The Way to a Man’s Heart, “The Settlement” Cook Book
This is the 2nd edition of the Settlement Cookbook.
Lizzie Black Kander was born in Milwaukee in 1858 to parents of English and Bavarian descent who were among the founding families of the local Reform community, which believed in reconciling religion with the progressive ideas of the age. She began her philanthropic activities early in her life, beginning with helping poor immigrant families, mostly Russian Jews, in Milwaukee. She founded the first settlement house there. In 1901, when the Settlement’s (male) Board refused to pay the printing costs ($18.00) of recipe booklets for her cooking classes, they suggested that if she wanted to raise this money, that she should do it herself. Which she did—most successfully. She raised the funds and printed 1000 copies of a book that sold out within a year. Two years later, in 1903, she published a second edition (1500 copies), which is on display. From then on, she served as editor until her death in 1940, always revising, expanding and testing recipes. According to legend, she was still planning on testing recipes on the day she died, at eighty-two.In 1939, Kander was honored by the state of Wisconsin as one of the state's outstanding women. In 1951, the Wisconsin Historical Society selected The Settlement Cookbook as one of the most influential volumes in their library of 3.6 million titles. The Historical Society recently published a biography of Mrs. Kander as part of a series presenting role models for young people. It begins “What does it take to change the lives of millions of people? The Historical Society encouraged its young readers to ‘get to know an amazing woman who saw people around her who needed help and spent her life doing something about it.’”
Lizzie Kander was truly an “Amazing Woman” who leaned upon the love of her community to make life better for those in need. While new editions are no longer understood as Jewish charity cookbooks, this may be the most influential book of its kind. In addition to giving back millions of dollars to Milwaukee charities, this book has helped “settle” folks into American kitchens, safeguarding the presence of homemade meals.
- MIlwaukee, WI
- JBLCA, Special Collections Library
- Hardcover book