Bra burning, Rosie the Riveter, even the Pill: all these are symbols that come to mind when we think of women's lib. But cookbooks? We didn't realize they were on the list. However an upcoming event hosted by the Culinary Historians of Southern California will change all that.

Jan Longone, Curator of American Culinary History at the University of Michigan, will lead a lecture titled “The Old Girl Network: Charity Cookbooks and the Empowerment of Women” on April 9th at the Mark Taper Auditorium. She'll explain the legacy of “charity cookbooks,” or cookbooks compiled and sold for the benefit of others, as well as how they fed into the women's movement, almost unbeknownst to men.

As the Culinary Historians explain it, “These cookbooks demonstrate how women worked together to help themselves, other women and the outside world. They championed many causes: suffrage, education, temperance, prohibition, equal rights, working conditions, welfare, immigration and legal rights and responsibilities. Along the way, the recipes and how-to advice in the books offer a compelling glimpse into America's cooking habits and its region-by-region culinary heritage.”

A reception with (yet unnamed) themed refreshments will follow the talk, which begins at 10:30 a.m. and lasts one hour. No reservations necessary.

LA Weekly