The Suffrage Cookbook, 1886

It may seem slightly ironic to some today that there is a suffrage cookbook (in fact, there are multiple, but thats a story for another time). After all, weren’t these women trying to free themselves from their domestic duties and launch themselves into the public realm? Some perhaps, most no. Isn’t the kitchen a symbol of their oppression? I would argue not.

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First a moment of the cookbook, and its origin. The Suffrage Cookbook was published as a fundraiser for the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA), which was associated with the more “conservative” national suffrage organization, the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) founded by Lucy Stone, Henry Blackwell, and Julia Ward Howe. The national organization came into existence when the American Equal Rights Associated split over the issue of the Fifteenth Amendment. To make a long and sordid tale short, some women opposed the Fifteenth Amendment unless women were included (such as Susan B. Anthony ,Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Matilda Joslyn Gage). Others believed they should support African American suffrage, even if women weren’t included (this latter group became the AWSA). The two organizations actually merged in 1890 for a number of reasons, though this cookbook precedes that by a few years (for the first edition, the second edition was printed in 1890).

What is interesting about the cookbook is the assortment of contributors. There are major suffrage activists who contribute recipes; a number of female physicians (no easy accomplishment in 1886), but the majority are women who use the title Mrs., sometimes even followed by their husband’s name, like this:

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By the late 1800s Suffrage was becoming a more mainstream cause (I will talk about this when I get to my post on Francis Willard in particular). There are many “regular” housewives , mother, grandmothers, etc., who were fighting for the vote. Cooking and other household activities were part of their lives. Even women who decided to never marry, such as Alice Stone Blackwell, needed to cook; in fact, she has numerous recipes in the book (included a somewhat suspect egg recipe to make when you have unexpected company over).

Not to mention, there was the negative opinion at the time that women who fought for the vote were neglecting their familial and household duties. Publishing a cookbook may have just seemed like a good way to combat view. A woman could not only spend her free time fighting for universal suffrage, but she could also make delicious cakes, clean her house, and take care of the ill (there is an entire section on taking care of invalids–its…odd).

The book ends with pages of quotes supporting Woman Suffrage by prominent people. Some of my personal favorites include:

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And this is where I will leave it for today. Next time I’ll have a recipe for you!

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Upcoming Events

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I have always had varying commitment to my blog, though I have always kept it going to some degree. When I began my doctorate, my posts unsurprisingly declined. While preparing for comprehensive exams and trying to get my dissertation proposal approved, I was too overwhelmed to do anything. Those days are in the past though. I am indeed writing my dissertation, and its amazingly less stressful than those aforementioned activities (so far at least). All that to say, I have updated the blog, freshened the look, and am committing to being here more. Why? Why take on more writing? More commitments? Well, I was actually inspired while researching for my dissertation, believe it or not.

Without getting into too much detail, my dissertation is about Christian women in Minnesota (between the years 1880-1920) and their engagement in social reform. While trying to find an article on Scandinavian-American suffrage groups (I had read it before but was having trouble finding a copy online), I stumbled upon a Suffrage Cookbook from 1886. This is unusable in my actual dissertation, but I was thrilled to find a book filled with recipes by famous suffragists like Lucy Stone, Francis Willard, Matilda Joslyn Gage, among others. I once had a series of posts called Recipes from Yesteryear where a friend of mine and I made pretty atrocious recipes like Tomato Soup Cake, and I plan something similar but with the Suffrage cookbook (I also hope the recipes are a little tastier).

1886 is before cooking methods were standardized. There will be some trial and error–how many tablespoons are in an egg shape amount of butter? Cooking pans are a bit different–can I use a muffin tin for a Gem recipe? These are things I will be dealing with, but it is also the fun of it. I also plan to pair these recipes with a little history; how can I not?!?

In addition to perhaps edible recipes from famous suffragists, you will probably be seeing healthier recipes. I have been on a real food kick–to great results! Everyone seems a little happier, healthier, and thinner. AND I am obsessed with my Instant Pot–so there is that.

In the meantime, I posted a picture of some beautiful Christmas cookies Lucy decorated.

