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  • A Brief History of The Miriam and our Culinary Beginnings

  • The Miriam 1926
    The first Miriam Hospital opened on Parade Street in Providence in 1926.

    A more detailed history can be found in the pages of Simply More Delicious.

    In 1897, The Miriam Hospital Women's Association started as a women's charitable lodge affiliated with a national Jewish fraternal lodge, B'rith Abraham. From the beginning, food played an important role.

    The members of this order, Miriam Lodge No. 13, took on the responsibility of feeding those who were ill and needy in the Jewish immigrant community.

    Prairie Avenue and Parade Street

    Kosher food was cooked in huge pots on the two-burner stove in the back of Mary Grant's millinery shop on Prairie Avenue in Providence. Each woman was assigned a day to bring Kosher meals to the hospital and to visit with and serve the Jewish patients. On Friday afternoons, candles were brought to patients so that they could usher in the Sabbath.

    A committee of The Miriam Hospital Association supervised the preparation and serving of kosher foods for Passover.

    On November 12, 1921, after membership had grown to 1,900 members, a deposit of $1,000 was placed on a property consisting of four adjoining buildings on Parade Street in Providence, with a total purchase price of $27,000. It took four years to complete renovations and obtain the proper medical equipment. On November 16, 1925, The Miriam Hospital received its first patient.

    The New Building

    In March of 1944, an agreement was signed to purchase the former Jewish Orphanage of Rhode Island at 164 Summit Avenue. In 1952, the new 150-bed Miriam Hospital opened its doors.

    Today, there are two separate kitchens in accordance with the sanitary law, and the most modern arrangements are employed. The food is prepared and served from the main kitchen. There is no rehandling or reheating of food. The service is also planned and systematized so that no time is lost and the food is served hot. The Miriam Hospital has historically and continues to consistently aim to serve palatable food in accordance with the dietary laws.

    Simply Delicious

    Simply Delicious

    In 1975, The Miriam Hospital Association produced a cookbook, Simply Delicious, which sold out through 3 printings, the last of which resulted in a national mail order business. In total, the 1975 cookbook earned $80,000 in profits for The Miriam. Mothers and grandmothers have passed their cookbooks down to new generations. Simply Delicious has been unavailable since 1988 and is still often requested.

    Simply More Delicious is a collection of 500 recipes brought to you by some of Rhode Island's most notable and knowledgeable food lovers, which builds upon The Miriam's rich culinary history.

    Order your copy of Simply More Delicious today