Recipe books became a lot more common in the 20th century, due to an increase in literacy and mass-production printing techniques.
Patsy’s Reflections is a Daily Mirror supplement from 1946, revealing how recipes became commercialised and widely accessible. It charts the lessons of new housewife Patsy, and uses pictures to widen access to first time cooks with little prior experience in the kitchen.
Since the days of Patsy’s Reflections, we now have instant and easy access to recipes from all over the world, via books, the internet and TV programmes. Many aim to promote home-cooking and family meals. Yet there is a fear that people now spend more time in front of the TV watching cookery programmes, instead of doing the recipes themselves. We evolved as a social species through eating together, yet in this world of microwaveable meals and food ‘on-the-go’, are we cooking and eating together less and less?
Do you think the decline of family meals will have an impact on society, and on us as individuals? Please leave a comment below and join the discussion!