On 26 August 1920, after a long battle that lasted almost 80 years, the 19th amendment to the US constitution, granting women the right to vote, was ratified. It is the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment and we are celebrating my friend, Laura Kumin and her new book –– All Stirred Up.
“All Stirred Up: Suffrage Cookbooks, Food, and the Battle for Women’s Right to Vote” is a book that links history with food. The author, Laura Kumin presents a unique perspective through her research into the women’s suffrage movement and their use of food, to help bring change and persuade their immediate friends and family to talk about changing the circumstances. The change was as much for themselves as it was for the future generations of women that would follow. Women, just like us.
Food feeds the soul as much as it feeds a hungry belly. Food evokes emotions and bridges people and cultures. While food may not solve all our problems, it does give us a way to come together and start a conversation. The women of the suffrage movement used what they were good at to champion their cause. They wrote cookbooks and they cooked food. The books surprisingly are multicultural with recipes from many other countries.
In 1886, the first American suffragist cookbook was published and by 1920 there were at least a half-dozen cookbooks! Laura Kumin traces back the history of the movement with solid research. The book is filled with timelines of events throughout the history and makes for a great reading and gives an insight to the kind of life they lived.
Kumin also shares recipes from the suffragist cookbooks and has updated them to present day recipe writing formats. Thank goodness! Otherwise most recipes during those time were written like this:
“Dress flowerets of cold cooked cauliflower placed on leaves of shredded lettuce with French dressing. Cover with cold cooked beets cut in figure, and the chopped trimmings from them. Serve with mayonnaise in a dish apart”.
V. P. Shissler
This, by the way, is the recipe I am sharing today but with Laura’s updated version.
Notes on the Recipe: I used an electric pressure cooker to steam the cauliflower and the beets. I think the women of the movement would have approved my keeping up with the times! You may use pre cooked beets that are available at most grocery stores these days or cook them in a pot.
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is a celebration of women’s suffrage, and our host is Laura who blogs at Mother Would Know. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. The host for the month chooses the theme and members share recipes on that theme suitable for a delicious meal or party. Then you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. So come along and see all of the delicious and inspired dishes!
- Sparkling Fruit Punch Cocktail – Creative Culinary
- Emergency Salad – Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- To Broil Chickens (Spatchcocked & Grilled Chicken) – Mother Would Know
- Chicken Pot Pie – The Redhead Baker
- Ginger Bread – The Heritage Cook
- Coconut Kisses – Sarah’s Cucina Bella
Cauliflower and Beet Salad
A mix of steamed and pan seared cauliflower with steamed beets served with salad greens and a vinaigrette of your choice.
For the Salad
- 1 pound (16 oz/454 g) Beets A mix of golden and red, small size
- 1 1 pound (16 oz/454 g) Cauliflower florets
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 head Frisee ( substitute with arugula or any other greens of your choice)
- 1⁄4 cup (2 fl oz/59 ml) fresh lemon juice (approximately the juice of 1 large lemon)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1⁄2 cup (4 fl oz/118 ml) olive oil extra virgin
In the inner steel pot of the instant pot, put in one cup of water
Put half of the cauliflower florets in a steaming basket and put the basket into the instant pot
Keep the steam release handle on 'venting' and use the steaming function for 2 minutes
Remove the cauliflower from the instant pot and keep aside .
Put the beets in the water leftover from steaming the cauliflower
Put the instant pot on manual pressure for 6 minutes, close the steam release handle
Allow the pressure to release naturally when the instant pot finishes cooking
Meanwhile, heat a sauté pan and add oil
Add in the remaining cauliflower florets and cook until tender and seared
Remove from heat and keep aside
Peel the beets and cut into desired shapes – circles/ stars ( with a small cookie cutter)
Arrange the beets, cauliflower and frisee on a serving platter. Serve with the dressing on the side
Combine the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard in a small jar with a
tight-fitting lid. Shake them until the salt and mustard are fully dissolved.
Add the olive oil and shake the jar again, this time until the mixture is fully blended.
I used the Frisee lettuce for the salad as the peppery flavor nicely balanced out the sweetness of beets.