We are all reared in a traditional belief that what we get to eat at home is, by virtue of that location, better than what we get to eat anywhere else. The expression, "home-cooking," carries a connotation of assured excellence, and the popular eating-house advertises "pies like those your mother used to make," as if pie-making were a maternal function. Economy, comfort, and health are supposed to accompany our domestic food supply, and danger to follow the footsteps of those who eat in a hotel, a restaurant, or a boarding house.
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Source Notes: The Home: Its Work and Influence (chapter 7, "Home-Cooking") (1903; reprint 1972). Gilman questions the truth of this old belief and shows the severe limitations placed on women who must struggle daily to feed families and have little time to experiment or improve the kinds of food they offer.
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