Do you have a taste for history?
Then help yourself to a new cookbook from a Kent women’s group – and support a Kent landmark in the process.
Now available, The Coterie Cookbook: One Hundred Years of Friendship and Good Food, features more than 100 recipes from club members. It continues a culinary camaraderie that began 114 years ago, according to the Kent Coterie group.
Coterie II member Jill Beer masterminded the project as a way to raise money for the maintenance of the Patton House. The historic Victorian home at 529 W. Main St. was built in 1902 by William Patton, a former Kent schools superintendent, and his wife, Emma. The couple’s daughter left the home to the Coterie, a club to which she belonged, when she died in 1939.
Kent residents Thomas Hatch, Kent Historical Society administrator and founder of an educational publishing and development company, designed and produced the book, and his wife, Jance Lentz-Hatch, a Coterie III member and a painter, provided illustrations throughout.
Kent Coterie, whose name comes from a word meaning “Circle of Friends,” began in 1896 as a way to “bring together cooking and literary pursuits,” according to information in the book from Coterie I member Darlene Kousaie. As the original group grew, and daughters, daughters-in-law and friends were invited to join, it expanded to its current 120 members in five distinct Coteries that work together.
“You tend to have threads of families through Coterie and see some of the same names coming up all the way through,” Beer said. “There is a lot of history there. It is very much a sort of microcosm of Kent history.”
The home – for a short time – served as the home of two Kent State University presidents and still houses some original furniture, including Emma Patton’s piano. These days it can be rented as a meeting place for clubs, organizations or individuals, which is another way Coterie raises funds to care for the home. In 2009, Coterie III began a monthly meal event called Emma’s Luncheon, “in response to the need for greater financial support for our much loved Patton House,” according to the book.
The cookbook is available for $15 and can be purchased by calling Beer at 330-673-1607 or at local Kent retailers including McKay Bricker Gallery, Dalton’s Furniture, DuBois Book Store and Logos Books.
For more information about the Patton House call 330-673-5112.