Grandma Made This

November 15, 2021 - February 1, 2022

Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library

Grandma Made This showcases the cookbooks, recipes and pamphlets housed in Winterthur's Saul Zalesch Collection of American Cookery Ephemera and consumed by middle-class (often White) families in the early-mid 20th century. The cookbooks and pamphlets envision a domestic world where one woman stands poised to entertain, but creating meals from scratch takes preparation, resources, and time. Of course, not everyone had these luxuries. The texts are unphased by these considerations, however. With their new culinary insights, new technology, and new ways to economize, these cookery books assure the American housewife that anyone could produce the ideal home-cooked meal at a moment's notice.

Whether that meal was actually appetizing or comforting is a different story. From the “magic” of canned meat to the versatility of gelatin, some of these recipes will give modern cooks pause. Did Grandma really make this?

Highlights from the exhibit at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library in Greenville, DE (Photos by the curator)