I originally wrote this post for my contribution to RuralHousewives.com back in November, but never got around to posting it on this blog. Well, today is the day. It’s Pi Day! And what better excuse to honor this special “Once in a Century” Pi Day than with a special pie recipe!
In case you forgot since freshman geometry class, Pi (π) is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pi is a constant number, meaning that for all circles of any size, Pi will be the same. The diameter of a circle is the distance from edge to edge, measuring straight through the center. The circumference of a circle is the distance around. *
Today is a very special Pi Day that comes but once in a century. The date, 3-14-15 will be the only time before 2115 that the date reflects five digits of the magical, infinite number, 3.141592653… Oh and be sure to note the time 9:26:53 this morning and night, when even more digits will match pi!**
The star ingredient of this pie (which is very special to my family), cushaw squash, is grown in the fall. But you can stick this recipe in your recipe box and save it for when fall rolls back around! Hope you enjoy!
NOVEMBER 11, 2014 — During the fall, the typical star ingredient is pumpkin. And there are pages upon pages of recipes for it. But as this Thanksgiving approaches, I wanted to feature a unique ingredient that is sure to win the rookie of the year award at your Thanksgiving table…squash! But this is not just any ole’ squash recipe, it is my family’s traditional Cushaw Squash Pie!
“Squash pie?!” you might be asking. “That sounds awful!” Well let me tell you, it’s anything but awful! It could win over pumpkin pie any day in my book.
To me, squash pies are a familiar family favorite and are the star of the show every Thanksgiving. But as I’ve gotten older it seems that few people know about them!
As I started thinking about it even more, I realized that I hadn’t had much experience making them. That was always Grandma’s job! So when I was home this weekend I took the opportunity to spend some quality time with my wonderful grandparents and learn exactly how to make one of our favorite family recipes.
And since this recipe is just SO incredibly good, I am going to share it with you too!
Before we get started, I’ll give you a little more background on what cushaw squash actually is.
Cushaw squash – “wait, that’s not just a gourd?”
The green-striped cushaw is a crookneck squash that typically weighs 10 to 20 pounds and grows to be 12 to 18 inches long. The skin is whitish-green with mottled green stripes and the flesh is light-yellow. It is mild and slightly sweet in flavor; meaty in texture and fibrous.
It is sometimes called “cushaw pumpkin” and is often substituted for the standard, orange, jack-o-lantern pumpkin in pie-making.
Cushaw is mainly grown in the southern and southwestern United States. It is a hardy plant, one that tolerates heat and resists the deadly vine borer; can be grown easily in vegetable gardens, and it can be stored for an unusually long time. While the green-striped cushaw is not endangered per se, it tends to be grown in small batches for private use, and is not widely available in retail markets. Although widely known, the cushaw is a favorite ingredient in a few culinary cultures, including to some southwest Native Americans, to the southern Appalachians, and to the Louisiana Creoles and Italians.
Making cushaw butter is a family tradition in Tennessee, and all around Appalachia cooks prefer to use cushaws in their pumpkin pies.
This squash pie recipe has been passed down from my great grandma, Mary Alice Griffin (“Grannie Griffin” as we refer to her), who grew up in Blackford, Kentucky. And according to my grandma Patsy, aka “Grannie Pat”, it may have even been passed down from Grannie Griffin’s mom, Florence.
My mom and grandparents recently took a trip to Blackford to revisit some of the places grandma and great grandma grew up and it was incredibly fascinating to learn about! I wasn’t able to go, but my mom captured some wonderful pictures to keep as memories of the trip and our family’s history.
As I was writing this, I remembered that today is Veteran’s Day. I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to be able to incorporate that into my post about squash, but as I was looking back through the pictures my mom took, I was reminded that Blackford, KY also has a wonderful Veteran’s memorial!
That was the perfect sign that I couldn’t, and shouldn’t, go without recognizing its significance in my post.
Family and history have always been important to me, but I think I have come to appreciate them even more as I get older. And one thing I try to always remind myself is that our country is what it is today because of the people who have come before us and worked to build it.
So today, this post goes out to the Veterans in my family as well as all of the brave men and women who have fought, and are still fighting, to keep our country safe. From the bottom of my heart I want to say, THANK YOU.
Squash Pie with Grannie Pat
This past Saturday I invited Grannie and Gramps over to my parents’ house and got a lesson in Squash Pie making – straight from the pro. My sister was there to help document the day with pictures, allowing me to fully concentrate on learning all the tips and tricks. And my dad, well, he was just there to be the taste tester. :) It was such a fun afternoon!
