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Archive for April, 2012

May is Minnesota Museums Month

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Minnesota Museums MonthMinnesota Museums Month is a statewide celebration of museums, their stories, and their communities. This May, visit a new museum in your community, take a road trip, or return to one of your favorites that you haven’t seen in a while. Museums of every type—art, historical, science, arboretums, zoos, and more—are participating.

The Minnesota History Center is one of approximately six hundred museums in the state! Check out as well as their Facebook and Twitter feeds for more information and events.

Minnesota Museums Month launches in conjunction with the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Museums. Being held in Minneapolis/St. Paul, the meeting will welcome more than five thousand museum professionals from institutions in every state and more than thirty countries. Minnesota’s vibrant museum and cultural community provides an ideal setting for this year’s theme, “Creative Community.”

Our new book Building Museums: A Handbook for Small and Midsize Organizations by Robert Herskovitz, David Grabitske, and Timothy Glines was released earlier this year. If you are attending the AAM meeting, please stop by the Minnesota Historical Society Press booth to check it out!

See you out and about at Minnesota museums next month!

Spirit Car and One Minneapolis One Read

Friday, April 13th, 2012

phpIc5uKyWe are pleased to announce that Diane Wilson’s book Spirit Car: A Journey to a Dakota Past has been chosen as the next book for One Minneapolis One Read.

From the press release from the City of Minneapolis:

“The Minneapolis City Council today approved Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past as the next One Minneapolis One Read book. This will be the second year of the citywide ‘read,’ where the entire community is encouraged to read a single book and join in a community conversation. The community read will launch fall 2012.

Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past was written by Minnesotan Diane Wilson. Wilson grew up in a Minneapolis suburb and then followed questions about her family’s past to South Dakota and Nebraska, where she tracked down information about her maternal relatives through five generations. The result of Wilson’s quest for discovery is Spirit Car, a book of vignettes she created in her desire to honor the lives of her Dakota Indian family. The story of Wilson’s family begins with a vivid account of the 1862 Dakota War in Minnesota and then follows her family members’ nomadic travels across South Dakota and Nebraska in their struggle to survive.”

Author Diane Wilson is also the director of Dream of Wild Health, a ten-acre farm in Hugo, Minnesota, whose goal is to help American Indian people reclaim their physical, mental, and spiritual health by teaching the old ways of growing food and leading healthy lives. She is a Mdewakanton descendant; her mother was enrolled on the Rosebud reservation. Spirit Car was her first book and a Minnesota Book Award winner in 2006.

Spirit Car and Wilson’s second book, Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life, are available from  fine booksellers and popular online retailers.

Both books are available as e-books.

Diane Wilson at the book launch for Beloved Child:

Ode on Rhubarb

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Eating, Reading and Living Well

Today’s blog post is a poem by Kim Ode, author of Rhubarb Renaissance.

Meet her Wednesday, April 11,  at 7:00 p.m. at the Merriam Park Library as part of the Eating, Reading & Living Well program hosted by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and sponsored by Mississippi Market.


Come midmorning, my sister and I

Would be shooed from the sandbox

To pick a dozen stalks of rhubarb

For that day’s pie.

There is a knack to picking rhubarb.

Grab too high and you snap the stalk.

Grab too low and you lose the leverage

For that crucial tug from the root,

Like pulling a boot from spring’s muddy gumbo.

Then we would take our lives in our hands

Lopping off leaves coursing with enough poison

To kill a congregation –

Or so we’d come to believe

Given the stern order never to taste them.

The work was both gratifying and disconcerting,

Entrusted to wield foliage so deadly

We could not feed it even to the hogs,

Bur heaved the leaves into the ditch

Onto a wilting mound that grew with every pie.

So, if I hesitate over that first bite,

It’s only a flicker of remembering how it felt

To bring those stalks into the house,

Hoping we had not been trusted too much.

–Kim Ode

Rhubarb Renaissance

For recipes and rhubarb inspiration, see:

Star Tribune feature

Spiced Couscous with Rhubarb and Figs recipe featured on

Kim on Wisconsin Public Radio (Archive 4/9/12 @ 11:45)

Eat More Vegetables!

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Eat More VegetablesFarmers’ market and CSA season is upon us! Find out what to do with the readily available bounty of veggies from veteran CSA subscriber and food writer Tricia Cornell at The Eating, Reading and Living Well series at the Merriam Park Library on Wednesday, April 4, at 7:00 p.m. The program is presented by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and sponsored by Mississippi Market. Tricia will share her new cookbook, Eat More Vegetables: Making the Most of Your Seasonal Produce.

What can you do with all those mustard greens? How about making Midwestern Bibimbap? Tricia’s recipe, below.

Midwestern Bibimbap

My favorite use for pickled mustard greens is in my own simplified version of bibimbap. Classic Korean comfort food, bibimbap is “all mixed up.” It comes to the table as a lovely composition of pickled vegetables and rice, and then the diner gets to do the mixing up. If you’re lucky, a Korean restaurant will serve it in a hot stone bowl—dolsot bibimbap—that cooks the rice and egg to form a tasty crunchy crust on the bottom. Many versions include sautéed beef or chicken, but for a quick supper for one, I stick with just the egg.

1 cup cooked brown rice

¼ cup pickled mustard greens

¼ cup finely grated carrot

¼ cup bean sprouts

¼ cup steamed spinach, squeezed dry

1 egg

hoisin sauce, optional

Place rice in a deep, single-serving bowl. Arrange vegetables in wedge shapes on top. Fry egg sunny-side up. Slide it onto your pile of vegetables and stir with chopsticks or fork, breaking up the yolk. Add hoisin sauce to taste, if desired. Serves 1.

Pickled Mustard Greens

At my local markets, these beloved Hmong greens (zaub ntsuab) are labeled “mustard greens,” “mustard cabbage,” “bamboo cabbage,” and about a half a dozen other things. Look for long, thin, dark green leaves with relatively thick stems and tiny yellowish flower buds. They are among the first green things to show up in the market and are available well into the fall. They’re great in a stir-fry, and their slightly bitter flavor works well with all kinds of pork.

This is a fermented pickle that will keep in the refrigerator for several months (this recipe has not been tested for home canning).

4 cups water

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 dried red pepper

1 large bunch mustard greens, rinsed, dried, and cut into 1-inch pieces (to yield 4 cups)

Mix together first 4 ingredients (water through pepper), being sure to dissolve sugar and salt. Stir in mustard greens. Place mixture in a scrupulously clean opaque bowl and cover with a plate, weighted down if necessary. You don’t want an airtight seal, but you do want to be sure that all of the mustard greens stay submerged. (A pickling crock is, of course, ideal, but you can approximate one with a bowl and plate.) Keep in a cool, dark place for 3 days. Transfer to jars with tight-fitting lids and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Makes about 4 cups.