South Dakota History Conference Everybody Eats 2016

I had never had been at South Dakota State Historical Society annual conference before they asked me to come and be the second day’s keynote speaker, but I’m very glad they did. It was really a well organized and the prep, the information, the vendors, the meals was all really top rate. They’ve been doing this annual meeting since around the 1980s. They shift responsibility between the various departments of the historical society so each department does it every 5 years or so. This year it was done by the department that does their museum and the theme was Everybody Eats. This year’s conference was on April 29-30, 2016.

Susan Evans McClure of Smithsonian presenting in front of the Swedish Chef

Susan Evans McClure of Smithsonian

Conference Structure

The conference starts with a fundraising event on Thursday night and then with a full day on Friday with a reception following and a slightly shorter day on Saturday. Lunch is provided both Thursday and Friday and it was very good. The sessions were held in a room with theater style seating (with writing arm rests). I’d like to commend the organizers both for starting and ending sessions on time, but also having networking breaks of a decent length to talk to people.

One small grumble was that the room was really cold Friday morning and really hot Friday afternoon. I normally dress in layers and expect anything from conference session “weather” but this was unusually severe at both ends.

The vendor “room” ran on either side of the hallway right outside the main session room compelling you to walk by them every time you left. That window shopping should have supported them being there which in turn supports the conference. Vendors were there all day both days and there was a nice mix and number of them.

Jerome Kills Small, Harvesting Native Foods and Medicines

Jerome Kills Small, Harvesting Native Foods and Medicines

Friday Speakers

Speakers were on a single track and had a nice variety all focused on various aspects about foodways in South Dakota. The day opened with Jay D. Vogt, Director of the South Dakota State Historical Society,  giving a brief rundown on the variety of South Dakota foodways. Wanda Goodman, Media & Industry Relations Manager, South Dakota Department of Tourism followed up with a rundown of South Dakota food events. Opening activities ended with Conference Moderator Brad Tennant giving a brief overview of the conference.

The keynote speaker the first day was Susan Evans McClure of the Smithsonian Museum of American History. The Smithsonian has been working on more food into both their displays and their programming because food is an entry point to history that people can understand. She talked about their restoration of the Julia Child kitchen and individually related artifacts like a Mr. Peanut from the fence surrounding the Planter peanut plant. Another interesting bit I didn’t know was that spam was part of the lend-lease program. I knew it was involved in World War II, but I didn’t know it was part of that program. The Smithsonian has created a new section completed focused around food, FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950–2000. Follow them on Twitter under the hashtag at .

Next was Jerome Kills Small talked about Harvesting Foods and Medicines in the Siouan Homelands. He told stories of his life, about things that you could find on the prairie to eat, and how different cultures used similar things just using different names. He runs a daycamp every year teaching children about native life. He has lots of bear grease, he said he’d send me some. I hope he does.:)

Over lunch Jay Smith, State Museum Director, gave us a run down on the South Dakota State Historical Society Museum. It was a preview of the reception that night.

Bernie Hunhoff of "South Dakota Magazine"

Bernie Hunhoff of “South Dakota Magazine”

After lunch Bernie Hunhoff, founder of South Dakota Magazine spoke on “Coffee Please – Restaurant Stories of a Roaming Editor.” He told stories of mom and pop coffee shops and small restaurants across the state and some of the interesting people who run them.

Catherine Lambrecht presented “South Dakota’s Heirloom Recipes.” Lambrecht is one of the founders of the Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance. Their major project is an annual conference, but an early project was promoting heirloom recipes by creating a category of them at the state fairs. Recipes for the winning dishes are available on their website. Lambrecht told stories of her experiences of families sharing these recipes and their great diversity. Greater Midwest Foodways has been a real leader in reclaiming Midwest as a legitimate focus of study.