Alright, now let’s get down to business. The first step is to cook you squash. This can be a little bit of a process so be sure to plan in advance. I found a great tutorial on how to cook cushaw squash from The Novice Chef, but my Grannie Pat’s way of doing it seems even easier!
Step 1: Cooking Squash
Begin by washing one cushaw squash. Cut the neck of the squash off and cut into slices, (like the Novice Chef suggests). Then, cut the main part of the squash inhalf and scoop out the seeds like a pumpkin. Once that is done, cut the squash into large chunks. Here’s the difference in this technique – DON’T worry about peeling the squash before you cook it. And trust me, you’ll be glad you don’t have to worry about it because peeling a squash like this is a pain!
Cook the squash in boiling water until the pulp of squash is soft. Let cool and the peel will slide right off. Once the peel has been removed and the squash is cool, place it in a food mill, food processor, or blender and puree until smooth. This creates the pulp for the pies.
(My mom had several bags of squash pre-cooked so we didn’t do the whole cooking process during this lesson, but it seems pretty straight forward.)
We store the pulp in Ziplock bags in the freezer. This can be kept up to three months or you can also can the squash to save for the whole year! We can it in chunks, not as a puree.
Step 2: Make Crust & Prep Pie Plate
Since we were going all out for this example, we decided to make homemade crust, but if you’re in a hurry, store bought pie crust will be fine as well. Grannie said that’s all she ever uses now days!
Grannie Pat Tip #1: Before putting your pie crust in the pan, rub some butter around in the bottom of the pan and it will prevent the crust from sticking to the bottom.
Place your pie crust on your pie plate. Since we were rolling our dough out, we rolled the crust up on a rolling pin to help keep it in good form as we transferred it to the pan. Make sure to press your crust down around the entire bottom of sides and so you’re not short when you cut the excess crust off the edges.
Once you have your pie crust positioned, cut the excess crust off around the edge of the pie plate. And I always like to add a decorative little fluted edge around my pies just for presentation.
Step 3: Preheat Oven and Make the Pie Filling
Before you start with the filling, remember to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
For the filling, start by breaking two eggs into a large mixing bowl and add 1 ½ cups of sugar. (The original recipe calls for 1 ¼, but Grannie Pat always adds extra.) Beat until smooth and then add in your squash pulp.
Grannie Pat # 2: If you want to make great big thick pies, just double the recipe for the filling.
Next add in the milk and vanilla. For this, Grannie says it doesn’t hurt if you put more than the recipe calls for so just eyeball it. In this case, I added about ¼ teaspoon more that the recipe says. Depending on your strength of vanilla extract, this can be increased or decreased.
And finally, you’re going to add a thickening agent of flour and water, (also known as a roux). To do this, get a little bowl and put 2 Tbsp of flour into a ¼ cup of cold water. Sometimes she just guesses at it without really measuring. Keep mixing it with a fork until all of the flour is dissolved in the water.
Grannie Pat Tip #3: The more of this you put in the faster it bakes and the thicker it gets. Grandma usually doubles it and decreases the baking time if she’s in a hurry.
Once dissolved, add to mixture and beat a little more until combined.
Step 4: Building Pie and Baking:
Before you pour the filling into the crust, I have one awesome little secret for you. This one comes straight from Grannie Griffin. Her trick was to sprinkle the pie crust with some sugar before you pour anything in. Her reason, not sure. But why not?
Pour the filling into two unbaked pie crusts and sprinkle the tops with cinnamon and nutmeg. (Grandma does more cinnamon and less nutmeg.)
Then place in the oven for at least 45 minutes. Grannie Pat’s original recipe says to bake for 15 minutes at 425 and then reduce to 350 until set. But depending on your oven, you may want to just watch it to see what works best. And be sure to keep checking them to see if they shake.
Grannie Pat Tip # 4: You need the right amount of shake! They’ll still shake when they’re done, but you just have to keep watching them. (This comes from years of practice so until you become a pro at identifying this shake; you can stick a knife down in the pie to test it. When the knife comes out clean, the pie is done. If filling is left on the knife, keep baking for a few minutes.)
Once the pies are done, let them completely cool on a cooling rack before serving. This allows it to fully set up and obtain the consistency of the familiar pumpkin pie.
Serve with cool whip and store leftovers in the refrigerator… if there are any. :)
This blog was longer than I normally write so if you’ve made it this far I want to thank you for taking the time to read about my family’s history and this recipe that is so special to us.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with your family and I’d love to hear if you decide to add our squash pie to the menu!
