Friday, May 31, 2013

For Men Lonely

The green cover of "For Men Lonely."For Men Lonely is a guide to twelve women's colleges on the East Coast that was written by three Dartmouth students in 1947 before the college went co-ed. The book was inspired by one too many uncomfortable nights in the Northampton jail (for lack of better lodging). It is filled with useful information for sketchy college men seeking college women, specifically: maps of campus; the locations and contact information for local florists, liquor stores, and nightspots; and a listing of the annual social event dates and curfew times for each college.

Some of the general descriptions contain moments of wry humor, such as this guide to the area near Bryn Mawr: "Most of the college crowd leaves Philly to the Quakers… and sticks pretty much to the suburban spots. If you know Philadelphia, you will too." Other entries are less endearing, such as a hopelessly misguided attempt to compliment Skidmore women by comparing them to racehorses at the local track.

A table of contents.An entry for Skidmore College.

One can only imagine the desperation that would drive a young man to walk up to the bookstore counter with For Men Lonely in one hand and money in the other. Thankfully, having a look at the book nowadays doesn't require you to navigate any morally questionable landscape. Instead, guide yourself to Rauner and ask for Alumni J7278f, complete with the authors' autographs on the flyleaf.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hanover's Favorite Recipes

A paper booklet cover with the title "Recipes" and sketch of a church. Dartmouth has long been a respected academic institution, rewarding its students with knowledge, new experiences and even some enjoyable social events. However, food may be the unsung hero of the Dartmouth experience. Hanover has created dozens of cookbooks over the last century, providing crucial instructions on how to feed the ever-hungry college student or Dartmouth-graduate.

The White Church Women's Association in Hanover published the first Hanover cookbook, Recipes, in Rauner's collection in 1928. The 1920's woman was more resourceful than the twenty-first century cook, with an entire section dedicated to the uses for sour milk. Still, quality and ingenuity can go hand in hand. I would personally advocate for the increased twenty-first century consumption of "Rinktum Tiddy" and a dessert called "Hermits," based on their names alone.

Typed text reading "'If civilized man wants his wife a good cook, Present her today with this Grange Cook Book.'"
A page of typed text.By the 1950s, Hanover had apparently taken a turn for the health conscious. The 1950 cookbook of Hanover’s Favorite Recipes, compiled by the Grafton Star Grange, dedicates a large section to weight control. While the "Eighteen Day Reducing Diet" and the "Body Building and Weight Gaining Diet" don’t exactly fit modern day nutritional guidelines, they show a college town increasingly concerned with their waistlines. The cookbook even contains a weight chart, showing the correct correlation between "Weight in Pounds (With Regular Clothes)" and "Height (with shoes on)."

A typed foreword.

In the 1960s, Dartmouth began to celebrate its perceived culinary expertise. The Dartmouth Women's Club wrote in the introduction of Favorite Dartmouth Recipes that, "much of the excellence that is Dartmouth is largely due to the fact that the wives and mothers of Dartmouth men are superb cooks." Viewing the recipes from the 1960s, a modern reader may question this claim. While many of the food creations in the 1961 College Town Cook Book and 1967 Tuck-Thayer Wives Club are likely delicious, a distinct handful would likely not agree with the stomachs of Dartmouth students in 2013. One major objection: the incredibly common use of Jell-O in any dish. From salads to meal loafs, gelatin seems to have been the go-to ingredient in Hanover and Dartmouth kitchens in the 1960s.

A typed recipe for jellied salad.
Cookbook creation has lagged in recent years. With coeducation, the College began to emphasize women's roles outside of wives, mothers and chefs. Nonetheless, there continue to be notable contributions to Dartmouth's cookbook collection. One such example is the Handel Society’s Culinary Notes, published in 1987. Each recipe in the book, published to support the musical ensemble founded in 1807, specifies not only the hometown of each recipe's author, but also his or her vocal part.

Posted for Kate Taylor '13