Neighboring on the Air: Cooking KMA Radio Homemakers

Neighboring on the Air: Cooking KMA Radio Homemakers

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by Evelyn Birkby
     
 

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In 1925 Earl May began broadcasting KMA Radio-960 from Shenandoah, Iowa, to boost his fledgling seed business. The station aired practical information designed to help with the day-to-day activity in midwestern farmhouse kitchens. Before long KMA was a trusted friend throughout the wide listening area, offering inspiration, companionship, and all manners of

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Overview

In 1925 Earl May began broadcasting KMA Radio-960 from Shenandoah, Iowa, to boost his fledgling seed business. The station aired practical information designed to help with the day-to-day activity in midwestern farmhouse kitchens. Before long KMA was a trusted friend throughout the wide listening area, offering inspiration, companionship, and all manners of domestic counsel. Hosting the daily radio programs—Home Hour, the Stitch and Chat Club, and the KMA Party Line—and the live cooking demonstrations that drew thousands to the KMA auditorium was a changing roster of personable, lively women who quickly became known as the KMA Radio Homemakers.

Now, in Neighboring on the Air, we can hear the voices of the KMA homemakers and sample their philosophy and—best of all—cooking. Through recipes, biographies, and household advice we get to know such enduring women as "The Little Minister," the Reverend Edythe Stirlen, and Leanna Driftmier and the whole Kitchen-Klatter family, part of the longest-running homemaker program in the history of radio. Learn how to make Sour Cream Apple Pie from "The Farmer's Wife," Florence Falk; Varnished Chicken from the first long-term KMA Radio Homemaker, Jessie Young; and E.E.E. Missouri Dessert (nobody can remember what the "E.E.E." stands for) from the indomitable host of the Edith Hansen Kitchen Club. This endearing scrapbook of people, places, and foods charts the continuing adventure of the KMA homemakers as they broadcast into the 1990s. Neighboring on the Air is an enchanting piece of Americana. Anyone interested in cooking, cultural history, or the Midwest will want to own and use this book.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Much of this nostalgic and occasionally saccharine account of 65 years of broadcasting in Shenandoah, Iowa, will entertain only KMA listeners, particularly those old enough to remember most of the ``homemakers'' profiled here. However, elements of the narrative by Birkby ( The Festival Cookie Book ), who herself became a ``radio homemaker'' in 1950, may interest those exploring popular culture or women's history. Birkby easily falls in with KMA's euphemistic lingo, terming the broadcasting work of these women ``daily visits'' to their ``radio friends.'' They would discuss their families and the details of their daily lives as well as offer suggestions for ``making the home a more pleasant, worthwhile place to live.'' Birkby notes that fans would follow the doings of favorite homemakers for years, tuning in each day the same way they'd listen to episodes of radio soap operas. Of course recipes figured prominently, and many are reproduced here, lackluster dishes like cheese lima bean casserole, pork chop corn bake, sauerbraten with gingersnap gravy, and cherry loaf cake (``a Bachelor's Delight''). Illustrated. (June)
Booknews
A scrapbook of recipes, biographies, and household advice associated with the women who have hosted the daily radio programs on KMA Radio-960 in Shenandoah, Iowa from 1925 to the present. Includes many b&w photographs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781587290152
Publisher:
University of Iowa Press
Publication date:
06/01/1991
Series:
Bur Oak Book
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
349
File size:
7 MB

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