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Compilation: Women’s History

Once again, in honor of women’s history month we’ve collected all the posts related to women’s experiences from the past year. Last year’s post with an equally eclectic and fascinating group of posts if available here.

The Mrs. Maine Club and Family Services at the University of Maine, 1946-1970s

Known initially as the GI Wives Club, and later as “Mrs. Maine” club, a small group of mid-century student wives achieved remarkable improvements for all families at the University of Maine.  What began as an organization for student wives evolved by the mid-1950s into a popular campus club, regularly featured in the yearbook, and open to all married women students or wives of students.  Using records from the University archives, college yearbooks, and newspaper articles as by evidence, I argue they used their status as both veterans’ wives and mothers to push for long-term university support of their campus projects: a cooperative day care center and a children’s health clinic. Read More.

Fogler Feature: Mildred (Brown) and William Schrumpf Collection

BrownieMildred “Brownie” Schrumpf wore many hats during her lifetime, but her love of simple “State of Maine” cooking remained consistent.  Born in 1903 in Readfield and a graduate of the University of Maine with a B.S. in Home Economics, Brownie championed Maine recipes, Maine food, and Maine products to three generations of Maine families. In the 1940s, Brownie was a part-time instructor at UMaine teaching food preparation and preservation as well as camp cookery to forestry students. For forty-two years (1951-1993), she was the food columnist for the Bangor Daily News. Her columns reveal her deep commitment to Maine ingredients and simple methods of food preparation. Throughout her lifetime, she sought new recipes and new methods of preparations which she shared with her readers in her column and her cookbooks, The Flavor of Maine and Memories from Brownie’s Kitchen. Read More.

“Now Bring Us Some Figgy Pudding”: Plum Pudding and the Celebration of Christmas in Nineteenth-Century America

39A major source was English holiday tradition, leading many American cooks to embrace plum pudding for the finale to their Christmas dinner and Christmas trees in their parlors (this custom was popularized by Queen Victoria after her marriage to Albert. He brought the tradition from Germany). A rich dried fruit, suet pudding that is well laced with brandy, plum pudding has been firmly associated with English Christmas celebrations for several centuries. Despite the name, most plum puddings contain far more raisins than plums. The fact that figgy pudding and plum pudding are one and the same suggests how little relevance the ingredients have to the name. Recipes usually included a combination of several dried fruits, most commonly raisins, plums, and currants. Liquor was the liquid of choice for most plum pudding recipes ranging from Madeira, whiskey, and a wide variety of homemade wines. The popularity of the Temperance movement would lead the development of Temperance recipes later in the century. Read More.

Manuscript Cookbooks as Autobiography: A Glimpse at the Life of Emma Blomfield Schreiber

Beeton-1895-plate-facing-pa-CSL-medEmma Blomfield Schreiber was christened at the Anglican Church in Bradwell-near-the-sea on September 19, 1834. The seventh child of Rev. Thomas Schreiber and his wife Sarah, she was also the couple’s second daughter. On April 4, 1861 she wed Charles Day, Esq. at Yorkville, near Toronto, Canada West. Five years before her marriage, Emma began a manuscript recipe book a collection of one hundred and thirty-six handwritten recipes ranging from Ambrosia to White Lemon Cream. Emma collected recipes for desserts, made dishes, beverages, remedies, cleaning solutions, and preserves. The careful record of the source for many recipes preserves her network of female friends and relatives. A recipe for plum pudding dated December 1887 suggests Emma (or someone else) used, added to, and revised her recipe book for at least thirty years. Read More.

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