I found a lot interesting about this Ad Age Online article (I wrote about some marketing-related thoughts here). But one point stood out above all the others: apparently in the 1920s and 30s, women spent an average of 30 to 42 hours a week preparing food for their families.
Now, I cook a lot. A lot more than most people (especially most people my age). I'm home during the day. I have the luxury of time. But 30 to 42 hours a week? Does that include selecting and butchering livestock or something?
I'm probably just not grateful enough for all of the luxuries the modern kitchen has to offer, like microwaves and KitchenAid mixers. But I don't even use tons of pre-prepared foods, or fancy tools (much of my prep and cooking is done with one big knife and a saute pan.) Yet even if I cooked a pretty involved meal every night, and cooked breakfast, and made a real lunch, the longest I can imagine spending in the kitchen is about 4 hours a day (and that's a stretch). And if I cooked that much, Cooper and I would both be the size of a house.
Whew. 30 to 42 hours. I can't imagine I'd like cooking nearly as much if it was that much of a job.