Catherine Lambrecht, Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance

Catherine Lambrecht, Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance

The final speaker of the day was filmmaker Troy McQuillen on the Aberdeen Railway Station Canteen documentary. While a lot of information has been presented about the North Platte Canteen in Nebraska, but this South Dakota one was equally impactful. The unique part of Aberdeen was they offered pheasant sandwiches. The unusual dish started as way to use a food supply available for free but word spread that it was something special. The documentary included interviews with 4 women who served in canteen, people who hunted pheasants even out of season & even former boy scouts who did running for the restaurant. I knew the story going in, but by 30 minutes in had me and quite a few people tearing up. Really didn’t care for the last 15 minutes, but I liked it enough to buy the DVD and got the recipe booklet. This is a four minute greatly condensed version.

Read more:
https://issuu.com/troymcquillen/docs/am_issue_3-5-issuu

The evening ended with a reception at the South Dakota State Historical Society Museum which let us see both their permanent exhibits and their current temporary exhibits “Play Ball! The National Pastime in South Dakota” and “South Dakota Environments: A Window to Past Times.”

Saturday Speakers

I was the Saturday keynote presenting “In the Pioneer Kitchen With Laura.” This was a brand new presentation and looked specifically at pioneer cooking in South Dakota as Ma and Laura would have practiced it. For this presentation, talking about eating greens, I actually picked, ate, and photographed dandelions.

Sarah S. Uthoff, "In the Pioneer Kitchen With Laura Ingalls Wilder"

Sarah S. Uthoff, “In the Pioneer Kitchen With Laura Ingalls Wilder”

Ken Stewart was next covering “Brewing in South Dakota, 1861-1941” looking at brewing beer, near beer, and soda before and after Prohibition. He had tracked down photos of breweries in addition to their stories and made a tour of those sites today to see what was left.

Kevin Gansz of Siouxland Heritage Museums “Cruisin’ Cuisine:  The Drive-Ins of Sioux Fall” looked at the culture of the drive-in, how it suddenly popped up, became dominant, and disappeared within a decade. He had put together a display about the local ones for the Siouxland Heritage Museum tracking down their spread, how they fell, and what traces remain of them today. It was hard to find a lot of stuff for the display because much of what was produced for drive-ins was meant to be thrown away, lots of staff rotated through they didn’t stay taking photos, and people just never had any idea they would disappear like it. Most of the early drive-in were small mom and pop operations, they would be sourced locally, and often jointly advertised with their suppliers. The fast food industry has changed a lot over the decades, Americans spent $6 billion on fast food in 1960 and $117 billion in 2015.

Kevin Gansz, Siouxland Heritage Museums

Kevin Gansz, Siouxland Heritage Museums

The lunch on the second day featured the annual awards presented by the South Dakota State Historical Society and then a serving a of Cookies and Cream ice cream from the South Dakota State University Creamery. Howard Bonnemann who has long run the creamery showed us highlights of the history of ice cream in general and the creamery in particular. The SDSU creamery is very well known in the area. Although there is some debate, the creamery claims the title of inventor of Cookies and Cream ice cream.

The conference ended with Jay D. Vogt giving some closing remarks and giving us the topic for next year.

Go West!

I truly enjoyed this conference. It was one of the most enjoyable I’ve been to in awhile and I strongly recommend it if you’re looking for an interesting, enjoyable history conference. They have one every year.

Find the details here on the archive of their website.

Press

http://listen.sdpb.org/post/dakota-midday-south-dakotas-food-heritage#stream/0

http://www.drgnews.com/south-dakota-state-historical-society-conference-april-29-30

http://www.capjournal.com/news/sd-history-conference-in-pierre-focuses-on-food-including-beer/article_ed2a2560-0e80-11e6-a568-27abfcaf8e3f.html

http://rapidcityjournal.com/south-dakota-food-heritage-is-theme-for-annual-history-conference/article_444e2fc5-7b32-5c21-8c60-83d4a464f8c1.html

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

 

Grasshopper Crosses

South Dakota Magazine regularly sends out a column to small newspapers across South Dakota, including the De Smet News. This recent article really sang out to me as part of the grasshopper plagues that Laura Ingalls Wilder talks about experiencing in On the Banks of Plum Creek. This plague struck states all over the Midwest, not just Minnesota and this article talks about one community’s response in South Dakota. I’m republishing the part about grasshoppers here with permission. OK, they were really Rocky Mountain Locusts – now extinct – but everybody calls them grasshoppers.

