The Evanston Community Kitchen

A food memoir about women in the kitchen and history in the making. Food = Story.

Domestic Revolution, Early Feminists, Comfort Food, and Grief

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Great blog post about the book, “The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes, Neighborhoods, and Cities.” The Community Kitchen is mentioned in this book. I am currently reading this book for research for my food memoir — The Community Kitchen: Women in the Kitchen and History in the Making. Food = Story. I am so excited about this book project.

 

My mother recently passed away. With her, many stories I was not able to record also died. but I will be able to write about the stories I do know. This is life. This is acceptance. This is grief.

 

My mother passed away on Christmas Eve — just like her to leave so dramatically and beautifully. She passed away peacefully. I have been away from the CK blog for a while because of this. I just wanted to let my readers know why.

 

Now this food memoir about the great women in my family is so important for personal reasons, which will make the writing more powerful. I recently received a Regional Artist Project grant from the Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge to travel to Evanston to conduct on-site archival research at various locations that have documents on the Community Kitchen. I will be traveling to Evanston sometime this spring or summer.

 

My mother was an amazing cook. She prepared large meals effortlessly or rather, she made it look effortless. She was a beautiful woman I am honored to call mother. Here is her obituary if you are interested in reading about her.

 

Since her passing I have been thinking about food and grief. I wonder what meals the CK prepared for funerals and wakes. I wonder if they catered funerals and wakes. This will be an interesting subject to research for the book.

 

What are you thoughts on grief food? Salty food has given me great comfort.

 

Food created out of love and concern by friends and family members is a bouquet of comfort. I am lucky to have such a great support system of friends and family. I did not have an appetite soon after my mother’s death. My husband “made” me eat bean soup he thoughtfully prepared from scratch. bean soup will always be a comfort food.

 

What are your favorite comfort foods?

Me, you, and books

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes, Neighborhoods and Cities, by Dolores Hayden. The MIT Press (1982), Paperback, 384 pages.

An architectural historian looks at the radical feminists who argued, a century ago, that if women were to be equal in the public sphere, they needed to be freed from their total responsibility for the domestic world of home and children. She describes how they designed neighborhoods and apartment buildings to make that possible.

Dolores Hayden explores a path not taken by American society and American feminism. She examines the writings of feminists from around 1900 who believed that women’s inequality in politics and economic life was grounded in the fact that so much of women’s energies went into the “reproductive labor” of maintaining households and raising children. With no reliable birth control easily and publicly available, women of the time…

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Author: memomuse

I am an arts educator, writer, poet, photographer, and mama. United Arts Council Artist in the Schools and Writer-in-Residence -- I am available to conduct workshops and residencies: Memoir, Writing, Poetry, Spoken Word, Poetry Slams. Contact me for more information. Also available for freelance writing and photography. I am also working on a historic food memoir: http://evanstoncommmunitykitchen.wordpress.com

2 thoughts on “Domestic Revolution, Early Feminists, Comfort Food, and Grief

  1. Thanks for reblogging my review. I love what you are doing about the history of this group. Do keep me posted as you progress. Groups like yours who offered alternatives in the past are important in creating better lives in the present and future. Have you read Charlotte Gilman? She is good and funny about alternatives for wives and mothers–something that might interest you as a new mother. http://wildcolonialgirl.wordpress.com/ is a writing mother from Australia whom you might also find interesting.

    • So interesting that you bring up Charlotte Gilman. I love her. I really enjoyed reading about her in The Domestic Revolution. She was a speaker at the Evanston Woman’s Club and was a catalyst in the creation of The Community Kitchen. She spoke to the group about “The Waste of Women’s Labor.”

      Thanks for the blog referral. I will check her out.

      I want to get my hands on a copy of the speech she gave to the women at the Evanston Woman’s Club. It is going to be a scene in the memoir. Can you imagine being in a room with Charlotte Perkins Gilman speaking? I wish I could time travel — guess that is why we write about it and read about it.

      Do you know anything about Dolores Hayden? Is she active on social media? Do you have contact information for her? I have been meaning to try to find contact info. for her.

      The women involved with the creation of the CK were visionaries and like The Domestic Revolution mentioned, it was a vision of women in the Evanston community for a long time.

      It is so exciting to meet you.