Beyond the Classroom and to the Kitchen

Since taking a seat in my first University History lecture I have been immersed in stories – I’ve witnessed racial-tension spilling across America, I’ve seen ancient conflict on the Mongolian steppe, I’ve followed the wayfarers of the Pacific as they navigated the unknown.
In this, the last semester of my degree, I pause to reflect on why I’ve enjoyed these subjects and why I do history. As ‘the future of work’ focus seemingly shifts toward STEM, a soon-to-be Arts graduate like myself could be left asking the same question that an elderly lady upon the train asked me the other day – ‘what are you going to do with a degree like that?’. Though struck, in this encounter, with nothing to say, if I were to be caught on the train with the same lady, my answer to that question would now be – ‘tell stories’. I love history because I love stories. No matter how good an idea, without the ability to communicate it, it remains unrealised. Stories, I believe, hold the power to communicate, convince and create. This power reaches far beyond the classroom.
Aside from stories, I also love cooking. When asked what organisations I would be interested in working with in History Beyond the Classroom, the Monday Morning Cooking Club found its way to my list – an outlier amongst the museums and libraries, though a perfect match for my passion for food and history. Since 2006 the women of Monday Morning Cooking Club have been collecting, testing, curating and preserving the recipes of the Jewish community – sharing them with Australia and beyond in three spectacular books so far. For me, what makes these books so special are the stories. Around each recipe in MMCC’s books, a tapestry of Jewish culture, heart-warming personal memoirs and heirloom, culinary histories is woven. My project will be focused on helping with the collection of these stories.
Enrolling in this subject, I could not have imagined that I would have the opportunity to combine my love for stories, cooking and history whilst working with a group whose books I have been a fan of since first picking them up years ago. I am beyond excited to take history beyond the classroom and to the kitchen.
If you are in need of some culinary inspiration yourself, the Monday Morning Cooking Club website features some of their amazing recipes –