June 5, 2015
April 28, 2015
Sue Doeden is as busy as a bee with a wide variety of culinary-related endeavors. She teaches cooking classes, writes food stories, develops recipes for food companies, conducts workplace wellness education, appears on a weekly television news segment called Good Food, Good Life, 365, and is a hobbyist beekeeper. Her new book, Homemade with Honey—the sixth book in the Northern Plate series, celebrating the bounty of the Upper Midwest—brings together all these activities.
In today’s post, Sue describes how she got her start in beekeeping.
“A beekeeper friend of mine invited me to watch as he introduced a wooden box of at least 30,000 bees and one queen to their new home–a hive positioned on a grassy space near basswood trees across the road from his house. Wearing a baggy white jumpsuit and a headpiece with a screen covering my face for protection, I cautiously looked on as the beekeeper expertly went through the annual spring process of getting a buzzing batch of bees into the hive.
“Before I headed home that evening, I dipped my finger into a frame of thick, sticky golden honey. Sweet and delicate, the natural substance produced by honey bees melted on my tongue. It was that one ambrosial taste of local honey that began my obsession with what honey lovers refer to as ‘liquid gold.’
“A couple of years after that first introduction to beekeeping, I had my own hives–and my own honey.”
Sue shares her tips on keeping bees happy and healthy as well as 75 recipes to entice all cooks, from beginners through the well seasoned, to spend time in their kitchen with honey. Recipes in the book range from savory starters to dreamy desserts and from quick and easy ways to enjoy honey to impressive gourmet delights. Check out her recipe for a salsa that’s excellent with grilled chicken or beef.
Honey Balsamic Black Bean and Mango Salsa
My younger son brought this salsa recipe home from college. Over the years, I’ve added some ingredients and taken away others to create a salsa that has just the right amount of heat, fresh crunch, color, and balance of sweet and tart. And you can do the same. Feel free to customize the salsa to suit your own taste buds. Just don’t leave out the honey.
Makes 3 1/2–4 cups
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 chubby clove garlic, minced
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 jalapeño, minced (you decide whether or not to remove the seeds)
1 firm, ripe mango, peeled and diced
1/2 cup finely chopped orange bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1–2 plum tomatoes, seeds removed, diced
1 avocado, diced
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, honey, and garlic. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine black beans, jalapeño, mango, orange and yellow peppers, red onion, and tomatoes. Stir in oil and vinegar mixture. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. At serving time, add avocado. Sprinkle with cilantro or offer cilantro on the side. Serve with tortilla chips.
April 22, 2015
Coyotes are smart, curious, and adaptable. They live on prairies, in forests, and on farmland. They even live in cities such as Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York. City coyotes might make their homes in parks or in nature preserves or on golf courses—all places where they can find plenty of food and shelter. Sometimes they live in small family groups, and sometimes they live alone.
Hungry Coyote by Cheryl Blackford with illustrations by Laurie Caple offers kids a glimpse into the life of an urban coyote as he struggles to feed himself and his famished family.
We asked Cheryl and Laurie to share some of their inspiration for the book.
“The idea for this picture book came to me as I watched a lone coyote trot across a frozen lake one January morning. He turned his head to look at me, decided I was no threat, and continued on his way. Although we don’t often see the coyotes themselves, just signs of their presence such as scat on the trails, I saw him twice more. I wondered what he ate and how he lived. I did some research and became interested in urban coyotes and their success at living beside humans in many American cities. While many people are suspicious of coyotes (probably based upon their reputation as ‘tricksters’), or think of them as vermin, I admire the intelligence and adaptability of these animals. They thrive in many different natural habitats ranging from desert to lush grasslands, and now they’re also thriving in our cities. How could you not admire such a smart, successful creature?”
“A fondness for nature provides the inspiration behind my artwork. I had the fascinating opportunity to spend time with one of only two known domesticated coyotes in the United States. ’Wiley’ lives with Rick Hanestad and his family in western Wisconsin, about an hour’s drive from St. Paul. A National Geographic film crew recently spent a number of hours documenting his behavior.
“Wiley is very tame and handles well on a leash, just like a friendly pup. He has never shown any type of aggressive behavior to humans and sleeps on a favorite recliner in the Hanestads’ living room!”
