise for their cooking.

9 thoughts on “Hundred-Year-Old Poem: The Woman Who Cooks

  1. There are lots of these old poems. In the cook’s room of our inn we hung a lovely little carefully crafted sampler:
    We may live without poetry, music and art;
    We may live without conscience, and live without heart;
    We may live without friends; we may live without books;
    But civilized man cannot live without cooks.
    Owen Meredith

    1. One thing I like about community cookbooks is how, even though the content isn’t always perfectly written or formatted, you can almost feel how much the individuals compiling the cookbook cared about sharing their recipes, experiences, and ideas. I’m guessing that a member of the Eastern Star wrote the poem.

  2. That is so sweet and it’s true – everyone loves good food and remembers who makes good food! I can’t think of anything more rewarding than feeding people good food.

  3. Well I have to say that my great-grandmother was never a looker and at 5ft nothing and nearly 200lbs she didn’t have a figure to win over most men. However, she was known for her cooking and outlived 3 husbands. Losing the first to the Spanish Flu, 2nd to an accident and the third, well she just outlived him and made it to 100 herself! I have a box of her recipes – lots of cookies and cakes.

    1. Thanks for sharing. Your grandmother sounds like she was in incredible woman. What’s the old saying? –something like, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

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