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Twentieth Century Club rolls out fifth cookbook for fundraising efforts

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By Nora Tarte

In 1907, the Twentieth Century Club published a cookbook. 

“What’s really interesting about it is back in that day there were not a lot of resources in Reno,” Kimberly Elliott, the current club president, said. It was a smaller town, the state was new. 

“The Twentieth Century Club was filling the gaps where government services provide those services today,” Elliott said.

In order to pay for setting up a juvenile justice center, opening a library and starting a kindergarten, the group needed to make money.

In 1898, at a time when there weren’t a lot of opportunities for women, the Twentieth Century Club began gifting scholarships to women for nursing.

In 1906, when the earthquake hit San Francisco, Reno was sending a lot of needed items to victims. They had stuff like clothes and housewares to send, but there wasn’t any money for other types of relief.

And that’s how the idea to create a cookbook came about. 

The recipes in Twentieth Century Club’s first cookbook back in 1907 were different because kitchens were different and a lot of shelf-stable items like mayonnaise couldn’t be purchased at the store. 

“These were women that didn’t have electric kitchens and they had an ice box with a block of ice in it (instead of a freezer),” Elliott said.

Three more cookbooks came after the first in 1934, 1964 and 1994.

While each cookbook was packed with recipes, they also morphed with the times and are, in some ways, time capsules. By 1934 electric kitchens were becoming mainstream, but people were also coming out of the Great Depression and as a result were more mindful of not being wasteful.

By 1964, women were beginning to work outside of the home, so recipes included were faster and easier to make.

The 2022 published cookbook reflects a different time in history, one inspired by the pandemic, and includes a lot of comfort foods.

It’s different for another reason, too. Instead of only publishing the recipes submitted by members in 2021, the book also includes recipes from all of the previous cookbooks with an introduction that explains the landscape of home kitchens at the time and outside influences that changed the way women cooked.

In addition to the older recipes, there are about 40 new recipes in the 2022 book. The cookbook is 221 pages long with a section that details the history of the club, its clubhouse and notable past members.

The goal, however, is the same—to raise funds to support the group’s noteworthy causes, specifically the nursing and radiology scholarships offered through TMCC.

“We wanted to be able to do something that was tangible that celebrated the fact that we were 125 years,” Elliott said of the book’s other purpose.

To get your hands on a copy, visit Flag Store Sign & Banner in Sparks or Sundance Books in Reno. The book can also be purchased online through twentiethcenturyclub.org.

Researchers: Unhealthy air, secondhand smoke found in all areas of casinos

AI image of people smoking in a casino. Created by This Is Reno using Dall-e technology.
AI image of people smoking in a casino. Created by This Is Reno using Dall-e technology.

Public health researchers have found that smoking casinos have unhealthy air regardless of whether those areas are designated for smoking.

Secondhand smoke toxins are “prominent in every area of casinos – not just in places where smoking is allowed” the researchers said in a press release this week.

The findings are based on air quality testing in Reno and Las Vegas.

“Arcades intended for children’s entertainment, bowling alleys, restaurants and even restrooms were found to have poorer air quality than some smoking areas due to indoor smoking,” they added.

Eric Crosbie, associate professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Nevada, Reno, led researchers who monitored smoking versus non-smoking properties. 

Their research “shows that even with a small number of active smokers present in gaming areas, PM2.5 levels in non-smoking areas still could peak under the ‘unhealthy’ and ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ range as identified by the air quality ratings set by the Environmental Protection Agency.”   

“Our study showed that most properties had only about five people out of 100 who were active smokers, yet the particulate matter attributed to secondhand smoke in non-smoking areas was still substantial and, in some cases, higher than smoking areas,” he said.   

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