In Episode 32, Florence tries her hand at pie-making and makes an unlikely ally in the process.
Florence Grangerfield has never been particularly domestic. In Chapter Forty-Two, she decides to see how she likes life in the kitchen, in case she ever ends up married and spending her days at home. The cookbook she uses to teach herself to make pies is The World’s Modern Cook Book and Kitchen Guide for the Busy Woman by Mabel Claire, which was published in 1932.
I didn’t find a ton of biographical information about Mabel Claire on the Internet, but I did find this delightful tidbit on the The Food Timeline, one of my favorite sources for 1930s foodways:
“Mabel Claire is one of those whom the world delights to dub ‘modern women’ although she says was born just long enough ago to be an old-fashioned girl, which is to say that she learned to cook and bake as well as to model clay and hammer brass. She always wanted to be a sculptor but she put it off until after she was married. She came to New York seven years ago and studied sculpture at the Art Students’ League under Caldwell and Leo Lentelli. Miss Claire found that it costs money to study art, and to solve the money problem, she began modeling add little ink wells and utility jars and boxes which she sold in the small gift shops of Greenwich Village. As she progressed in her work, she evolved a family of wax candles in the form of Mother Goose characters. She christened her work the Candlestick Family, protected by copyright, put it in the hands of a national sales organization and then found she had to organize herself into a factory that could turn out in bulk the amusing little handmade people. When her business interfered with her being a housewife, her friends began to tell her that the easiest thing was to give up housekeeping, but Miss Claire believed that two people can remain much happier if the dine pleasantly at home…So she searched out the ways in which her household duties could be shortened. Her friends copied her methods and borrowed her menus, until Miss Claire decided to add to her duties as housewife, manufacturer and artist those of an author.”
—“Woman Sculptor Writes Book of Unusual Recipes,” Freeport Journal-Press [IL], September 12, 1925 (p. 8)
Here’s the Cream Pie recipe that Florence uses from Mabel Claire’s cookbook:
Happy eating–and listening!