LANG 1101 Students test out a Suffrage Cookbook recipe

Language and Food

Welcome to the Language of Food, a First Year Seminar of the University of Wyoming. Students in this class learn about linguistics and food culture. Each student completes a research project and shares their results in a live presentation. Here's a video I put together for a 2022 World Languages Day Workshop. Watch it to learn more about UW's First Year Seminar and a Pecha Kucha presentation. Also, there are three Pecha Kucha presentations from students in the 2021 class for you to choose to enjoy.


Karma's Kitchen: Service Learning

The Research

In this FYS, students choose various topics to research inspired by either their international conversation partners, class lectures, or personal interest. In 2019, we celebrated the 150th anniversary of women's voting rights in Wyoming. That year the class examined the importance of cookbook sales to the Suffrage Movement.

Between 1886 and 1920 at least six cookbooks were published by suffragette associations around the country. Suffrage Cookbooks had not only recipes but also political statements and quotes from notable people of the time and from history. These all helped move the suffrage movement forward.

It's important to remember that it was only a few generations ago that a state constitution had these words: 

Idiots, lunatics, paupers, felons and women shall not be entitled to vote. -- Illinois constitutional law circa 1891 

Sales of cookbooks not only raised money for the Suffrage Movement, but they also allowed women to network during sales events such as bazaars and fairs. 

Poster regarding the Women's Suffrage Movement and Cookbooks


… I ask the ballot for myself and my sex.
As I stood by you, I pray you stand by me and mine.
-- Clara Barton, The Holiday Gift Cook Book, 1891

Give us the vote and we will cook
The Better for a wide outlook
-- 1909 Washington Women's Cook Book

Now that women are coming into their own, and being sincerely interested in the welfare of the race, it is entirely proper that they should prescribe the food, balance the ration, and tell how it should be prepared and served.
 -- L. O. Kleber, Editress, The Suffrage Cook Book, 1915

Dec. 22, 1914.
Editress Suffrage Cook Book:
After observing the operation of the women suffrage laws and full political rights in the state and territory of Wyoming for many years, I have no hesitation in saying that everything claimed by the advocates of such laws have been made good in the state. I am unqualifiedly and without reservation in favor of woman suffrage and equal political rights for women for all states of the American union.
Very truly yours, JOSEPH M. CAREY, Governor.
-- Suffrage Cook Book, 1915


The Charity: UW's Karma Fund

Each year in this class, students select a charity to support.  In 2020, due to the pandemic, students created ornaments for the UW Art Museum's fundraiser ornament auction. In 2018, and 2019 students selected the Karma Fund for their charity. The Karma Fund is a program created by the UW International Student Association in 2011 to help raise money for international students in case of a medical emergency. The funds from Karma help pay for medical expenses and help students return to school. The photos below include arrows as a scrollbar. The first photo shows a 2018 student Brenna Kosowicz presenting a check to the International Students and Scholars Office Representative Jessie Hughes. To access 2019 student photos, click on the arrows. 

logo of Karma's Kitchen

Students sold the mason jars of cookies at the 2019 Holiday Market on December 13, 2019. They also displayed posters representing their research on both international topics and historical topics, including the Suffrage Cookbooks. 

2018 student presents a check to Karma Fundstudents cook during a class sessionstudents try a recipe during a classstudents try a recipe during a classstudents try a recipe during classStudents walk to the Big Hollow Food Coop to conduct food studies researchstudents walk to the Food Co-op.students walk to the Big Hollow Food CoopStudents work on posters or prepare to distribute flyersstudents prepare to bakestudents work on research and publicitystudents work to assemble the mason jarsstudents stop to pose for picture during the assembly of the ginger bread  jarsstudents assemble jars of gingerbread ingredients

1886 Recipe & Contemporary Recipe

The recipes in the 1886 Woman Suffrage Cook Book. do not contain instructions for baking temperature nor timing of baking, so students worked hard to test four takes on the older recipe. The mason jars that are being offered reflect a modern take on this recipe. The recipe we found for the jar mix is slightly different so that it is easier to make in a jar and requires less obscure ingredients.

Image of the Woman Suffrage Cook Book (1886) and the recipe students chose

1886 Recipe:

Soft Molasses Gingerbread. 

One cupful of sugar, one-half cupful of butter, once cupful of milk, one egg, one cupful of molasses, one teaspoonful of soda in the milk, three scant cupfuls of flour, ginger or not as you like. 

--Lucy Goddard.

from The Women's Suffrage Cook Book, page 81

NOTE: Periods after titles were commonplace formatting in this cookbook, and even the book's title ends in a period: Woman Suffrage Cook Book.

Karma Kitchen's Recipe:

All Organic Ingredients (purchased at Laramie's Big Hollow Food Co-Op):

light brown sugar, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, chopped crystallized ginger, flour, baking powder, baking soda


Mix 3/4 cup (150 g.) melted butter with 1 Tbsp molasses and 1 egg yolk. Add to the dry ingredients, mix well, then knead to a dough. Chill for 15 min then roll out 1/4 inch thick. Shape with cookie cutters, place 2 inches apart, and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 mins. Cool on a wire rack. 

Ready to order? Click here!


photo of layered ingredients for gingerbread cookies for the Karma's Kitchen Fundraiser

Meet the Class (2019)

students pose in front of Hoyt Hall on the University of Wyoming Campus
Top: Simon Talcott, Erik Gwaltney, Emma Magruder, Katie Banks, Josie Fettig, Evan Duel; Second: Anna Papadopoulos, Elena Stewart, Emily Smith, Megan McFate, Maggie Rossman, Sam Espinoza, Marissa Brenneman, Claire Rankin; Bottom right: Krisanna Andrews, Kaylen Maltais; Not Pictured: Shayna Deveraux

This Event is Made Possible 

... through generous support from:

Service | Leadership | Community Engagement

One of the goals of SLCE is to strengthen communities and address local and global issues through action. The class received a grant for its service learning component. Through this funding, we were able to connect students to international conversation partners and purchase equipment and supplies to try recipes from across time and space.

Engagement and Outreach

The Office of Engagement and Outreach was created to coordinate and streamline engagement efforts on campus. We received support to purchase materials for our Suffrage Tasting Event, including the mason jars and stickers which proudly display our logo.

Our event is also an officially recognized Wyoming Women's Suffrage Celebration event endorsed by the League of Women Voters of Wyoming.

logo of women's suffrage in Wyoming

FYE logo  Dept. 3334 | 1000 E. University Ave. | Laramie, WY 82071 | Phone: 307-766-2325 | Email: