It's the birthday of Irma Rombauer, born in St. Louis (1877). She wrote one of the most popular cookbooks of all time, The Joy of Cooking (1935), even though she was a terrible cook, according to her own family. But her lack of cooking experience was an advantage, because hers was the first cookbook aimed at women who did not have any experience making food from scratch. It was the first cookbook to endorse the use of convenient ingredients, like canned soup, and it was full of humorous advice for people who felt clueless in the kitchen.
I feel inspired to whip out the ol' white-and-red cooking bible tonight in recognition of Irma's 130th birthday, but its packed. Perhaps I'll find a recipe from it anyway. It just seems like the right thing to do.