Full Printable Recipe: Cushaw Squash Recipe
Photos courtesy of Ali Nord and Becky Nord *Information courtesy of http://www.piday.org/learn-about-pi/ **Information courtesy of http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/03/14/pi-day-kids-videos/24753169/
This past weekend, I joined my fellow Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmers for our annual leadership conference in Indianapolis.
I always enjoy attending this conference because I get to visit with friends from all across the state, learn more about the latest topics in agriculture, and hear some great messages from the keynote speakers.
In the four years that I’ve attended this conference, I always come away with some great inspiration. But there was something especially inspiring during this year’s keynote presentation from Kelly Barnes.
Kelly was born and raised on a small family farm in eastern Oklahoma and his message is centered around the stories, life lessons, and virtues he learned growing up.
His presentation was “Create Great Moments More Often” and what came from it was some very important reminders that I think we all should live by.
1. Be present. Be in the moment.
Truly be there. Whether it’s in class, your career, or with your family, take every opportunity to be engaged in what you’re doing. And also truly listen. I’ve learned over the years that you can always learn something from every situation. But if you’re not truly “present” you might miss something significant. So join me in putting those phones and computers down sometimes and just be present.
2. Appreciate the little things. Because sometimes they are all we get.
Never neglect the little things. I can’t always remember every conversation I’ve had with my parents or grandparents, but the unexpected care package Mom sent me during finals at school, the good luck letter Dad wrote me when I tried out for the Purdue softball team, the time my Grandpa carried me all the way back from the creek on his shoulders because I didn’t wear shoes and our 4-wheeler broke down, or the hand-written cards I get in the mail from my Grandma… THOSE things make the biggest impact.
“The thought does count, but it’s the action that makes the difference.”
Kelly also shared something that I learned to live by from a young age by playing sports. You can’t achieve things by cutting corners. Always catch the call with two hands. Don’t step inside the court when running laps. And run hard all the way through the base. Those lessons relate to every aspect of our lives whether you play sports or not.
3. Pack an extra sandwich.
At first, this sounded silly. But then Kelly told us about this story about his daughter’s classmate and it touched my heart.
Kelly’s daughter and his neighbor’s daughter are in the same pre-school class. Every Friday they take a field trip and have to bring their lunch. The night before the field trip, his neighbor was packing her daughter’s lunch when her daughter asked if she could pack an extra sandwich. Her mom kindly explained… “No, you have plenty. We don’t waste food.” So the daughter when off without a word. The next week she asked again, “Can you pack an extra sandwich?” And her mom said again, “No, you have plenty, it’s not good to waste food.” And the daughter nodded and went on with her evening again.
Then the next week came around and her daughter asked a third time if her mom could pack an extra sandwich. This time the mom asked more and her daughter explained how every Friday a little boy in her class comes and asks if she is going to eat the rest of her sandwich. Not because he is a bully. Because he didn’t have food of his own to eat.
When his neighbor finished telling Kelly this story, he talked about it with his wife and wanted to do something to help. He didn’t know the situation or didn’t want to overstep boundaries but knew he couldn’t sit back and do nothing. His wife said, “It’s simple. We’re going to pack an extra sandwich.”
I was fighting back tears at this point. What a heart wrenching story. And sadly, it’s a story that is true for too many people.
So what did Kelly suggest we need to do when we see these moments in our lives?
Create great moments for other people.
Be “we focused” in a “me focused” world.
Look for the things that need to be done.
Kelly ended his talk with this simple rule that we as a population need to get back to living by.
BE TO GET.
Be a friend to get a friend.
Be involved to get something out of it.
Be willing to fail to get success.
Be willing to do the small things to get the big things.
Be willing to love to get love.
Be positive to get that positive life.
Because if you be to get, you’ll get to be.
I hope this can serve as an inspiration to you as it did to me. I want to end by giving a HUGE thank you to Kelly for sharing these great messages and reminding us of what the important things are in life. Also, thank you to the Indiana Farm Bureau and Young Farmers Committee for bringing Kelly to speak and putting on a wonderful leadership convention. Go out and make some great moments everyone!
Such a great post from my friends over at Sarah Sums It Up about the true passion and dedication that farmers have for what they do. Please give it a read and a like!
