Midwestern Newspaper Food Editors: Ruth Ellen Church, Clarice Rowlands & Peggy Daum

Presented by
Kimberly Wilmot Voss, PhD
American Midwest Foodways Scholar’s Grant recipient, 2013

This talk is the story of three significant Midwestern food editors from the 1950s and 1960s. Ruth Ellen Church joined the Chicago Tribune as cooking editor in 1936 and oversaw one of the first test kitchens at a newspaper. She published many cookbooks—several under the pen name of Mary Meade. She remained the food editor until 1974 and became the nation’s first newspaper wine editor in 1962. Clarice Rowlands joined the Milwaukee Journal as food editor in 1943 based on an interest she developed as a member of the 4-H Club in high school. She occasionally wrote under the pen name Alice Richards. Peggy Daum began working in the women’s pages in the 1950s and was the food editor at the Milwaukee Journal from 1968 to 1988. She initiated the creation of what is now known as the Association of Food Journalists and was its first president. These women documented what home cooks were making and what was served in fine restaurants. They judged cooking contests and oversaw recipe exchange programs. They also had a lot of fun. Continue reading

Greater Midwest Foodways: High Tea with Amelia Earhart

High Tea by Gerri
Literary dramatist Leslie Goddard in character as Amelia Earhart

American aviator Amelia Earhart’s courageous exploits and spirited personality made her an international celebrity. Her dazzling achievements include becoming the first woman to cross the Atlantic ocean by airplane (1928) and the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic (1932). She set numerous speed and altitude records before disappearing mysteriously in 1937 during an attempted around-the-world flight.

Leslie Goddard’s presentation reviews Amelia Earhart’s upbringing, the records she broke, and her tireless work to promote opportunities for women. Continue reading

High Tea

Below Stairs: A Servants Life in Early 20th Century England
Guest Speaker Leslie Goddard
in Character as Margaret Powell

Maid pouring afternoon tea

What was life really like for the servants who worked below stairs in the era of Downton Abbey?  While we enjoy an ‘upstairs’ tea, literary dramatist Leslie Goddard will take us ‘downstairs’ to experience life below stairs in the stately homes of early 20th century England.  Goddard will portray British domestic servant Margaret Powell whose 1968 book Below Stairs was among the inspirations for the popular television series Downtown Abbey and directly inspired the 1970s series Upstairs, Downstairs. Continue reading