Archive for the ‘Foodie Friday’ Category

#FoodieFriday: The Food Riot of 1917

June 7th, 2013

By: Sydnee C. Winston, Project Coordinator

On the morning of February 20, 1917, an army of some 400 angry mothers climbed the steps of New York City’s City Hall.  With babies hoisted on their hips, they moved with an urgency brought on by weeks of suffering.  “WE WANT FOOD FOR OUR CHILDREN!” they shouted out in English and Yiddish. Read the rest of this entry »

#FoodieFriday: Bizzare Historical Fad Diets

May 31st, 2013

By: Sydnee C. Winston

This week’s #FoodieFriday takes us down a historical memory lane of five of the most bizarre and questionable diets during the 19th and 20th centuries. Many women, in an effort to meet harsh societal standards of beauty for women, adopted these diets.

The Tapeworm Diet

One extremely disgusting beauty regimen that gained some popularity during the 1800s was the “tapeworm diet.”  It involved ingesting pills that contained sanitized tapeworm larvae, which would live in their stomachs. The worms would then consume the excess calories into their own bodies and grow larger, until they had to be removed in what was usually a very unpleasant process. Read the rest of this entry »

#FoodieFriday: The White House Edition

May 24th, 2013

By: Sydnee C. Winston, Project Coordinator

Have you ever wondered what the inside of the White House kitchen looked like at the turn of the 20th century, or what Martha Washington’s favorite dessert was? Well you don’t have to wonder anymore, because this week’s #Foodie Friday takes a look at 7 interesting facts about the First Ladies and the White House kitchen and gardens that you may not know. Read the rest of this entry »

#Foodie Friday: Peaches Restaurant- A Restaurant with Real Soul

May 17th, 2013

By: Sydnee C. Winston, Project Coordinator

Today’s #FoodieFriday post explores how food can be used as an act of civil protest. The Civil Rights Movement is full of well-known women leaders who used the power of their voices to fight for justice and freedom for all people. We all recognize Rosa Parks, Dr. Dorothy Height, Dr. Maya Angelou, Fannie Lou Hamer and countless other courageous, trailblazing African American women who dedicated their lives to transforming society into a place that acknowledges the inherent dignity and worth of all people.

While these women worked in more visible areas of the movement, many women worked behind the scenes—shaping and influencing the cause in more subtle but nonetheless, powerful ways.  Wilora “Peaches” Ephram was one of those women. Read the rest of this entry »

#Foodie Friday: Women, Food & the Jazz Age

May 10th, 2013

By: Sydnee C. Winston, Project Coordinator

Photo: Library of Congress

There’s been a whole lot of jazz about the Jazz Age lately. With all the buzz over the recent release of The Great Gatsby, it seems that this high-rollin’, party loving, decadent era in our nation’s past has officially been resurrected! So we decided to join the celebration and focus this week’s Foodie Friday post on what women were cooking, eating and serving their families in the roaring 20s.

Read the rest of this entry »

#Foodie Friday: To Grill or Not to Grill?

May 3rd, 2013

By: Sydnee C. Winston, Project Coordinator

Spring has officially sprung and has brought along many traditions—cherry blossom festivities, planning vacations and barbecuing. May is national barbecue month and I for one can’t wait to dust off the ol’ grill and toss a few steaks on.

But as much as I love down home barbecue as much as a next person, the image of me, a woman, outside grilling might raise some eyebrows. Grilling, even today is still considered to be a largely male pursuit and is a remaining bastion of stereotyped gender roles for women and men: “women cook, men grill.”

The stereotype is so pervasive that the Land O’ Lakes Company recently released a press release that probed this mysterious “female grilling phobia.” According to a study commissioned by the company, “more than 84 percent of women would be at least a little nervous or afraid to use the barbecue grill on their own.” Read the rest of this entry »

Women + Beer: A Forgotten Pairing

April 26th, 2013

By: Allison Schell, NWHM Staff

Hop-py Foodie Friday! Alright, I couldn’t resist. This edition of Foodie Friday is all about uncovering the somewhat hidden history of women and beer, particularly women as brewers in the United States.

