The Evanston Community Kitchen

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

Happy International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day!

“Women are the real architects of society.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe

Events sometimes converge to create opportunities for people to gather and create great things that have a profound effect on our world. At the height of WWI, in the midst of food conservation, labor shortages, the Temperance Movement and Women’s Suffrage, the Evanston Community Kitchen emerged as a lightning rod for women who found their world and roles in it rapidly changing. The Community Kitchen was an innovative idea that sparked advances in food preparation and delivery — becoming the model replicated throughout the nation in the early 1920’s. Read more about the exceptional grande dames of the Evanston Woman’s Club and their solutions to this challenging period in history.

What women inspire you? What  women would you invite to a dinner party and what would you serve for dinner? It’s hard to settle on a number of women to invite, so choose your own.

I would invite Elizabeth Odell (my great-grandmother), Elizabeth Odell Welch (my grandmother), Elizabeth Welch Miller (my mother), Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Helen Palmer Dawes, Nellie Appleton Kingsley and Susan B. Anthony. Elizabeth Odell, Helen Palmer Dawes, and Nellie Kingsley were the co-founders of The Evanston Community Kitchen.

I would serve a four-course gourmet meal catered by The Community Kitchen, of course!

“Evanston is remarkable in nothing if not for the ability, individuality, and enterprise of its women.”

— Frances E. Willard

Image Source:

Frances Willard on her bicycle in Evanston, Illinois                                                  Image Source:



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