Food History Conference in Ann Arbor

For those who wondered what I was doing on that ferry, I was heading to Ann Arbor for the Second Biennial Symposium on American Culinary History: Regional and Ethnic Traditions. 

trading card 2014

Conference website via Internet Archive

It started Friday morning with a trip to Zingerman’s Deli. A place not to be missed, and one I had been looking forward to getting to since my brother shot by it without stopping coming home from ALHFAM at Henry Ford a few years ago. They had a special tasting set up with different cheeses, olive oils, vinegars, etc. We were one of the first to arrive and were escorted upstairs by Ari Weinzweig himself. After that we braved the town’s parking ramp system, and finally found a place we were allowed to legally park. Luckily all of the U of Michigan students we asked for directions over the weekend were very nice and knew their campus. Honestly I live in a college town and THIS paarking was about 100 times worse.

The lectures were in Rackham Auditorium which is a beautiful room that looks something like an alien Senate out of some Sci Fi movie. For a full report and summary of the speakers see the webpage link above. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to add some more highlights tomorrow.

UPDATED May 5 2017: I added several links and fixed the conference website link with Internet Archive. I also added a photo and the current signature block. I added a couple of sentences for clarity.

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 onFacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.


Ferry Ride

The MIchigan shore
View from High Speed Express Ferry Coming into Michigan

I have wanted to try the Express Ferry across Lake Michigan for a long time. I hate to drive through Chicago and this is a way around that.  Today I finally got to. It was the high speed ferry, Express Ferry, between Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Muskegeon, Michigan. It took about two hours and was very well organized. It didn’t really save any time, but it was very enjoyable. It was kind of a choppy day and a couple of people felt sick, but I felt fine. Get there early. It was fairly easy to find the terminal to get on. It was more expensive than I was hoping, but I enjoyed it.

UPDATED May 9 2018: I added my current signature block and the photo which is from the time of the original post.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Seeking Laura Ingalls Wilder Letters – PR help

I’m trying a free press release news service to try to garner more attention for the project. It will be more likely to be picked up by Google News if it has more individual clicks on it. Please click on the link.


Sarah Uthoff 

Decorah in the Spring

Actually it felt more like summer as our weather continued to pendulum back and forth between unusually cold weather and unusually hot. I was driving up to Decorah to give a class, so I was within 10 minutes of Burr Oak, but didn’t actually make it up there. The wonderful restaurant, the Victorian Rose that used to be in the beautifully restored Hotel Winnishiek has closed. I had heard they were cutting it back, but I mean closed as in space now entirely filled by a spa. Luckily just across the street and down a little bit, is a great tea room called Hart’s Tea & Tart’s. I highly recommend it, but it’s only open for lunch and afternoon treats.

You might also notice that several of the nearby counties have gotten on the barn quilt bandwagon. This is a fairly new program where people paint giant quilt squares, get people to hang them on their barns, and then make a tour for people to drive around the county and see them. It’s a nice opportunity to get off the beaten path, but having seen some in several different counties now, some counties definitely do a better job with it than others.

By the way, the class went really well and while we didn’t have that many people, they all drove for some distance to come, including two from Wisconsin.

Sarah Uthoff

Michigan One-Room School Conference

For those of you who don’t know ,Michigan is hot bed of organization these days. Not only do they have probably the best CCC organization in the country, if their one-room school community isn’t the best organized, then it’s in the top two.

The Michigan One-Room Schoolhouse Association will meet hold its annual meeting in Marshall, Michigan, on Saturday, May 19, 2007 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Follow the link to see their agenda. It sounds like a great day.

Also, please remember that the national one-room school conference, hosted by the CSAA will soon be upon us. I’ll be missing it because I’m saving my big trip this year for September, but it seems to be coming together well and Susan has been doing a great job of organizing it. Thanks, Susan!

 Sarah Uthoff

Earth Day and Arbor Day

This month saw both Earth Day and Arbor Day. I celebrated Earth Day in my usual way, by forgetting to wear my official Earth Day T-shirt….again. I also got a free tree to plant from the National Mississippi River Museum, but it’s still in a vase on the kitchen table.

Arbor Day is much more important to me. One of my favorite gifts to send people is a certificate from the National Arbor Day Organization that trees have been planted in their honor. It also played an important role in many one-room schools. There were entire books (I have several) put out by some of the states each year on how to properly celebrate Arbor Day in your school with informative lessons, poetry, and photos. Iowa’s state quarter features a slightly modified image of Grant Wood’s painting “Arbor Day.” Find out more about it, here Be sure to check out the great coloring page.

The idea of Arbor Day started in Nebraska with Sterling Morton. His house and grounds are preserved and the National Arbor Day headquarters is nearby in another of his former properties. My family used to make it part of any trip west to stop by Nebraska City (south of Omaha) and tour the house. It has a Tiffany Glass skylight and a gorgeous rose garden. Two of Morton’s sons started very successful businesses, Morton Salt and Redwing Cornstarch. One of them endowed an Arboretum in Chicago, another place to stop and think about Arbor Day.

 Sarah S. Uthoff 

Articles, Articles, Articles

We have a selection of new Laura Ingalls Wilder articles today. If you can’t get the links to work, click on what you can link and copy and paste the rest of the URL.

First up, we have a story on CNN about the 75th Anniversary of “Little House in the Big Woods.”

Second, here’s an article I found via our friends at the Ingalls Homestead website.

Third, here’s an article about me with a full color photo, from the Kalona News.

Sarah S. Uthoff