Appreciation: Stove Top Stuffing and a Late Inventor

For those who don't have time to make perfect homemade stuffing, there has long been a boxed alternative: Stove Top. Ruth Siems, a lead inventor of the quick-prep stuffing, died earlier this month at 74.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Now for those of us without the time or energy to make oyster stuffing this Thanksgiving, there is an alternative. It only takes five minutes to prepare and you can make it right on your own stove or in your microwave, as you might imagine from the name Stove Top Stuffing. We are sorry to report that its lead inventor, Ruth M. Siems, died this month. She was 74 years old. Siems worked for General Foods and after 1972, the famous stuffing became part of American pop culture through its TV ads.

(Soundbite of TV ad)

Unidentified Woman: What was for dinner last night?

Unidentified Child: Burgers and...

Unidentified Woman: Maybe you should fill that space with Stove Top a little more often. Just remember the Stove Top...

Unidentified Child: Excellent.

Unidentified Woman: ...and they'll remember the dinner. Stove Top Stuffing, everything else is just stuff.

INSKEEP: Ruth Siems was said to be instrumental at arriving at the precise crumb dimension to get the right texture for the stuffing. And for that, her name was listed first on the patent for Stove Top taken out in 1975. This Thanksgiving, the buyers of 60 million boxes of Stove Top can thank Ruth Siems, who died this month at home in Newburgh, Indiana.

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