Agriculture,  Baking,  Cooking,  Culinary History,  Farming,  Food History,  History,  Kitchen

The Farmer’s Wife

I have a wonderful cookbook in my collection called “The Best of the Farmer’s Wife Cookbook”. It is one of my favorite cookbooks mainly because it has such wholesome recipes. And because it is the very first cookbook that I bought that started my collection of historic cookbooks 🙂 The farmer’s wife wanted good, hearty, plain food and that’s what this cookbook was all about! It even has a section about what to feed the harvesters when they came to harvest the fields.

The cookbook is actually a compilation of recipes from a wonderful old magazine called “The Farmer’s Wife”. It was started in 1897 and at its peak it had over a million subscribers nationwide. If you are interested in reading a copy, here is a link to one of the old issues from 1932. It is full of farm advice, fiction stories, recipes and more.

What this magazine realized and what we have forgotten today about the farm wife, was not that her life was drudgery or hard, but her work, like her husband’s, was very valuable. She had to be strong, dependable and resourceful with a myriad of knowledge about almost everything. She was a partner with her husband on the farm and helped make it profitable. From sewing to gardening to milking, accounting, cooking and more, her multiple skills were impressive. And somewhat lost today.

Being a farmer’s wife was not for the faint of heart. Building a life from the land was no easy feat. Maybe we should be more grateful for the women who helped build this country like their husbands, just by working on the farm. They are women worth looking up to!