Chicago Pt. 2

I usually try to post every Tuesday. I missed last week because the kids have been sick. First Emory had Bronchiolitis, then Lucy got the flu, then Emory caught the flu from Lucy. Its been real fun, or not.

I have actually made some decent things, meals and baked goods, but didn’t take any pictures or anything, so here is some pictures from our trip to Chicago last month.

This was taken at the Chicago art museum. Alec and I were both yelled at by museum guards, and I was legitimately worried they were going to kick us out. Apparently taking a sip of water is completely unacceptable.

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Lucy with Uncle Peter and Kim. They swung her around a good share of Chicago like this.

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Kim took us to Chinatown. We had Dim Sum, got bubble tea, and went to an awesome candy store.

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AND most exciting, once we were back at Peter’s apartment, Emory rolled over for the first time. Here is a picture of the monumental event!

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Re-launch

Many things have happened while I have been gone. I let my domain name expire and stopped Emory and Lucyblogging for a couple of years, but I missed it; so I am back. The biggest news is my new baby Emory, born September 25, 2014. He is a delight. I had no idea babies could be this easy. Lucy has grown a ton. She is in preschool and loving being the big sister around here.

After four years of living in South, we moved to Northeast last summer. We have a great 1950s house that happens to be an obnoxious shade of yellow—we swear we will get around to painting it someday!

I am in the third year of my doctoral program, which means comprehensive exams. I have tons of books I am supposed to be reading right now. I am also working on a journal as the editorial fellow. I have no free time. None.

oatmealI have had to spend less time baking and more time inventing healthy food Lucy might actually eat. Flax seed crepes, pumpkin pancakes, and purple oatmeal are just some examples of my breakfast attempts.

This blog has gotten a bit of a makeover.  I figured a re-launch needed to be exactly that.  I freshened it up, and the content will be slightly different this time around.  The strawberries on the header is a reminder it won’t always be the dead of winter here in good old Minnesota.

 

 

 

Healthy-ish Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

I love a good fruit crisp recipe.  Yesterday I sat down and tried to make a lower calorie version of the beloved classic.  The following recipe is about 1400 calories for a 8″ square pan.  So about 230 calories a serving (estimating 1/6 of a pan as a serving, and honestly that is a pretty big serving).  To make this healthier version I basically cut down on sugar, butter, and flour.  I increased oatmeal and added almonds, which added some nice crunch and worked well with the strawberry filling.  

Filling: 

A cup or so of rhubarb, cut up

About a cup of stawberries, sliced 

3 T. cornstarch 

1/2 c. sugar

Lemon zest 

About a half cup water, add more if needed

Bring to a boil on the stove until the fruit is soft and the liquid is thick.  Pour into a 8″ baking dish. 

 

Crisp Topping: 

1/4 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. flour

4 tablespoons butter (half a stick) 

1/2-3/4 cup oatmeal

2 tablespoons almonds 

Put the butter, sugar, and flour into a food processor and pulse until the butter is blended.  Add in the flour and almonds.  Pulse a few times until everything is combined, but don’t over do it.  You want the oatmeal and almonds to maintain their shape.  Evenly drop the topping over the fruit filling.  

Bake in a 400 degree oven until the top is crispy and brown.  Around a half an hour.  

Beet Tartar

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If you have seen me lately, you probably heard about how much I loved my dinner at the Bachelor Farmer.  My favorite dish was the appetizer, Beet Tartar.  No that is not a typo, it is made from beets, not beef.  Granted it is an all-around different experience from beef tartar, but for anyone who doesn’t love eating raw beef, that is probably a good thing.  I could have worked a little harder on the presentation in the above picture, but you get the idea.  This dish is actually really easy to do, but it is a little time consumer because there are quite a few steps.

The Beets:

I wanted the beets to resemble actual ground beef.  So first I boiled them, peeled them, then chopped them up.  (Note on the beets: you can boil them, bake them, microwave or steam them.  I boiled them because I think it is the easiest and yields good results.  Just put them in a pot of boiling water and leave them alone until they are tender–probably about 45 minutes)

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I then tossed them into the food processor and pulsed it a few times until the beets resembled ground beef.

