May 27, 2019  

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University Libraries to Present Cookbook Lecture

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Dr. Andrew Haley

A lecture on the Calhoun City community cookbook will be given by Dr. Andrew Haley, associate professor of history at The University of Southern Mississippi, on Oct. 11 at 6:30 p.m. in Cook Library 123 on the Hattiesburg campus.

This event will be presented by USM’s University Libraries in conjunction with the Mississippi Community Cookbook Project. The goal of the Mississippi Community Cookbook Project is to collect, digitize and study the state’s unique culinary heritage.

In his talk, "The City Ready for Tomorrow: Working Women and Convenience Foods in Calhoun City, Mississippi in the 1950s and 1960s,” Haley will discuss how working women in Calhoun City used “labor-saving” foods like canned goods to continue to excel in domestic life while working outside the house.

For 1950s cookbook writers like Poppy Cannon, author of the Can Opener Cookbook, the growing availability of convenience foods offered single, urban career women quick and easy ways to entertain friends. For advertisers and magazine writers eager to sell products, prepared and packaged foods provided busy housewives a way to maximize creativity without taxing chores.

But for the women who lived outside the bustling metropolises and freshly sodded suburban tracks of postwar America, the technological changes that transformed cooking at mid-century offered a bulwark against fundamental shifts in the American economy which threatened to upend traditional domestic roles.

Refreshments will be served at 6 p.m. and will be prepared from Cook Book: a Few Tried and Trusted Recipes, a 1961 cookbook compiled by the mothers of seniors at Calhoun City High School. If you are interested in trying your hand at cooking a vintage recipe from the cookbook for the buffet, a link to the cookbook and a sign-up sheet can be found at

For more information, contact Jennifer Brannock at 601.266.4347 or