If you look at the brewing business today, the majority of micro and macro breweries are owned and run by men. Did you know though that back in the eighteenth century, a  good portion of brewers in America were women? Did you also know that the feminine form of the word brewer is brewster? A testimony to how masculinized brewing has become is the fact that the word brewster is not even used to describe female brewers today. Many are now referred to as “brewmasters.”  And, as a side note, “brewster” wasn’t even recognized by Microsoft Word. Neither was the word “masculinized” by the way.

Anyways, I digress. Historically, women’s involvement in brewing beer has been documented back  four-thousand years ago in Mesopotamia, and probably earlier. Ancient Sumerians even had a goddess of beer, Ninkasi. Historically though women’s involvement in brewing probably developed out of the fact that some women were tavern-owners and thus it is likely that they also brewed their own beer.

Fast forward to colonial America. The craft of brewing beer was brought over from Europe and women resumed their roles in society as tavern-keepers and brewers. But tavern-keepers were not the only women brewing; housewives were as well and brewing beer was one of the many tasks on their long list of daily duties. And, with beer being more consumed than water at this point, one needed to have a steady supply of the beverage on hand. In 1734, Mary Lisle become America’s unofficial first brewster when she took over her father’s brewhouse in Philadelphia. And while Thomas Jefferson is often given credit for being a “Founding Home brewer” the credit should actually be given to his late wife, Martha, who did the majority of the brewing. By the late eighteenth century, women as brewers and even brewing as a household art was on the decline, giving way to the male-dominated world of the beer industry that we have come to know.

Today, women are slowly infiltrating the brewing industry. Carol Stoudt of Stoudt’s Brewing Company (founded in 1987) is considered one of the first female brewmasters in the United States. Another female brewmaster, Teri Fahrendorf, founded the Pink Boots Society as a way to empower women  beer professionals. In 2008 they had only 22 members and today they have nearly a thousand. (Check them out here). But women still are not a majority in the beer industry in any capacity. According to a July 2012 Gallup poll, women represent only one-quarter of beer drinkers in America. And in the beer industry, women only account for 10% of jobs and for women in charge of breweries, the percentage become even starker.

So have we inspired you to get your own home brewing kit, yet? The next time you pour yourself a nice cold beer, think about all the women before you who spent countless hours brewing their own beer for their families, neighbors, or businesses, that have never been recognized in history for all their hard work. With that, I’ll leave you all with a quote from Shakespeare, “She brews good ale, and thereof comes the proverb, Blessing of your heart, you brew good ale.”

Foodie Friday: Betty Crocker, an American Cultural Icon that Never Existed?

April 19th, 2013

By: Sydnee Winston, Project Coordinator

Bestseller: "Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book" published in 1950

Betty Crocker is a cultural icon. For over 80 years she has been a mainstay in American kitchens—a “kitchen confidante” offering advice to troubled bakers who couldn’t figure out why their cakes wouldn’t  rise or how to make their pancakes fluffier.

Betty’s maternal and reassuring guidance was a comfort to many women, especially during the interwar period, so it may come as a surprise to many to learn that Betty Crocker never actually existed! Read the rest of this entry »

Foodie Friday: Colonial American Fast Food?

April 12th, 2013

By: Sydnee Winston, Project Coordinator

This week’s Foodie Friday adventure takes us back to Colonial America—a time of exploration, revolution, taverns and….fast food?

Yes, that’s right, fast food! We may think of the desire for fast food as being a 20th century phenomenon, but our colonial ancestors had the same desire for quick, convenient and affordable fare that we do today. Read the rest of this entry »

Foodie Fridays: The Classic American TV Dinner

April 5th, 2013

By: Sydnee Winston, Project Coordinator

It doesn’t get much more American than the TV dinner. The mention of those two words immediately conjures images of a 1950s era family dressed in perfectly starched clothes sitting on their couch with TV dinners on their laps, as an episode of “I Love Lucy” appears on the screen. These neatly partitioned, individual-sized frozen meals of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, peas and dessert (and other foods), have been delighting American families since the 1950s. Read the rest of this entry »