Cheryl and Laurie hope Hungry Coyote encourages readers to look at our own surroundings with fresh eyes and develop curiosity and respect for wildlife in our cities. They recommend the following links about urban coyotes:
April 3, 2015
Book-loving Minnesotans, here’s a word to the wise and a great opportunity: AWP—the Association of Writers and Writing Programs—is holding its annual meeting at the Convention Center in Minneapolis next week, April 9-11. This is a Very Big Deal: more than 12,000 attendees, 1,900 presenters, 550 sessions, scores of free offsite events, and—best of all—a book fair with 700 publishers and literary organizations strutting their stuff. You can register for a day pass here.
AWP is an overwhelming experience, with so many delicious options. Thousands of energetic teachers and writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry are gathered to talk about what we’re doing, where we’ve been, where we’re going with books and literature. The program is tantalizing, and you can’t be everywhere at once. Laura I. Miller, a seasoned attendee, has compiled a helpful list of tips for doing AWP. Me? I often retreat to our book table, where every person stopping by has a good story.
At the MNHS Press exhibit, we’re proudly showing off books by our fine authors. But my colleagues and I are also on a mission—a treasure hunt for books-to-be on the history and culture of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. We’re searching for manuscripts with strong Midwestern themes and a strong sense of place: Well-researched and well-written stories that use the best tools of narrative journalism to tell history for general audiences. Narrative nonfiction on food, adventure and travel, true crime, war and conflict, Native American studies, environment and the land, popular culture, and women’s and ethnic histories. Good books to help people live richer lives in Minnesota and beyond.
Thursday, April 9 from 10:00-11:30 we’re hosting a signing with Bruce Joshua Miller and Ned Stuckey-French, editor and contributor to Curiosity’s Cats: Writers on Research. Contributors to Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota will be dropping by to sign on Saturday morning. Stop by to say hello and get a copy!
MNHS press director, Pam McClanahan, editors Shannon Pennefeather and Josh Leventhal, and sales manager Jerry Bilek and I look forward to seeing you at Booth 412—and hearing what you’re writing about.
Ann Regan, MNHS Editor-in-Chief
March 31, 2015
We’re delighted to note that My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks: Ojibwe Family Life and Labor on the Reservation by Brenda J. Child has won the the seventh annual Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award.
Child uses her family’s own powerful stories to tell a different kind of history–one that puts her reader’s feet on the reservation. She shows how Ojibwe men and women on reservations around the Great Lakes sustained both their families and their cultural identity in the face of extreme prejudice and hardship.
Winners of the Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award cross multiple disciplines or fields of study, are relevant to contemporary North American Indian communities, and focus on American Indian Studies, modern tribal studies, modern biographies, tribal governments or federal Indian policy.
Dedicated in 1993, the Labriola National American Indian Data Center in the Arizona State University (ASU) Libraries is one of the only repositories within a public university library devoted to American Indian collections. The Labriola Center holds both primary and secondary sources on American Indians across North America. The Center’s primary purpose is to promote a better understanding of American Indian language, culture, social, political and economic issues. The Labriola National American Indian Data Center has been endowed by Frank and Mary Labriola whose wish has been that “the Labriola Center be a source of education and pride for all Native Americans.”
My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks is also a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award.
March 23, 2015
CIVIL WAR HOMECOMING
Saturday, March 28 at 7:00 P.M.
The year 1865 saw inauguration, abolition, armistice, assassination, grief, celebration and reunion. The brand-new frontier state of Minnesota mourned and commemorated along with the rest of the nation. Minnesotans celebrated the return of the troops and got down to the business of building railroads and cities, sprinkling the countryside with farms and lumber camps and welcoming immigrants by the tens of thousands.
Dan Chouinard and an all-star group of friends gather to paint a Minnesota portrait of the times through songs, letters and newspaper accounts, in Civil War Homecoming. This live show at the Fitzgerald Theater on Saturday, March 28 is a co-production of the Minnesota Historical Society, MPR and the Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force.
