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Inventor of Thanksgiving classic dies
Report: Ruth M. Siems, creator of Stove Top stuffing, dies at the age of 74.
November 23, 2005: 12:56 PM EST

NEW YORK ( - The inventor of a staple of the holiday table died on Nov. 13, less than two weeks before Thanksgiving.

Ruth M. Siems, 74, who helped create Stove Top stuffing, died of a heart attack in Newburgh, Ind., according to a report in the New York Times.

Siems worked on Stove Top stuffing during her employment at General Foods, which spanned more than three decades, the newspaper said.

The report said Kraft Foods now owns the Stove Top brand and sells about 60 million boxes of it during Thanksgiving.

The stuffing, which was introduced in 1972, comes in a range of flavors and can be prepared in five minutes on the stove or in the microwave, the Times said.

It also doesn't have to be prepared with turkey, Laura Shapiro, author of "Something From the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950's America," told the newspaper.

"Stove Top made it possible to have the stuffing without the turkey, probably something no cook would ever have dreamed of but people eating Thanksgiving dinner might well have thought of," she said in the report.

Stove Top stuffing also freed stuffing from being linked solely to Thanksgiving, since it could be cooked and eaten at a moment's notice, according to the report.

The Times said Siems, who was born in Evansville, Ind. and earned a degree in home economics from Purdue University in 1953, played a key role in developing the right crumb size for the stuffing.

According to the paper, Siems is survived by her sisters, Suzanne Porter and Rosemary Snyder; and a brother, David.


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