Poppy Cannon

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Poppy Cannon (August 2, 1905 - April 1975) was at various times the food editor of the Ladies Home Journal and House Beautiful, and the author of several 1950s cookbooks. She was an early proponent of convenience food: her books included The Can Opener Cookbook (1951) and The Bride's Cookbook (1954). Other books included The President's Cookbook: Practical Recipes from George Washington to the Present (1968).

Her writing style was distinctive and has been described as "relentless", calling as it does in recipes for such measurements as "a splotch of wine", "a flurry of coconut", or "a great swish of sour cream", and advising readers that they could "rassle a lemon pie in a jiff" with "the new wonderstuff called Clovernook".

She was a contemporary of James Beard and Julia Child, and collaborated with Alice B. Toklas on Aromas and Flavors of the Past and Present.

She was born in Cape Town, South Africa to Lithuanian Jewish parents; her original name was Lillian Gruskin. Her sister, Anne Fogarty, became a popular fashion designer during the 1950s. Some of her most popular designs exemplified the "paper doll" shilhouette, as seen in Fogarty's full skirted dresses supported by multiple layers of crinoline petticoats. Author Laura Shapiro's research in "Something From the Oven" (see below) suggests that the two kept in touch over the years, but were not close.

Poppy Cannon was the second wife of the NAACP leader Walter Francis White, at a time when such a marriage was viewed as scandalous, not least within the Black community, some of whom viewed White's marriage to a white woman as a betrayal. They married in 1949. At the time of White's death, Cannon was still living with him at their residence in New York City. [1] She wrote a biography of White, Gentle Knight (1956). She died in a fall from the 23rd floor balcony of her apartment at 10 Park Avenue in New York City.

Further reading[edit]

  • Laura Shapiro. Something From the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America, Viking, 2004.

External links[edit]