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The Science of Cooking, the Art of Friendship

Mix one-part cooking technique, one-part recipe, one-part history and one-part friendship, and you have the new Thursday Afternoon Cooking Club cookbook. Author and philanthropist Sondra Langel brings the delicious story of the 127-year-old Thursday Afternoon Cooking Club to vibrant life in the 236-page combination cookbook and historic telling of America’s oldest cooking club.

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Assembling the Materials and Stories Behind the Recipes

Thursday Afternoon Cooking Club is a story of cooking and eating and friendship. Started in a time when food prep was done on wood-burning stoves, the club evolved into a group that treasures fine dining, lovely table settings and beautiful food. For more than a hundred years, they have collected recipes, traded secrets and studied the tools of home cooking. This book presents a colorful collection of tasty recipes as well as a brief narrative of food history and food science. It explores the changing roles of women from the 19th century into the 21st.

The recipes in this book are as charming and classic as the women who make up the Thursday Afternoon Cooking Club. I loved getting to know the cooks – and the stories – behind the recipes.

Denise Neil
Restaurant Writer
The Wichita Eagle

This book is a wonderful collection of recipes from Wichita women who love to cook, women you may know, interspersed with stories and anecdotes of the historic Thursday Afternoon Cooking Club. It is a volume to enjoy but, more importantly, to use!

Barb Mohney
Thursday Afternoon
Cooking Club President

As a caterer specializing in Italian cuisine, I own more cookbooks than I can ever use – it is my passion. Thursday Afternoon Cooking Club represents 127 years of culture covering recipes from Mediterranean to Lebanese to true Americana. The photographs and the wonderful recipes are a historic representation of cuisine on the Plains, a must for every cook.

Dr. Pina Mozzani, Ph.D.
Director of Vocal Studies and Canta in Italia
Wichita State University

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An Ongoing Quest for New Cooking Strategies

Thursday Afternoon Cooking Club members have been gathering for more than 125 years. Each meeting features a luncheon and usually a demonstration of a new tool or strategy for cooking. They share recipes and critique dishes prepared for them. They listen to presentations on technique and explore the newest cooking equipment, from the 1891 Dover egg beater, through pressure steam cooking and the biscuit brake, to the latest electric crepe-maker.

Sondra Langel

Thursday Afternoon Cooking Club is the second collaboration between editor Sondra Langel and photographer Larry Schwarm. The first was Wichita Artists in Their Studios, published in 2016. Its 50 portraits of both well-established and emerging artists showcases those magical spaces the public rarely sees – where the creative process takes place. Langel – a philanthropist, community activist and tireless volunteer – draws upon her years as a freelance writer to unearth stories worth telling and preserving. Once she embraces a project, she brings others into her vision and marshals the resources needed to see it through to triumphant completion.

Larry Schwarm

Award-winning photographer and distinguished professor of photography Larry Schwarm has earned critical acclaim for his documentary style. Most recently, his collaboration with a team of researchers resulted in the exhibition Kansas Land, showcasing the impact of everything from climate change to biofuels. His work lives in the collections of many museums including the Los Angeles County, Baltimore, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Spencer and Ulrich Museums of Art; Duke University, Library of Congress, Nelson-Atkins, Smithsonian, University of Chicago and the Wichita Art Museum.

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Food Science and Women’s Changing Roles

Since its inception in the 19th century the club has reflected the changing roles of women as well as transformative developments in food science. This book looks back on club history through its hand-written minute books and scrapbooks overflowing with photographs and clippings. It features luncheon menus with recipes and gorgeous food photos.

Order Today

Thursday Afternoon Cooking Club is available for order. Find it in Wichita bookstores and select retailers (The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, The Workroom, Trios, Watermark Books, Wichita Art Museum and more).

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