Originally posted on Sarah Sums It Up:
By Katie Thomas Glick and Sarah Thomas
It was a chilly December Saturday on the farm. The barn lot was covered with snow and filled with several semis, but our family didn’t own all of them. So, why were there so many semis parked in the snow covered barn lot? While many of you were listening to Christmas music and finishing up your shopping, our family was trying to finish harvest. Yes, just because the seasons according to the weather change does not mean they have changed for the farmer. Only a few of those semis belonged to our family, the others belonged to different farmers. Farmers who were so generous to give up their time and help our family. This year was a bountiful harvest (the largest in our state’s history), but it was a wet harvest. We needed more space to store the corn and soybeans we grow…
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Many times when I get home from work, I find myself standing in front of the pantry or refrigerator trying to decide what to make for dinner.
I try to plan for what meals to make while I’m at the grocery store, but I don’t always have time to think it all through. And when I don’t do that, I end up having an idea to make a certain dish only to find that I don’t have all the ingredients, or even more common, I just throw random things together and hope for the best.
Does this ever happen to you?
Most of the time my experiments turn out pretty well, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could take the hassle out of meal planning and cooking?
If your answer is yes, then you should definitely check out Fresh Artistry! A small Indianapolis-based company, Fresh Artistry focuses on helping the home cook feel and look like a master chef, with none of the hassle or skill required.
How do they do that, you ask? You pick the recipes you want to make for that week, and they send the ingredients and recipes straight to your doorstep!
That seems really simple, but Fresh Artistry goes above and beyond to provide you with a quality service. In each box you receive local meat, fresh produce, and all the spices and ingredients you will need to complete the dish – with all the guess work taken out of it. All ingredients come pre-portioned and prepped so all you have to do is combine and cook.
I first learned about Fresh Artistry from fellow Indy blogger, Sara, at Solid Gold Eats and I was so intrigued! They began by serving the Central Indiana area, and are now providing their service to the whole state of Indiana starting on Friday, December 5, 2014!
Founder, Tom Blessing, and the Fresh Artistry crew are all about making a quality experience for their customer, so before their big launch, they sent a few of us bloggers a meal to test out for ourselves and provide them with feedback on what we thought. I had never used a food delivery service before so I was excited to try it out. And right from the time it arrived at my doorstep I was impressed!
They send their meals in an insulated box with a custom liner that has enough insulation to last a night on your porch if you aren’t home when it arrives. And when you’re done with the box, you can send it back for them to recycle and use again! With their new launch, they’re coming out with a feature where you can print off a return postage label to send back your box, box liners, and freezer gel packs. They will then clean/sanitize them, and reuse them. It reduces their landfill footprint, saves you storage space, and saves them money. Win, win, win, right?
The recipe I got to make was Peach-Chipotle Glazed Chicken with Smashed Potatoes and Green Beans. Besides turning out absolutely delicious, here are some other neat things I learned while making the meal.
1. They literally do take the guess work out of everything, all the way down to storing and keeping track of your ingredients! For each recipe, they separate out the ingredients that are best stored on the counter or pantry, and what should go in the refrigerator, and place them in neat and simple bags with the corresponding recipe on the label so you can’t get things mixed up.
2. The ingredient guides and recipe cards are neatly designed and super easy to follow! They provide cooking and time saving tips to keep all of their recipes to about 30 minutes start to finish. They even go so far as to lay out what size pans and bowls to use!
3. They truly do care about what you think and listen to your suggestions on how they can make their service the best that they can be. While I was making my recipe, I wrote down a few small notes on their cooking instructions and portions of their seasoning and Tom appreciated my comments and sent them to his team to work on. I really appreciated that the staff took my suggestions to heart!
Plan and Pricing
The plans are broken up into 4-plate meals and 2-plate meals, depending on your size of household, and you can choose the menu each week. And with each plan, there are no delivery costs!
- Feeds 2 adults & 2-3 kids
- $29.99/meal ($89.97/delivery of 3)
- Perfect for smaller households
- $19.99/meal ($59.97/delivery of 3)
One other unique thing they do is make sure you have the flexibility to fit your lifestyle. If you know you won’t be home a certain week, or aren’t able to make the weekly commitment at any point, you can easily pause, cancel, and restart your service at any time! Just log-on to your account on their website and adjust your settings.
Overall, I really like the business model that Fresh Artistry has and the food was delicious!
I think Fresh Artistry could also be a great gift for that foodie in your life, recent college grad starting out on their own, or even parents or grandparents who may not have as easy of a time shopping for themselves.
Want to try Fresh Artistry out for yourself?
With their launch, they are rolling out a 1-box purchase opportunity for a limited time that’s not attached to a plan. Food is an experience and they want people to experience their meals!
With Christmas gatherings coming up, this could be a perfect chance to give them a try. Your guests will definitely be impressed!
