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Friday, June 16, 2017

The world we have lost

The disappearance of cooking is merely one of many factors in the Great Break with tradition that took place in the 1970s.
A comprehensive study published in 2013 showed that all Americans, no matter their socioeconomic status, are cooking less than they have in the past. Between the mid-1960s and late 2000s, low-income households went from eating at home 95 percent of the time to only 72 percent of the time, middle-income households when from eating at home 92 percent of the time to 69 percent of the time, and high-income households went from eating at home 88 percent of the time to only 65 percent of the time.

Men and women, collectively, are spending less time at the stove. On average, the two genders spend roughly 110 minutes combined cooking each day, compared with about 140 minutes per day in the 1970s and closer to 150 minutes per day in the 1960s. The main driver of this trend has been a significant drop-off in the time women spend cooking.
This subject came up in a recent Darkstream, when we were discussing how the Millennials and Generation Zyklon simply don't remember America as it was. They were fascinated by stories of what growing up in a homogeneous suburban white America that was still recognizable as Norman Rockwell's America.

That's what gave me the idea to publish a non-fiction anthology, by Generation X writers, about their recollections from their childhood. If you're interested in submitting, write one - ONE - story between 2500 and 7500 words, and email it to me with LOSTWORLD in the subject. Do not send me inquiries or questions or attempt to discern whether I'm more interested in story A or story B. Non-Generation Xers should not submit; we're not looking for Tales of the Baby Boom or perspectives from younger generations.

This is intended to be a chronicle of the world that we knew that our children and grandchildren will not. Keep that in mind. It's not about you, or trying to demonstrate how clever or unique or wonderful you are, it's about sharing the things you saw and experienced that no longer exist for the benefit of those too young to have seen them.

UPDATE: In answer to several questions, we're using the period 1961 to 1979 to represent Generation X. So, please don't submit unless you were born between those years.

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205 Comments:

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Anonymous Noah Baudie June 17, 2017 10:09 PM  

@26
@91

My recipe is simpler than that.

Two sticks of unsalted butter, softened.
One half-pound bag of confectioner's sugar (Europeans might find "caster sugar" to be a suitable substitute)
A few drops of vanilla extract

Beat together in an electric mixer for long enough that you begin to whip a bit of air into it. This gives you a pound of buttercream frosting, which has a much nicer flavor than the vegetable-shortening-and-sugar-and-food-coloring mix featured in so many cookbooks.

And yes, I am constantly amazed at people who reached the age of maturity never learning to cook and apparently lacking the wherewithal to do anything more complex than open a tin can or put a disposable tray into a microwave oven in order to feed themselves. But then I suppose a lot of Millenials were raised by single mothers who felt Ritalin was an adequate substitute for childrearing, television was an adequate substitute for babysitting, and Little Caesar's was an adequate substitute for learning to take care of a household.

Blogger Tom Kratman June 17, 2017 11:09 PM  

@200

Same book, I think.

Blogger Tom Kratman June 17, 2017 11:13 PM  

@195

"Was 1 a good year?"

You can go back to before the 50s for the cause of the 50s, and back to before that for the cause of that, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

However, there is one thing that will be missing from that project - Vox could cover it in an prologue, I think - which is the ruination brought on by the advent of the legal maturity of the early boomers. I speak specifically of the 68ers, who didn'd just screw us up; they screwed up the world. Someone born in 61 is going to have been too young to have seen it or sensed the changes going on.

Anonymous Jack Amok June 18, 2017 12:52 AM  

Vox, whadda ya think about the Castalia House How to Cook Like Your Grandparents Would Have Taught You, cookbook?

Anonymous Pennywise June 18, 2017 10:21 PM  

Radio Walkmen. Cross-country road-trips. Stingray bikes. Playing "Battlestar Galactica" with my friends at recess.

Not "white America", but America. She's still here...

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