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New Jersey author explores the history of women and cooking at Lunchtime Program


Melt butter the size of a hen’s egg? Use a gill of yeast? Julia Child never talked like this!

These old-fashioned measurements, however, did little to dissuade Laura Schenone, who simply did what any die-hard chef would do: she got a hen’s egg, of course, and measured the butter accordingly.

Thankfully, for the modern cook, Schenone has adapted old recipes into new ones as part of her ground-breaking new book, A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove: A History of American Women Told Through Food, Recipes, and Remembrance. This book — the first of its kind — takes one of the most fundamental aspects of women’s work and transforms it into a compelling account of the significant relationship between women, food and history.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Schenone, a Montclair, NJ resident, will be a featured guest speaker during a Lunchtime Program and Book Signing at The New Jersey Historical Society at 52 Park Place in Newark on Wednesday, March 3, 2004 from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is free. Schenone will also provide tasting samples from her book.

From the ingenuity of Native American tribes to the ethnic-infused dishes of dozens of other immigrant groups, the handing down of recipes from mother to daughter has been a universal rite of passage.

“Cooking helps us find a secret language of women because it has been communicated entirely outside of the usual accounts of history—wars and great men,” said Schenone, a freelance writer and journalist.

includes recipes, photographs, illustrations from artists, informative sidebars, quotations, and other rare sources. The book can be purchased for $35 in the History Shop of the Historical Society. Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch.

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