aid home makers in preparing healthy and economical meals, the Enterprising
Manufacturing Company of Pennsylvania manufactured labor-saving devices
-- coffee mills, meat choppers, food choppers, raisin and grape seeders,
fruit, wine, and juice presses, ice shredders, spice mills, and meat juice
extractors. What better way to advertise than through a cookbook whose
recipes required the use of their products? The Enterprising Housekeeper
was both cookbook and advertisement.
Housekeeper went through several editions. The 3rd edition was distributed
at the Pan-American Exposition.
Johnson, Helen Louise. The Enterprising Housekeeper: Suggestions for
Breakfast, Luncheon and Supper. 3rd edition. Philadelphia, Pa.: Enterprise
Manufacturing Co. of Pennsylvania, 1900.
It's author, Helen
Louise Johnson, had previously authored Recipes for the Sutterley Chafing
Dish (Sutterley, 1894) and Chafing-Dish Delicacies (Table Talk
Publishing Company, 1894). The Enterprising Housekeeper was first
published in 1896 and was last published in 1909. The products of the
Enterprise Manufacturing Company are listed in its detailed catalogs.
you examine the pages of The Enterprising Housekeeper you will
find recipes to try, but be sure to read the prefatory and explanatory
material. The text reveals things about America's attitude toward itself
and the world.
a hard-working people, harder working than other people, the section on
breakfast, luncheon, and supper asserts (page 8).
As a race we are a hardworking people; a nation of wage-earners,
yet high-strung and nervously organized. American habits, as well
as climate, make the American breakfast a necessity. We cannot work
on the delicate fare of the Frenchman, nor can we so easily assimilate
the heavy food of the Englishman.
(pages 6-7) asks and answers the question: "The value of a woman's
work may not always be equated with financial savings, so how can the
purchase of kitchen machinery be justified?" The author makes a compelling
argument, clearly to men.
Saving a woman's time may not mean a return in actual dollars and cents,
but saving her energy does. If your cook can accomplish her work in
such time that she has a portion of each day for rest and recreation,
that work will undoubtedly be better done. The better equipped the shop,
the better work it can turn out in a limited time, and the well-fitted
kitchen represents the engine-room of the home, where energy, health,
and happiness are manufactured. Men often refuse the money for kitchen
equipment, paying many times as much in doctors' bills without realizing
why: and the bills represent only a portion of the loss. The women who
lack mechanical ability to see the saving use of certain devices are
apt to decline to adopt them -- the others only because, for some reason,
The effective use
of the three standard meals as regards economy and health is thoroughly
discussed. The Enterprising Housekeeper offers specific advice
for each meal. "Left-overs" and plate appeal receive considerable
system, and science characterized discussions of cooking at the turn of
the century. The Enterprising Housekeeper advised care and the
careful reading of directions.
explanations of the working of the machines mentioned are given
with the guarantee of the manufacturers to do all in their power
toward remedying seeming or actual defects. A household machine
differs in no way from those made for other purposes: they all
wear with use. Parts of all these machines can be replaced at
a nominal cost, if lost or worn. It is more often the case than
not, that when a meat chopper will not work, its knife has been
put in wrong side out, and the machine, not the worker, receives
the blame for the worker's error. The coffee mills occasionally
need a new screw, but are not helplessly disabled when this
occurs. Treat your household implements with the same intelligence
you ask of your child with his toys. Read the directions carefully
and follow them.
in intent is the section,"The Care of Utensils" (pg. 77), which
begins with an argument for why one should maintain kitchen tools.
more quickly defines the cook than the care taken of his or her
utensils, for a good workman loves and cares for his tools. There
are keepers of stables who abuse their horses, and there are people
who even abuse their own children, as well as cooks who abuse the
tools provided for them that their labors may be more easily performed.
is a poor argument against a well outfitted kitchen, for the inappreciative
cook is usually the unskilled one, and the one who leaves a meat
chopper uncleaned will generally do the same with a tin pan.
is a science, as well as an art, and without measurement
there is no science and no predictable result.
There may be --in fact, evidence proves that there are--good
cooks who seemingly never measure anything, but by "about so
much of this," and "a pinch of that," bring about
results so delicious that the would-be follower at once determines
to throw rules to the winds and try the same way. Good cooks always
measure--one by the cup and spoon, because she must; another by
the judgement and experience long years of doing the same thing
over and over again have given her; and the chances are that, unless
you have the rare gift of cooking straight from the gods, you had
better cling to exact measures and weights if you wish the best
result every time, instead of once in a while.
The Enterprising Housekeeper argued that traditional ways of treating
illness could be enhanced by the modern technology of superior kitchen
Enterprise Meat Juice Extractor (pg.
no thing which, in cases of protracted illness or in imperfect nutrition,
has to be served more often than beef juice. Beef juice is not beef
tea, for the latter is weakened by the admixture of water, while
the former is the pure and simple juice of beef--nourishment in
one of its most concentrated forms. In many homes, when sickness
comes, much material and time are wasted by the primitive methods
of extracting the beef juice needed. In such cases the possession
of a Meat Juice Extractor is an economy, even could it be used for
the meat alone. It can be used, however, in extracting fruit juices
in small quantities, sufficient for invalid and convalescent dishes.
that you've been introduced to some of the subtleties interesting asides
of The Enterprising
Housekeeper, it's time to step back into time
and browse its pages.
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