Podcast Episode 161: Suffrage Cookbooks: History, Food and the Right to Vote — Laura Kumin

Oct 6, 2020

Suffrage Cookbooks – A Forgotten History

Food is common ground. When people cook and eat together, they learn to understand each other. We may not always agree, but if we take the time to sit together over a meal, we may just find out how much we are alike and how much binds us together.”

This year marks the 100 year anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution granting women the right to vote in 1920. However, the battle for women’s suffrage lasted more than 70 years, beginning in 1848. When we hear about the suffrage movement in the media or read about it in history books, we usually hear about the loud and militant women or the ones who paraded in great numbers. But the forgotten suffragists, the ones who went door-to-door with a cookbook under their arms, were just as important in winning the right to vote.

All Stirred Up By Laura KuminLaura Kumin’s new book ‘All Stirred Up: Suffrage Cookbooks, Food, and the Battle for Women’s Right to Vote’ includes recipes from the suffrage cookbooks, in their original form and also adapted for the modern cook. But this is just as much a history book as it is a cookbook.

Tune in to this episode to learn about:

  • An overview of the suffrage movement
  • How the history of women’s right to vote impacts women today – especially in this election year
  • How men – and some famous men – fit into the suffrage story
  • Who were the “antis” and what were their concerns about women voting
  • How did suffragists convert people to their cause and how did cookbooks help
  • What is an “emergency salad”
  • How many suffrage cookbooks still exist and how many are forever lost

Laura Kumin

Laura Kumin is a food writer and the author of two books: All Stirred Up: Suffrage Cookbooks, Food, and the Battle for Women’s Right to Vote and The Hamilton Cookbook: Cooking, Eating & Entertaining in Hamilton’s World.

Laura had a long career as a lawyer before she became an author, teacher and cooking coach. Her specialty is combining history, culture and cooking, with an eye toward illuminating the little-known corners of a historical period or movement.

At her blog, Mother Would Know, Laura encourages readers to become confident and creative home cooks. Her articles have appeared in USA Today, The Washington Post, the Huffington Post and the Jewish Food Experience. Laura has done podcasts and programs for a variety of audiences and groups, including the National Press Club and Tudor Place, a National Historic Landmark. She has also taught a course to middle schoolers that included history and hands-on cooking and has done adult education presentations.

Laura lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband. They raised their two children in DC and are active in the local community.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg said: ‘Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.’ That’s what the suffrage cookbooks were all about – finding common ground with people through recipes and food, then getting them to listen to reasons why (and hopefully agree that) women should have the right to vote.”


Laura Kumin: Website/Blog | Author site | Facebook: Mother Would Know & All Stirred Up | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

Sign up for Laura’s newsletter and get the brownie recipe from All Stirred Up and Thomas Jefferson’s “Room Where it Happened” Ice Cream from the Hamilton Cookbook

Related Episodes:

The Hamilton Cookbook – Sound Bites Podcast episode #90 with Laura Kumin

The (Whole) Truth About Grains – Sound Bites Podcast episode #94 with Dr. Julie Miller Jones


Stacey Viera, Laura Kumin & Melissa at Pete’s Diner on Capitol Hill – February 2020

Stacey Viera, Laura Kumin & Melissa at Pete’s Diner on Capitol Hill – February 2020



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Music by Dave Birk

Produced by JAG in Detroit Podcasts


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