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That is all there is to the beets–see easy.

The Extras: 

The beets are served in a Nordic fashion: surrounded by dill, horseradish, shallots, cheese, mustard, and capers.  The Bachelor Farmer served it all with toast, I served it with a thinly sliced baguette.  Both were good.

The Dill:  buy it fresh and chop it up.

The Horseradish:  I bought horseradish root and grated it.  I found the root at Whole Foods.  I am sure any coop or nicer grocery store would have it as well. It is reasonably priced, about $6/pound.

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Shallots: mince them.  I wouldn’t substitute onions here.

The Cheese:  The Bachelor Farmer served this dish with a watery cow’s milk cheese.  I chose to do goat cheese instead for a couple of reasons.  I like it better, and the other ingredients are all very strong flavors, and I felt they needed a stronger flavored cheese to accompany them.

Mustard: Use a brown mustard of some sorts.  One with course mustard seeds would be ideal, but just use what you like.

Capers: I rinsed them off so they were a little less salty.  Then I chopped them up just a little.

For the presentation at the Bachelor Farmer, everything was on one plate, with the beets in the middle.  Since I was hosting a dinner for six people I decided to put everything into its own little dish for ease of passing.

As for eating, just add bits of everything to your bread and enjoy.  The flavors work great together.

Easter Prep

Coloring Easter Eggs and Making Hot Cross Buns…

This is the first time Lucy has decorated eggs.  It was very cute, and very very messy…

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Now we get to the Hot Cross Buns.  I love these, but rarely can you get good ones.  I came across this recipe and had to try it:

http://www.poiresauchocolat.net/2013/03/hot-cross-buns-v4.html

The recipe is British so if you want to try it, you will need a food scale.  Otherwise, just to save you a google search, sultanas are raisins.  Maybe you knew that, I certainly didn’t.  But this is a great recipe, the only change I made was making the crosses on the buns from a powdered sugar glaze instead of flour.  I put that on after they had cooled a bit.

Try to eat these guys while they are still warm, but 10 seconds in the microwave works too.  The recipe is quite labor intensive as a warning.  Also this method of making candied citrus peel works fabulous.

 

 

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Third Anniversary

Yesterday was our third anniversary.  We had a lovely evening at the Bachelor Farmer.  It was a wonderful restaurant!  I had been wanting to go there for probably a year.  I made reservations three weeks in advance for a Wednesday night, and I still didn’t get my first choice of time.  All that being said, the food was amazing.  The wine was delicious.  The decor is so Minnesota, it is hilarious but still classy.  It isn’t a cheap date, but well worth it.

I am going to try and recreate their beet (yes beet) tartar on Easter.  I will post pictures if it is successful.

 

 

Long time no see…

So it has been about a year since I last posted.  I no longer have any readership; however, I am going to try my best to start blogging again.  A lot has changed in the last year.  I am a doctoral student at Luther Seminary in St. Paul.  Lucy is big now.  Seriously, I can’t believe how big she has gotten.

I still love baking, but I have had to cut down on it for a number of reasons: I am in school; eating cakes all the time is not good for one’s figure, the list could go on and on.  I will be back to posting recipes though.  I am on a health kick at the moment, so there will be more meals with lentils and whole grains than ever before!

In addition to recipes, I plan to do book reviews, posts about life as a doctoral student, posts about history, and whatever else I feel like I suppose.

My goal is two posts a week.  Wish me luck!

A bit of catching up

So I haven’t posted in three months.  We went through a bit of a phase where Lucy tried to destroy my computer every time I was on it.  She is getting better, and I am less tired, so I think I will start posting again.  Here are a few things that have happened in the last few months.

Halloween happened:

 

Lucy has a favorite stuffed toy:

 

She is now using some teeth:

 

Christmas happened:

And that is about it.  Just kidding, but those are a few highlights.  So, I have the best intentions of being better about posting.  Expect recipes, photos, book reviews, and maybe even some special features in the days and weeks to come.  Until then, stay warm.  Because it is actually cold now.  And snowing.