So head on over to their website and check it out. While you’re there you can also learn more about their menu options, plan details, and more info about the service. And don’t forget to like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for their latest updates and blog posts!
If you do decide to give Fresh Artistry a try, or have used them before, I’d love to know what you think! Hope you like their food as much as I did!
After two wonderful days of family time, eating, and Black Friday shopping (which my waistline and sleep pattern are still recovering from), I’m already starting to get into the Christmas spirit!
The Christmas season is my favorite time of the year, for many reasons. First, we celebrate the main reason for the season, the birth of Jesus. Second, I also get to celebrate a unique connection with this because I get to share my birthday with Him! That’s right – I’m a Christmas baby! And third,we get to celebrate family and friends by giving thoughtful gifts of love and appreciation.
I always love trying to find unique and thoughtful gifts that my loved ones will enjoy. And this year, I’m excited to give another gift of appreciation to one of my fellow Ag Bloggers by participating in the Christmas in the Country Gift Exchange!
Here’s how it works: Christmas in the Country is a Christmas gift exchange for Agriculture Bloggers and Agvocates hosted by Laurie from Country Linked, Erin from Diaries From the Dirt Road, Jamie from The Uncharted Rhoade, and Robyn from The Ranch Wife Chronicles. It is a great way to get to know bloggers/friends of agriculture across the country and engage with others who have the same interests as you!
But don’t worry – you don’t have to be a blogger to participate, just a lover of all things agriculture and country!
Sign ups go until TOMORROW, November 30th. To sign up all you have to do is fill out a quick form giving us some very basic information about yourself. They ask for a mailing address so that your secret Ag Friend can send you a special Christmas surprise, your email address and give us some of your likes and dislikes. And they share some of this information with the individual who has your name and you in turn will receive the same information for someone.
- You will receive the name and information of who you will be sending a gift to on December 1st. (Please email one of the hosts as soon as you have done so as we will be keeping track that everyone who signed up sends and receives a gift.)
- All gifts need to be sent by December 17th to ensure delivery before the holidays.
- If you are a blogger, then join us on January 7th for a Link-Up party. Write a blog post about what you sent, who you sent it too, what you received and who you received it from. This is where the real fun begins! They loved seeing the fun and creative things that everyone came up with to send to each other, especially the ones that sent things from their region or area of the country.
If you’d like to join me in the Christmas in the Country Gift Exchange, sign up here! And don’t forget, sign-ups end TOMORROW!
I can’t wait to find out who my person is and I’m excited to start shopping for my gift! Today is also Small Business Saturday so I’m planning on trying to find some unique Indiana products to include in my gift! :)
Do you have any ideas of neat Indiana things I could include in my gift box?
I’d love to chat more, but I have to go get ready to go shopping. I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with your friends and family and spent some time reflecting on the many things we all have to be thankful for!
Love and Holiday Blessings,
Agriculture is a component of so many aspects of our lives, even if we don’t realize it. Food is the obvious one, but everything from our clothing, paper and plastic products, makeup, crayons, diapers, medicines, and even those adult beverages we sometimes enjoy are thanks in part to ingredients from agriculture.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of previewing the newest exhibit at the Indiana State Museum, “American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.” This era has always been fascinating to me, and I really enjoyed learning more about our country’s history and how the “spirits” of America came to be.
And as promised, I also took the opportunity to focus on how agriculture was involved in the various aspects of the exhibit, the Prohibition era, and the beverage industry in general. I’m excited to share all of the neat facts I learned!
TOURING AMERICAN SPIRITS
The day we visited was the grand opening for the exhibit so they had a little celebration in addition to giving tours through the gallery. We were told we could bring a couple family members and, if we were feeling really adventurous, we could even dress up in time-period clothing!
I brought along my cousin, Jennifer, and her daughter, Sofia. Since it was during the day and we planned to go somewhere afterward, I didn’t want to wear the full flapper get-up, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to wear some fun 20s-inspired accessories!
With our outfits on and camera’s on, we were ready to check everything out! One of the museum’s curators, Katherine Gould took us on a tour for the exhibit and was very knowledgeable about the time period.
The exhibit starts off by setting the scene to why Prohibition was established. One of the main reasons was because Americans drank VERY large amounts of alcohol during the early 1800s. In 1830, America hit rock bottom. During that time, the average American consumed 90 bottles of 80 proof liquor! That is about three times greater than the current levels of today.
