A new year, a new blog


It's the first day of school! Things are looking fresh and new here on campus, including this blog which has officially moved to a new location. You can find all of our posts -- old and new -- at http://www.continuum.umn.edu/kirschner-collection-blog/.

Please sign up there for our email updates if that's how you like to keep up with the blog.

Read This Book! Summer Grilling Picks


Just in time for the weekend (and the 4th of July), I recorded another video for the Libraries' Read This Book! series. This time, I'm talking about grilling meat, veggies, and kebobs, plus a sword and fire party.

Here are links to the books I mention. Some are Kirschner books and some are in our general collection which means they can be checked out.

The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Smoke & Spice by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison
Barbeque'n with Bobby by Bobby Seale
The Home Kebob Cookbook by Beth Merriman
The Playboy Gourmet by Thomas Mario.

On Dairy, Presidents, and the Dreams of the 1970s


This post started out innocently enough: June is National Dairy Month, so I went digging through our stash of dairy-related pamphlets to find some fun features. My first great find is the 1973 treat yourself nicely pamphlet from Carnation.

treat yourself nicely

This pamphlet has some great 70's graphics and is full of era-appropriate advice for teenagers ("Be one of the crowd with longer hair and jeans, but use a few family manners along the way.") and tips for "growing up nicely" mixed in with a few fun recipes like pizzaburgers and salads on a stick (where salad includes marshmallows and ginger ale, of course.)

treat yourself to fun

I was considering this pamphlet a lighthearted history lesson until I read the introductory paragraph:

You have a big future that's coming closer every day! Who knows, you might grow up to see a woman President. Or you might have the opportunity to explore our American horizons or those of far-off countries that you've read about or seen on travelogues or news telecasts. (Exploring it would be much more fun than just keeping your nose in a geography book!) Or you might find a cleaner world for biking, surfing, swimming, skating or camping because in your future, parks, streams lakesides, oceans and our atmosphere will be cleaner and more sparkling.

And then I hung my head in shame for our lack of female presidents and sparkling atmospheres. My apologies, children of the 1970s, but there's still time, right?

treat yourself bike

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Kirschner Collection Survey: How do You Use the Collection?


Have you used the Kirschner Collection to find a recipe, do research, spend an enjoyable afternoon browsing the cookbooks, or anything else? If so, I'd really like to hear from you. I'm conducting a survey of Kirschner Collection users to find out who uses the collection and how. Knowing more about you will help me to grow the collection. You can get to the survey here, or contact me (mkocher@umn.edu) and we can chat in person or over the phone.

Kirschner Collection Shelf

Read This Book! New Minnesota Cookbooks


I recorded this little video for the Libraries to showcase some new cookbooks in the Kirschner Collection -- all are from local authors and use local/indigenous ingredients. Perfect for farmers market season!

Here are links to all of the books I mention:

Edible Twin Cities by Angelo Gentile
Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook by Tricia Cornell
Minnesota's Bounty: The Farmer's Market Cookbook by Beth Dooley
Original Local by Heid E. Erdrich
The New Midwestern Table by Amy Thielen

Searching the Kirschner Collection


Two questions I often get asked are if there is a list of books available in the Kirschner Collection and if there is a way to search books in the collection. As of today, the answer to both questions is "yes." Here's how to do it:

Finding a List of Books in the Kirschner Collection
To view a list of all the titles in the Kirschner Collection, just go to the Library Home Page and type "TMAGR_REFC" in the search box there. The set of search results you get (about 3319 titles right now) is all of the books in the collection. You can sort by date, title, or author.

Searching for Books in the Kirschner Collection
It takes a little finding, but you can now limit your search to just the Kirschner Collection. To do this, first, click on the Advanced Search button on the Library Home Page advanced.png
Then, click on the "Libraries Catalog" tab:
Finally, set your search scope to "Kirschner Cookbook Collection" (It's under "Magrath Library" in the list):
Now you're searching the cookbooks!

14 Days of Pi(e): Boston Cream Pi

Happy Pi(e) Day!!
The day we've been waiting for is finally here! I hope that you have a day full of desserts, pastries, and geometry waiting for you. If you are looking for a fun Pi Day activity, you might try reading this Wired article titled Calculating Pi for Pie Day. If you are looking for a delicious activity for Pi(e) Day, how about indulging in some Boston Cream Pi (yes, technically a cake, I know)? Boston cream is one of my absolute favorite cakes or pies. The photo here is of the one I made using this recipe, but I'm sharing the Betty Crocker recipe from the Kirschner Collection -- I've also used this recipe with great success. What pi(e)s did you all make today?

Boston Cream Pi

Boston Cream Pie
From Betty Crocker's Pie and Pastry Cookbook (1972)

1 1/2 cups cake flour or 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream Filling (recipe below)
Chocolate Glaze (recipe below)

Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour round layer pan, 9 x 1 1/2 inches. Measure all ingredients except Cream Filling and Chocolate Glaze into large mixer bowl. Blend 30 seconds on low speed, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool. Split cake to make 2 thin layers. Fill layers with Cream Filling; spread Chocolate Glaze over top. Serve in wedges. Refrigerate remaining cake

Cream Filling

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla

In saucepan stir together sugar, cornstarch and salt thoroughly. Add milk gradually to egg yolks; stir egg mixture slowly into dry ingredients. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Press plastic wrap onto surface of filling. cool thoroughly.

