Trouble trussing a turkey? Laundry dingy? Desperate for a holiday menu and decorating ideas?
For 45 years the women of the Inland Northwest knew where to turn for advice on everything from recipe failures to party games – Dorothy Dean.
The Spokesman-Review first introduced the Dorothy Dean Homemaker’s Service and the extraordinary homemaker to the community 75 years ago this week, with weekly cooking demonstrations and monthly recipe leaflets. The cooking demonstrations continued into the 1950s.
The department was closed in 1983 and the newspaper suspended the leaflet service, but the reach of the unique service is still evident today.
Readers were quick to call with memories of the help they received when they turned to the hotline for help or dinner ideas. Many were given subscriptions to the Dorothy Dean leaflets when they were married and continued to collect the recipes in the signature green three-ring binders for many years.
The work of the women who served as the head of the department and the assistants who helped test recipes made Dorothy Dean one of the most trusted experts around. The memories of many family dinners and celebrations are intertwined with the recipes created in the Dorothy Dean kitchen at The Spokesman-Review.
“My daughter, who now has grown children of her own, mentioned that she would like to copy some of the recipes in the book the next time she has the opportunity,” wrote Sharon Jones.
“So even though Dorothy Dean is celebrating a 75th anniversary, ‘her’ influence still is strong.”