Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Stuffing (But Were Afraid to Ask)

The New York Times has a stunningly detailed obituary today, under this headline:
Ruth M. Siems, Inventor of Stuffing, Dies at 74
Like you, my first thought was: Someone invented stuffing? And if so, the person who did just died? It seemed like the equivalent of reading that the inventor of paper had passed.

It turns out that the good folks at General Foods (led by Ms. Siems) are the creators, selling it under the Stove Top brand starting in 1972. (Sorry to be so amazed, really, but I'm only two years younger than stuffing?!)

The obit goes on to read like a paid advertisement:
Comforting or campy, Stove Top stuffing is an enduring emblem of postwar convenience culture. Its early advertising tag line, "Stuffing instead of potatoes?" remains in the collective consciousness.
Ah, yes, nary a day goes by that the phrase doesn't flutter into my consciousness unbidden.

That's nothing, though. Check out this fevered pitch (again, this is the Times staffer writing this):
Stove Top's premise is threefold. First, it offers speed.

Second, it divorces the stuffing from the bird, sparing cooks the nasty business of having to root around in the clammy interior of an animal.

Third, it frees stuffing from the yoke of Thanksgiving; it can be cooked and eaten on a moment's notice any day of the year.
I have to give the writer, Margalit Fox, a lot of credit (I mean, a ton of credit) for that entire second paragraph, especially the concluding turn of phrase -- "the nasty business of having to root around in the clammy interior of an animal." But I hope she gets the help she needs if her diet includes stuffing "on a moment's notice any day of the year."



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe no one commented on this, your funniest post. God, who knew stuffing was such a spring chicken? --tavia

1:19 PM  

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