One of the first parts of the exhibit showcased examples of the favorite drinks of the pre-prohibition time period and the current drinking habits. In the rural areas, whisky and cider were the drinks of choice. This was because farmers used the grain they grew to make rye or corn whiskey, as well as apples from the area to make hard cider.
Hard cider was much stronger than beer. As a way to keep the cider from spoiling, distilled liquor was frequently added to the cider; giving it an alcohol content of at least 10 percent. It was very common in rural areas because potable water was difficult to come by, while apples were plentiful. Farmers could easily and cheaply turn their excess crop into a never-ending supply of cider for themselves and their families.
In more of the urban areas, saloons were very popular. Saloons of that time served whiskey, which was usually made from rye, but could be made by other grains as well. It came in barrels, and brandnames were pretty much unknown. But all this changed in the 1840s and 1850s when Germans and Irish immigrated to America, turning it into a nation of beer drinkers.
As more companies started brewing beer, brand names also started to become established. Decorations and furniture in saloons would actually be supplies by breweries in exchange for them selling their beer.
From here, we learned about the Temperance Movement and the Anti-Saloon League, which started the fight for alcohol reform and brought the issue into politics, eventually leading to the passing of the 18th Amendment, Prohibition.
There was so much interesting information, and we were only to the beginning of learning about Prohibition! If you’d like to learn the whole back story, this website featuring a PBS special on the rise of Prohibition has a lot of great facts.
Wayne Wheeler, founder of the Anti-Saloon League, was considered to be the most powerful man in America at one point. The exhibit features his “Amazing Amendment Machine” which highlights the process by which he and other fighters for reform, worked to get the 18th Amendment passed.
On Jan. 17, 1920, the 18th Amendment put into place a nationwide ban prohibiting Americans from manufacturing, selling or transporting alcohol. This time period is commonly known as Prohibition.
For the next 13 years until 1933, the “Drys” worked to enforce the amendment, while the “wets” basically disregarded it; leading to the birth of the Roaring ’20s, bootlegging and speakeasies.
This part of the exhibit was very neat in my opinion! There were several interactive areas where you could test your knowledge about the era, learn if you were a “wet” or a “dry”, learn the 20s and 30s lingo, and even visit a re-created speakeasy!
My favorite part of the exhibit was the re-created speakeasy bar! One other thing that was created during the Prohibition era was mixed drinks. Because liquor was typically crudely made, they had to start mixing it with things to mask the strong tastes. The bar featured some of the mixed drinks that were born during this time and created a fun environment to act like you were a bar patron from the time.
Organized crime was also born during this time period due to people trying to get around the ban on alcohol. The exhibit took you through the rise in organized crime, and even featured an “I’m Got Booked” photo area where you could stand in a line-up with Meyer Lensky, Al Capone, and Lucky Lugiano, and then email it directly to yourself as a keepsake!
Prohibition, failing fully to enforce sobriety and costing billions, rapidly lost popular support in the early 1930s. In 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was passed and ratified, ending national Prohibition. Many Americans were on board with this reversal, farmers included.
AGRICULTURE AND AMERICAN SPIRITS
After the exhibit, I was able to meet with our tour guide, Katherine Gould, where she shared with me even more facts about agriculture as it relates to ‘American Spirits’. I have shared her interview below:
Pre-prohibition beer making was quite regional. It goes back to the early 1800s from transportation limitations – they could only get ingredients and beer so far. Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, beer making was regional and they also used regional ingredients from area farmers. Breweries would actually buy from local farmers.
When prohibition was passed, the farmers lost those markets. What’s interesting is, most people focused on the farming disaster that occurred during the depression, but agriculture was going through various droughts throughout the 1920s as well. Throughout the 1920s and 30s, agriculture was bit both by droughts, the depression, and food prices going up and down, as well as lost a huge business for a lot of their grains.
So when the idea of repealing the 18th amendment started picking up steam, agriculture got on board. This was interesting because your rural communities tended to be the driest communities. And that’s why they were able to carry a lot of legislatures. But they were also the farmers who needed the market. So a lot of farming groups got behind repeal because they found a new way to market their grains. So it impacted them a lot. When Prohibition went into effect, it put a lot of people out of business. Not only the breweries, but also bar and saloon owners, trucking companies, ice companies, bottle companies, (there a lot of different bottle companies here in the state) lost jobs.
Whisky and hard cider were the most popular drinks until about WWI, mid-century with the immigration of German and Irish who brought with them beer, and they made it very well. So that started to become very popular.
