Texas Christian University
Department of History
TCU Box 297260
Fort Worth, Texas 76129
Rebecca Sharpless is an assistant professor of history at Texas Christian University. She is the former director of the Institute for Oral History at Baylor University and a former president of the Oral History Association. She is the author of Fertile Ground, Narrow Choices: Women on Texas Cotton Farms, 1900–1940 (1999), winner of the Texas State Historical Association’s Tullis Prize for best book in Texas history and Liz Carpenter Award for the best book on Texas women, and Cooking in Other Women's Kitchens: Domestic Workers in the South, 1860–1960 (2010). She is the co-editor of Work, Family, and Faith: Rural Southern Women in the Twentieth Century (2006).
Texas farm women before World War II did it all. They raised large families, cooked on wood stoves, sewed everything their families wore, and often worked in the fields. Through oral history interviews, farm women have shared the stories of how they balanced all of the elements in their lives.
From ambrosia to strawberry shortcake, southern women, black and white, have always been famous for their cooking. This discussion will trace southern women and cooking, from plantation and frontier homes to the boardinghouses and restaurants made famous by their excellent food before World War II.