Chocolate Glaze

Melt 3 tablespoons butter or margarine and 2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate or 2 envelopes (1 ounce each) premelted unsweetened chocolate. Blend in 1 cup confectioners' sugar and 3/4 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in about 2 tablespoons hot water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until glaze has spreading consistency and is smooth.

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14 Days of Pi(e): Fresh Peach Pie


Tomorrow is the big day! If you're scrambling for ideas, trivia, etc. for your pi(e) party, www.piday.org has some good information (and pi sightings!) I only have two pies left to share with you, but you can be sure that every day is Pi(e) Day in my heart. Today's recipe is for a classic peach pie and comes from Occident/King Midas Flour, formerly of Minneapolis. I know this little book is full of good recipes because the cover is warped and I had to scrape some dried flour off of it -- the signs of a well-loved cookbook.

Occident King Midas Pie and Dessert Recipes

Fresh Peach Pie
From Occident/King Midas Pie & Dessert Recipes (1968) Peavey Flour Mills

1 recipe 8-inch Two Crust Pastry (recipe below)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons water
1 cup crushed fresh peaches
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 cups sliced fresh peaches

Prepare pastry. Press 2 cups of mixture evenly and firmly into 9-inch pie pan. Combine sugars and corn starch. Stir in water, crushed peaches, salt and nutmeg. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick. Stir in lemon juice and sliced peaches. Turn into pie shell. Sprinkle with remaining crust mixture. Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes, then at 375° for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Occident King Midas Flour
"Mix and Press" Two Crust Pastry

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 tablespoons cold water

Place all ingredients in large mixing bowl.
Beat at low speed until particles are fine. (Be sure there are no large particles of butter or shortening. Use a rubber spatula frequently to push mixture into beaters.)

14 Days of Pi(e): Larrigan Pie


For today's pie, I dug up something a little different. "Larrigan" literally translates to "moccasin," but larrigan pie is not made from shoes, it's made from vinegar, cornstarch, sugar and water and was eaten by lumberjacks. Ann Burkhardt included this recipe from the Forest History Center in her book A Cook's Tour of Minnesota along with some other recipes and food history relating to the woodsmen of northern Minnesota.


Larrigan Pie
From A Cook's Tour of Minnesota (2004) by Ann Burkhardt

1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 unbaked 8-inch pie shell

Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together the sugar and cornstarch. Add the water, vinegar, and lemon extract; mix well. Pour vinegar mixture into pie shell. Bake for 45 minutes or until mixture sets and crust is brown.

Today I'm sharing a beautiful recipe from a beautiful cookbook. It's sweet, has whiskey in it, and is made of vegetables. Yum.

sweet potato
sweet potato CC BY-NC-SA postbear eater of worlds via flickr

Sweet Potato Pie with a Gingerbread Crust and Bourbon Whipped Cream
From Roots (2012) by Diane Morgan

Gingerbread Crust
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups gingersnap crumbs

1 3/4 lb dark orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (2 large or 3 medium)
2 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small cubes
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 T. bourbon whiskey
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. kosher or fine sea salt

Bourbon Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 T. confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. bourbon whiskey

Position one rack in the center and a second in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

To make the crust, butter a 9-inch deep-dish glass pie plate with 1 tbsp of the melted butter. In a medium bowl, combine the gingersnap crumbs and the remaining butter and toss and stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumb mixture evenly in the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate, stopping within about 1/2 in of the rim . Bake the crust on the lower third of the oven until crisp at the edges and lightly colored, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.

To make the filling, pierce each sweet potato several times with a fork and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the potatoes are very tender when pierced with a fork, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the potatoes. Remove from the oven, cut each potato in half lengthwise and let cool for 10 minutes.

Scoop the flesh from the sweet potato halves into a large bowl, discarding the skins. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes with the butter. Add the brown sugar and continue to mash. (The potatoes should be warm enough to melt the butter and dissolve most of the brown sugar.) Using a wooden spoon, stir in the eggs. Add the coconut milk, cream, bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and stir until the mixture is smooth and light. (Alternatively, beat the ingredients with a handheld mixer or a stand mixer.)

Gently pour the filling into the cooled crust. Place the pie in the center of the oven and bake until the sides are slightly puffed, about 45 minutes. The center of the filling will still be a bit soft and will even jiggle a little when you shake the pie plate gently. Turn off the oven, set the oven door ajar, and leave the pie in the oven, undisturbed, for another 10 minutes. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and cool completely.

To make the whipped cream, in a medium bowl, combine the cream, confectioners' sugar and bourbon. Using a whisk or handheld mixer, whip the cream until medium peaks form. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Cut the pie into wedges with a warm, wet knife, wiping the knife clean after every cut. Top with the whipped cream and serve.

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