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Teaching Cooking Skills During the Great Depression

Teaching Cooking Skills During the Great Depression

Courtesy of the Baltimore Afro-American

Courtesy of the Baltimore Afro-American

1921 cooking demonstration, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

1921 cooking demonstration, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

In the forthcoming book Southern Food and Civil Rightsthere is a section with recipes from the Afro-American Cooking School (AACS).  Like the New Negro Alliance, the AACS remains largely forgotten today. The sale of advertising to businesses in the food industry and kitchen appliance space underwrote the cost of admission to the school making it free for students. Why did the paper advocate the school? Perhaps the owners of the Afro-American thought cooking skills would provide greater job opportunities for employment in the food industry as domestics and small business owners. During the Great Depression finding jobs for African Americans had been of paramount importance for the owners of the paper. The owners of the Chicago Defender supported a similar school. The Afro-American supported its cooking school on an annual basis into the late 1960s as one of its many to strategies to improve career opportunities for African-Americans in Baltimore and Washington DC. 

Afro Cooking School Cheese Cake Recipe

Ingredients

¼ cup butter

¾ cup sugar

5 egg yolks

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 pound cottage cheese

¾ cup flour

½ cup cream

Directions

Cream butter, add sugar. When thoroughly mixed add egg yolks beaten separately. Add lemon juice and grated rind. Press one pound of cheese through the potato ricer. Mix with flour and cream. Combine the two mixtures. Cut and fold in 3 egg whites beaten stiff. Carefully brush a spring baking dish with oil. Sprinkle inside with bread crumbs. Bake at 35o degrees F. until firm to the touch. This will rise, settle, and shrink.

The Baltimore Afro-American, November 19, 1932

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