The town they describe, Jefferson, South Dakota, is about 2 and a half hours from De Smet near Sioux City, Iowa. The entire article has to do with spirituality in South Dakota and where to visit.  You’ll find the entire article at the link at the bottom.

Replica Grasshopper Cross

Replica Grasshopper Cross

Spirituality: A Unique Summer Tour May 19, 2016

Grasshoppers swarmed our fields and towns, devouring everything in their path in the 1870s. Farmers were ruined and entire communities suffered. Kampeska City, the precursor to Watertown, became a ghost town after the plague.

Father Pierre Boucher took action to protect Jefferson in the very southeast corner of today’s South Dakota. He planned a spiritual procession to ward off the hated insects. He announced his plan in Mass on a Sunday in the spring of 1876. The next morning, both Protestants and Catholics convened south of Jefferson and Boucher led them on an 11-mile procession. They ceremoniously placed crosses at four points, and another in the Jefferson cemetery. Soon after, throngs of dead grasshoppers were found nearby at the Big Sioux and Missouri Rivers. The crosses later became spiritual relics to Jefferson residents. One, outside St. Peter’s Catholic Church, was replaced in 1967. Others can be found 4 miles northwest of town on County Road 1B near the Southeast Farmers Coop Elevator and another near the corner of 330th Street and 480th Avenue west of Jefferson.

The wooden crosses are just one of many spiritual places that we recommend exploring in our May/June issue.

Find the full article here:
http://www.southdakotamagazine.com/spirituality-tour

Learn more in the May/June 2016 issue of South Dakota Magazine.

Quote: “Academic Writing Becomes Academic When…”

From time to time I offer a post with a quote I want to be able to find again. Usually it’s something true and clever and makes you think. This time is a very interesting take on academic writing, specifically that when you write in an academic style you are exposing your work, showing your work like they used to call it in math class, and letting people have a chance to repeat it or prove it wrong. I think that is the key point when it comes to any research or analysis. You have to go into with the attitude that this is to the best of your knowledge right now, but you may be proven wrong. That could be wrong is heart and soul of the theory of academic writing, sadly I don’t think there are people who don’t remember that.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Associate Executive Director and Director of Scholarly Communication of the Modern Language Association in an article about the future of citation and their new version of the MLA citation guide:

” This reproducibility is perhaps more accurately and evocatively described as falsifiability — the more skeptical, but more important sense that you could follow those procedures, or perhaps some better procedures, and wind up disproving the hypothesis in question. In this same way, research in the humanities exposes the details of its procedures via citation such that it too might be rendered falsifiable. Readers can return to the sources in question and render their own better interpretations of them. Academic writing becomes academic, in other words, precisely when it exposes its process to future correction.

Read the rest of the article:
https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the-future-of-academic-style-why-citations-still-matter-in-the-age-of-google

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on  FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

New Theme Trial 1 Quentus

Back in April I gave some previews of potential new themes. I limited it down to three possibilities. I’m going to try each one for a couple of weeks to see how it works out. I’ve discovered that themes change things you don’t expect for example the way captions show on photos so I want to try to live with each one of the three for a couple of weeks and see how it goes.

One of the three top finishers from comments across social media was Quentin. I was going to try that, but while it was gorgeous on the screen it wasn’t mobile friendly, so WordPress suggested I use the updated version Quentius. It isn’t as pretty, I especially wish I could change that block that the name is on with the brown with the gingerbread from Quentin, but I’m going to try this one for awhile.

Please let me know what you think.

As a reminder here is what Quentin looks like.

