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Matzoh Balls, Lobster Bisque, and American Judaism: Reading The Settlement Cook Book
Monday, April 22, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Julia Child once claimed that cookbooks "are the history of an epoch" because they "provide answers to social, political, and economic questions about the society for which they were written. They are an essential ingredient to preserving our past and enhancing our future." Professor Rubel will examine an American cookbook compiled by the daughter of German Jews and distributed as a pamphlet for the first time in 1901 Milwaukee. The Way to a Man's Heart: The Settlement Cook Book went on to become the most successful fundraising cookbook in America, seeing forty printings and earning its place next to The Joy of Cooking and the Fannie Farmer CookBook in the James Beard Hall of Fame. Rubel will discuss the cookbook as an influential example of Jewish- but not necessarily Judaic- material culture, a cookbook that not only reflected its Midwestern, acculturated Jewish origins, but also the aspiration of a new middle-class, one that was just becoming comfortable in America.
Sponsored by Jewish Studies, in conjunction with the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life