Indiana actually had a pretty robust distilling industry in Indiana, down by Terre Haute and around the Ohio River, with the access to water, which was very important for that. Indiana actually had the first successful commercial winery in the early 1820s down in Vevay, Indiana. They were able to grow grapes successfully there and did advertising in Switzerland to bring people to come work at their winery.
How fascinating! Katherine also told us during the tour that while the “noble experiment” (as Prohibition was eventually known) failed, there were several things that came from it that are still in place today. With the commercial production of alcohol banned, several products were created in its place. Some well-known examples are: Welches grape juice, Vino grape brick, Coca Cola, Root beer, and Koolaid, among many others.
In addition to being a prominent part of the “American Spirits” of the Prohibition era, agricultural products are how we are able to make many more of the alcoholic beverages that are enjoyed today.
Did you know all of these things are made into alcohol? An incredible diversity of grains, herbs and fruits goes into the world’s alcoholic drinks, which means that for the botanically minded, a trip to the liquor store is a little different than it is for the rest of us. Amy Stewart explains what it’s like in her new book, The Drunken Botanist.
This book looks so interesting! I think I may have to make it my next reading project – right as soon as I finish the book I started reading on our honeymoon…almost five months ago. (That’s pathetic, I know.) But seriously though, this does look like an interesting and fascinating read!
Overall, the American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition exhibit at the Indiana State Museum was a great time! It was very interesting, very interactive, and fun to spend a day back in the Roaring 20s! Jennifer, Sofia and I all really enjoyed the whole day. We also enjoyed learning about how agriculture ties into this interesting era! So next time you pop the top on an adult beverage, don’t forget to thank a farmer!
Visit For Yourself!
The exhibit is open until February 15th, 2015 which gives you PLENTY of time to check it out for yourself! But I encourage you to stop by while it’s still at least a teensie-bit warm outside, because if you’ve never been to the Indiana State Museum before, it’s right by the canal downtown which would be a nice place for an afternoon fall walk after the exhibit.
If you’d like to purchase tickets to experience the “American Spirits” exhibit, they are $13 for adults, $12 for seniors and college students, $8.50 for children ages 12 and under. Member admission is included in membership. For more information about the exhibit, special events, online ticket sales and more, visit indianamuseum.org.
Ooh, and I almost forgot! If you’re of age, they’re having this really cool event on October 23 in honor of the history and rise of craft beer in Indiana that sounds really fun! Here’s the 411 on that:
Join Rita Kohn, author of True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beers in Indiana; Doug Wissing, author of One Pint at a Time: A Traveler’s Guide to Indiana Breweries; Anita Johnson, owner of Great Fermentations; and Bob Ostrander and Derrick Morris authors of Hoosier Beer: Tapping into Indiana Brewing History to discuss Indiana brewing history and the rise of home brewing and craft beers in Indiana. This events is 21 & over. Reservations strongly recommended. Call 317.232.1637 for reservations.
Tickets: $35 per non-member / $25 per member. Price includes admission to the talk, a snack and an admission voucher for the American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition exhibit. This event will take place at Tow Yard Brewing Co.
While you’re there, don’t forget to post pictures and use the hashtag #ISMSpirits – I’d love to see if you all dolled up in your best 20’s fashion and accessories!
Museum Social Media Information:
Trip Advisor: www.tripadvisor.com
Hashtag for the exhibit: #ISMSpirits
On Jan. 17, 1920, the 18th Amendment put into place a nationwide ban prohibiting Americans from manufacturing, selling or transporting alcohol which remained in place from 1920 to 1933. This time period is commonly known as Prohibition.
It’s something we all learned about in history class, but most likely, rarely think about today. As a fan of history, I sat down to write this blog thinking that I had a pretty good knowledge of Prohibition and the time period of the1920s and 30s. But I soon realized that there is so much more that I have to learn!
That is why I am excited to be touring the new exhibit in the Indiana State Museum, “American Spirits, The Rise and Fall of Prohibition” this Saturday!
Not only do I get to learn more about our country’s history, I also am looking forward to learning more about the “spirits” we all enjoy from time to time. If you’ve come across any of my Indiana Vino Adventure blogs, you may have learned that I really enjoy a good glass of wine. (In fact, I mayyyy or may not be having a glass as I write this) :)
As I was researching Prohibition, I quickly found out that some wine was actually still allowed for religious reasons. Whew – I would have survived! :)
Inside the Exhibit
The “American Spirits” exhibit, on view at the Indiana State Museum Sept. 20, 2014 through Feb. 15, 2015 was created by the National Constitution Center. It spans the dawn of the temperance movement in the early 1800s, through the Roaring ’20s, to the unprecedented repeal of a constitutional amendment during the Great Depression. It includes stories of flappers and suffragists, bootleggers and temperance lobbyists and real-life legends like Al Capone and Carrie Nation.
