Recently, I presented at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, Topeka, Kansas, on Clementine Paddleford.
At the end of the presentation, I answered questions. Most of the questions I have been asked before. But, one question got me to thinking…”Why don’t you focus more on the fact that Paddleford had a tracheal tube and how hard it must have been for her to do her job with it?”
I do mention in my presentation that Paddleford had throat cancer and elected for a partial surgery so that she could continue to talk with a tracheal tube. I also talk about how hard of time she had re-learning to talk and getting used to the tube. It took her a year with many trips back and forth to the hospital and dealing with pain. The tube was held in place with a velvet ribbon.
Paddleford, herself, stated that because of the raspy whisper of her voice caused by the tracheal tube “people remember me.” She also said that the only things she couldn’t do, that she liked to do, was to play tennis and go swimming. Because of the tracheal tube she could not go on lecture circuit, the radio, or television. These are some reasons, she is largely forgotten about today. Otherwise, the tracheal tube never got in her way of doing what she loved: being a journalist-food writer. Paddleford traveled wherever she wanted to go, interviewed whomever she wanted to interview, wrote about them, turned in her receipts, and got paid.
So, who is Clementine Paddleford? She is the best known food editor, you never heard of.
December 28, 1953, Time Magazine declared Clementine Paddleford, “the best known food editor in the U. S.”
Here is the program from the Wilder Society Tea where I presented. They put together this booklet because they wanted to share the recipes of the food served at the tea with those in attendance. Recipes are from Paddleford’s 1960 book How America Eats.
Note, if you decide to make these recipes, remember they are from 1948 to 1960, and they are not as sweet as desserts are today. So, if you are looking to cut back on sugar, but still want a dessert, use one of the recipes below.