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Who's the happiest homemaker?

What do women want? In 1945, CBC broadcasters were asking that question — at least in terms of radio and television programming. As the Second World War ended and Canada's postwar boom began, happy homemakers heard Kate Aitken's cold remedy or tips on how to make a pizza pie. But as the cheery '50s got on, women listeners requested more intelligent programming. They began to learn about setting up a theatre company and hear frank discussion about what going through a divorce was really like.

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With neat hair and in her Sunday best, Mrs. Brady pulls out all the stops in her Homemaker's Club audition.

"Today, I'm going to make that popular Italian dish, pizza pie," she chimes in this 1957 CBC Television clip.

Most of the other ladies made casseroles. The pizza dish, which she tells us is becoming popular in the United States, has three parts: a biscuit layer, the tomato sauce and toppings.

This is Mrs. Brady's best chance: If her audition goes well, she'll make it into Vancouver's Homemaker's Club. During the audition, she explains a traditional pie has only sauce, oregano and cheese, but suggests adding toppings, especially if you're entertaining. Men, she says, love the meat toppings, such as pepperoni, canned spiced meat and blood sausage. 
• The Homemaker's Club auditions were produced out of CBC Vancouver in 1957. It was a special series, rather than a regular program.
• The club that the women were auditioning for was indeterminable.
• In nearly all the auditions, contestants made casseroles. One person put together a salmon casserole with a tin of salmon, rice, hard-boiled eggs, green peppers, butter, flour, milk and mayonnaise.

• Another woman made one with cream of mushroom soup, a tin of tuna, unsalted peas (canned or frozen) and potato chips. Watch her audition here.
• The same contestant said casseroles were popular because of their versatility: "You can take one recipe and change it slightly and get a whole new dish." Hers was made from the bases of three different casserole recipes.
Medium: Television
Program: Homemaker's Club Auditions
Broadcast Date: May 22, 1957
Guest(s): Mrs. Brady
Duration: 8:52

Last updated: May 23, 2014

Page consulted on May 23, 2014

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