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All Stirred Up and Homemade Tomato Soup #ourgoodlifebooklist

I was fortunate to get a PDF advanced copy from my friend Camilla who blogs at Culinary Adventures with Camilla in exchange for my honest opinion. 

I am a sucker for a cookbook, and a cookbook with a theme, well, be still my heart!  When Camilla offered us an opportunity to see this one in advance, I jumped on it.  Let's get to the basics, first. 

All Stirred Up
Suffrage Cookbooks, Food, and the Battle for Women's Right to Vote
Laura Kumin

About the book from the publisher, Pegasus:

In honor of the centenary of the 19th amendment, a delectable new book that reveals a new side to the history of the suffrage movement.

We all likely conjure up a similar image of the women’s suffrage movement: picket signs, red carnations, militant marches through the streets. But was it only these rallies that gained women the exposure and power that led them to the vote?

Ever courageous and creative, suffragists also carried their radical message into America’s homes wrapped in food wisdom, through cookbooks, which ingenuously packaged political strategy into already existent social communities. These cookbooks gave suffragists a chance to reach out to women on their own terms, in nonthreatening and accessible ways. Cooking together, feeding people, and using social situations to put people at ease were pioneering grassroots tactics that leveraged the domestic knowledge these women already had, feeding spoonfuls of suffrage to communities through unexpected and unassuming channels.

Kumin, the author of The Hamilton Cookbook, expands this forgotten history, she shows us that, in spite of massive opposition, these women brilliantly wove charm and wit into their message. Filled with actual historic recipes (“mix the crust with tact and velvet gloves, using no sarcasm, especially with the upper crust”) that evoke the spirited flavor of feminism and food movements, All Stirred Up re-activates the taste of an era and carries us back through time.

Kumin shows that these suffragettes were far from the militant, stern caricatures their detractors made them out to be. Long before they had the vote, women enfranchised themselves through the subversive and savvy power of the palate.

About the author

Laura Kumin is the author of The Hamilton Cookbook: Cooking, Eating, and Entertaining in Hamilton’s World and runs the popular blog “Mother Would Know.” Kumin earned a law degree from Columbia Law School and practiced in Washington D.C. for more than two decades. She lives in Washington D.C. where she now teaches cooking and food history.

My take:

This is what history classes in high school should look like!  The book is set up in parts, with intriguing titles such as The Suffrage Battle, Food for the Suffrage Legions and Beyond Suffrage.  The parts are divided into sections that first tell the history and the second part is about the food.  The first 22 pages are a timeline, which, at the beginning, I skipped, but referred back to as I read each part.  Each part is full of historical photos.  While the information is highly researched and detailed, I didn't get too bogged down into that.  It was interesting and helpful.  My favorite part was the recipes, though!

The cookbook portion gives the recipe as it would have been made "back in the day" and then the recipe for today's version.  It was fun to see the difference!   My choice to do Tomato Soup was based on the fact that my husband's grandmother made homemade tomato soup that was delicious.  I wonder what her thinking was on the suffrage movement?  I know my great-grandmother Lula Belle Malloy was a fan, and although as a child I wasn't overly fond of her, I admire her grit and determination as an adult woman.

I made the recipe in the cookbook with these minor adjustments:  I used 1/4 t baking soda, no bay leaf and a sprinkle of nutmeg on the top when I served it.  I also pureed the soup in the blender to give it the perfect smoothness.  It was delicious!

The recipe used with permission.

If you are interested in purchasing this book, use this link! (please!) It is part of an Amazon program I am using to help support the blog!

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