Some Women Marry Houses

A couple of years ago, I picked up a first edition Good Housekeeping Cookbook from 1963 at a Brooklyn Heights book sale.


The Good Housekeeping Cookbook is impressive for its sheer density. Instead of just setting a table, it sets a world. The book does not rest on one good meal, party or wife. The book encompasses a whole sphere, the house’s life and heart. It is a holy domestic bible, a testament to both distraction and precision. Despite knowing that this kind of housekeeping stifled most women, the book still charms me.  Anne Sexton’s “Housewife” echoes in the background.

Some women marry houses.
It's another kind of skin; it has a heart,
a mouth, a liver and bowel movements.
The walls are permanent and pink.
See how she sits on her knees all day,
faithfully washing herself down.
Men enter by force, drawn back like Jonah
into their fleshy mothers.
A woman is her mother.
That's the main thing

I take the book with an actual grain of salt. I like following the recipes and quirky tips. I always pull it out when I’m planning a large dinner party. Among great recipes and cooking suggestions (index your recipes, write your magazine editor for new inspiration, try one new dish a week), the book is also downright hilarious to read. Some of the cooking suggestions read like answers to excite your sex life (create and share a personal fantasy rolodex, whip cream to stiff peaks, try one new dress a week). The book devotes an entire section to “When He Carves.”

Drawings with clear manly cuffs cut into a rib roast, tongue and leg of lamb with ghostly ease. The author, Dorothy B. Marsh, titles some of her dinner menus “This is Nice,” “The Latch is Off, ” “Homey Goodness,” and “Give Him Steak.” I like my steak rare but I don’t actually like to carve at the head of the table. Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. (I am large. I contain multitudes).

Tonight’s meal is a new favorite. It’s fast, simple and delicious. Although this is not from The Good Housekeeping Cookbook, it’s perfect for a weeknight meal. Orecchiette is a wonderful pasta that means “little ears.” I made this dish with organic sausage that I picked up from Farmer’s Market  on Saturday. Although it’s good with already cooked sausage, I like to start fresh when I can. It also has feta cheese, olive oil, tomatoes, basil and parsley. And lots of cracked pepper.


Orecchiette with Sausage, Feta Cheese & Tomatoes


  • 1/2 pound uncooked sausage
  • 2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • torn basil leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2-3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 28 oz can diced organic tomatoes
  • cracked pepper
  • 1 pound orecchiette
  1. Bring salted water to a boil.
  2. In a frying pan, cook sausages. Once cooked, cut into discs and set aside for a moment.
  3. Cook pasta until al dente.
  4. Crush (uncooked) garlic and combine with olive oil to pour over pasta. Stir until flagrant and combine with cracked pepper, tomatoes, parsley, basil, sausage and feta cheese.
  5. Serve with white wine and salad.

About Hark, Zeke

Hark, Zeke is a Brooklyn based blog devoted to cooking, appeasing the inner foodie and howling the good howl.
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4 Responses to Some Women Marry Houses

  1. Walter Jamieson says:

    It’s a feta compli!

  2. kathy hayes says:

    mmmmm… going to have to try this one!

  3. SPM says:

    so, you don’t cook the tomatoes at all? you just combine everything into the cooked pasta?
    would taste great with fresh tomatoes, too…

  4. Hark, Zeke says:

    I don’t cook the tomatoes for this. It’s a dish that you literally throw together in 15 minutes flat! The pasta and sausage is hot enough to heat everything through. 🙂 I’ll definitely try fresh tomatoes next time, I’m sure it’d be even more delicious.

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