Featuring Kevin Kling, Maria Jette, T Mychael Rambo, Prudence Johnson, members of the Roe Family Singers, and the Brass Messengers as well as Eric Jacobson, Annette Atkins, Gwen Westerman, Mark Ritchie, Dean Urdahl, Pat Bauer and David Geister.
Additional information available here.
Interested in learning more about Minnesota and the Civil War? Visit www.mnhs.org/civilwar
March 9, 2015
Book Launch Celebration & HowlRound LiveStream Tonight for “All the Lights On: Reimagining Theater with Ten Thousand Things”
“This book tells the story of one of the most vital and important theater companies of our time.”
Oskar Eustis, The Public Theater
Join us tonight for the Book Launch Celebration at Open Book in Minneapolis for:
All the Lights On: Reimagining Theater with Ten Thousand Things by Michelle Hensley
Monday, March 9, 2015
Open Book: 1011 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis
Doors open at 6:30 pm, short program begins at 7:00 pm, followed by book signing
Also available via HowlRoundTV today at 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern via http://livestream.com/newplay
“Ten Thousand Things brings the best possible theater, plays of Shakespeare and Aeschylus and Beckett, to audiences who have seen little of it before, those in prisons and shelters and adult education centers and rural towns and housing projects and Indian reservations and chemical dependency treatment centers, as well as to enthusiastic veteran theatergoers in consistently sold-out performances for the general public, all performed in large bare rooms, with no stage, just right on the floor inside a small circle of folding chairs, with all the fluorescent lights in the room turned on. Our budget is modest, we don’t need our own building, our set supply budget is little more than that of our very first show, but we pay our highly skilled artists on a par with the largest theater companies in town. We have even become Johnny Appleseeds of a sort, taking this unique model to other theaters around the country who are also eager to find ways to reach outside their buildings with excellent work. And all along this journey, the honest, openhearted encounters of our first-time audiences with our first-rate artists have led us to make wonderful discoveries about theater—pinpointing just what makes it thrive and flourish.” Michelle Hensley, from All the Lights On
February 17, 2015
The January 2015 issue of CHOICE Magazine features its annual list of Outstanding Academic Titles, chosen by the editors for their excellence in scholarship and presentation, the significance of their contribution to the field, and their value as important treatment of their subject. We are honored to have Curiosity’s Cats: Writers on Research edited by Bruce Joshua Miller as one of this year’s selections.
“In bringing together 13 riveting, informative essays on the thrills, pitfalls, and minutiae of documentary research, Miller (a writer and independent publishing industry representative) illuminates how writers convey the truth about the life of their subjects. Contributors explain how they succeeded (or failed) in various writing projects throughout their careers, working in traditions spanning historical and ethnographic research, biography, journalism, fiction, and film. . . . A well-crafted, well-conceived volume, deserving an index. Summing Up: Highly recommended.” CHOICE (link to the full review here)
Bruce J. Miller and Ned Stuckey-French will be signing copies of Curiosity’s Cats at the AWP Annual Conference in Minneapolis on Thursday, April 9, 2015, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Minnesota Historical Society Press booth. If you are attending, please stop by!
February 5, 2015
Congratulations to our Minnesota Book Award finalists: Brenda J. Child for My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks in the General Nonfiction category, Larry Millett and Matt Schmitt for Minnesota’s Own in the Minnesota category, and Lori Sturdevant for Her Honor, also in the Minnesota category. Finalists were announced this past weekend, and the winners will be revealed April 18 at the Minnesota Book Award Gala at St. Paul Union Depot.
January 14, 2015
Please join us Thursday February 5, 2015 from 6-9 pm at the Minnesota History Center to celebrate the publication of Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota edited by Alexs Pate with co-editors Pamela R. Fletcher and J. Otis Powell‽.
Blues Vision is a surprising and compelling anthology that reveals complex realities—beautiful, infuriating, painful, and uplifting—as described by African American writers in Minnesota over the past century.
The book is co-published with the Minnesota Humanities Center, sponsor of this anthology, which was made possible in part by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2004.
Book Launch Celebration
Thursday February 5, 2015 from 6-9 pm
Minnesota History Center
345 Kellogg Ave. W. St. Paul, MN
6-7 pm Refreshments & cash bar
7-8 pm Book Talk and Readings by Contributors
8-9 Book Signing
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