My Blog in Quentin

My Blog in Quentin

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

 

Long Distance Garage Sales

Something to look for on your Laura Ingalls Wilder trip.

Sarah's Notebook

What Cheer Flea Market What Cheer Flea Market

One of the things visitors from urban areas might come across on a Laura trip is a long distance garage sale. There are several stretches of famous roads that now organize garage sales that reach across counties and sometimes across states.

Garage Sales

Garage sales are known as tag sales in other parts of the country. In Midwestern towns and cities we call them garage sales because they are usually held in garages.

Families take extra stuff from around the house, price them, put out a few signs and flyers, and put up a table and cashbox and make deals with whoever happens along.

Regular garage sales usually are at different days of the week depending on community traditions, but are most commonly done on Fri. and Sat. Keep an eye out for them as you are traveling around. They can be a lot of fun…

View original post 374 more words

Highlight Object Pin Display Case

Open Pin Case

Open Pin Case

This is a very recent addition to my collection. I have added jewelry to my collection over the years.

Attempts at Storage and Display

I haven’t been too happy with how to store my Laura Ingalls Wilder jewelry. I had it in a solid glasses case so that I easily take it with me, but it was really overfull and it was so crowded hard to see the individual pins. Forget about display. I decided I wanted to move them into something where it would be easier to show them off when I wasn’t wearing them. After looking around at several options, I decided to get this glass top ring box.

Where Did You Get Those Pins?

Most of these pins were purchased at various homesites over the years. The majority are an image on metal with a protective layer covering the image. A few are from other places. For instance, the large blue Wisconsin was from when the Lions Club hosted their state meeting in Pepin. (I’ve actually found 2 of these and you can see the other on display at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Pepin.)Sharp eyed readers will probably note that I have 3 pairs of dangily earrings in the box in addition to the pins. After I do my bigger artifacts, I may return to the individual pins.

Closed Pin Case

Closed Pin Case

Problems

Most of the pins have a stud back with makes them a little harder to keep in place since the backs are wider than the intended rings, so you still have to carry it flat if you don’t want them jumping up and down. I’ve considered removing the backs, but I think that’s asking for more trouble. The earrings are also a poor fit and I haven’t even attempted to add the couple of necklaces I have so I’m still not completely satisfied.

I think I will have to get a second case after I gather up Laura jewelry that got stuffed here and there, but

for right now, I’m pleased with how it’s working. You can also get the same box in black if you want to try it for your Laura jewelry.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Another Chance for Pamela Hill Smith Course

New Class on Wilder Offered

Pamela Smith Hill standing in Rocky Ridge Living Room

Screen Capture from MOOC

Pamela Hill Smith, author of Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life, is going to rework her MOOC (Massive Open Online Class). A MOOC is a free internet based class where anyone can sign up for free and do as little or as much of the work as they want. MOOCs put a lot of good information out for free, but without a payment or penalty for failure to complete they have an abysmal completion rate.

Smith has previously done two classes, one semester each, focused on Laura Ingalls Wilder. Apparently she is reworking the two semesters into a one semester class with some new material.  The class will be held June 6, 2016-August 29, 2016.

Register and More Information

Find more information and register here:
https://www.canvas.net/browse/missourisu/courses/laura-ingalls-wilder-1

According to the MOOC’s Facebook page (and thanks to Connie Neumann for pointing me this way),

So we’ve done two courses so far – the early years and the later years – this is a combination of the two along with some new material.

Want To Know More?

Check out my post that has open links, no registration required to watch the videos from the first class. It links to the videos in order which were a little confusing just on the YouTube page and include brief summaries and comments by me. If you’re a Laura fan it’s worth watching a few of the videos simply due to the fact that she was allowed to photograph inside Rocky Ridge and normally you’re not so good, current photos of the inside can be hard to find.

WARNING: It’s a very big post and might take awhile to fully load even with a fast connection.

https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/missouri-state-and-laura-ingalls-wilder-and-the-mooc/

 

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.