The 5,000-square-foot exhibition, curated by Daniel Okrent, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, features more than 100 rare artifacts; recreated environments (from a church where visitors can hear [and deliver] temperance speeches to a speakeasy where they can learn the Charleston and the slang of the time to a law-enforcement office where visitors can explore efforts to stop bootlegging) and several multimedia experiences.
In addition, the exhibition includes interactives such as Wayne Wheeler’s Amazing Amendment Machine, (pictured left) which is a carnival-inspired installation that traces the complex political and legal maneuvering behind the passage of the 18th Amendment.
So cool, right?
Not only does the exhibit share nationwide facts, It also features our very own state, Indiana! Indiana’s stories of the temperance movement, Prohibition and the cultural ferment of the 1920s, are just as colorful helping to shape the national attitude toward Prohibition. Stories like Billy Sunday’s, who moved his family to Indiana in 1911, evolving from a popular professional baseball player to an evangelical Christian. (His strong support of Prohibition played a significant role in the adoption of the 18th Amendment.) Other Hoosier stories include legends May Wright Sewall, a leader in Indiana’s woman suffrage movement, who dedicated her life to peace and Grace Julian Clarke, an influential writer for the Indianapolis Star, to name a few.
Check out a sneak peek of the exhibit below:
Details and Admissions
The exhibit opens to Members on Friday Sept 19th and to the general public on Sept. 20th. Tickets are now on sale for Indiana State Museum members and general admission guests. Tickets are $13 for adults, $12 for seniors and college students, $8.50 for children ages 12 and under. Member admission is included in membership. For more information about the exhibit, special events, online ticket sales and more, visit indianamuseum.org.
I’d love for you to join me!
Agriculture and American Spirits
As a member of the agriculture industry, I also thought this would be a neat opportunity to share some ag facts about “American Spirits”! You may be asking yourself, what role does agriculture play in all this? You probably don’t think about it, but farmers are the biggest source of ingredients for alcoholic drinks! You may have known about corn from Luke Bryan’s song, “Rain is a Good Thing” where he references, “Rain makes corn, corn makes whisky” but…
DID YOU KNOW that crops such as barley, sorghum, rice, hops, apples, wheat, grapes, sugarcane, and even potatoes are also used to make different kinds of alcohol?
This means that when Prohibition was put into place, the demand for crops declined, putting even more economic pressures on farmers.
As I tour the “American Spirits” exhibit this weekend, I am also going to focus on highlighting how agriculture is involved in the various aspects of the exhibit as well as the beverage industry in general. I’ll be live tweeting from the event too so if you’d like to get a sneak peek of what’s inside, be sure to follow me at @Chelsea_PA on Twitter!
And to share all of the fun things I learned while at the exhibit, I’ll post a recap blog as well as provide more insight into all things “Agriculture and American Spirits” – so be sure to check back next week!
Museum Social Media Information:
Trip Advisor: www.tripadvisor.com
Hashtag for the exhibit: #ISMSpiritsCredits: Indiana State Museum Press Release. American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition(italicize) was created by the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Local Sponsors – Supported by: 21st Amendment; Contributors: Barnes and Thornburg LLP, Republic National Distributing Company and American Harvest Vodka.
Oh hey. Remember me? I’m still here! I know the blog has been a little dormant lately, but I’m hoping to be back to normal with blogging soon. Until then, I thought I would at least give you a quick update to what I’ve been up to lately, because a lot has been going on!
I guess the best place to start would be this little thing called my wedding. That’s right, I GOT MARRIED! After being engaged for around a year and a half, it was so exciting for our big day to actually get here!
As might be expected, it was a little stressful planning the wedding from out of town, but thanks to some big help my family and bridal party, the whole day was absolutely perfect! Surrounded by our wonderful family and friends, T and I became husband and wife.
It was such a happy, emotional, and fun day. But boy did it go by fast! I’m so thankful that I had the wonderful Abby of AK Photography there to capture moments in time and the talented Jenna and Felicia to capture everything on video!
Maybe in a future post, I’ll share more photos and details about our big day, but for now – here’s a sneak peek!
Aren’t those girls seriously talented? The whole day felt like an absolute fairy tale, and this video captures it perfectly. And this is only the teaser! I can’t wait to see the whole thing!
After the wedding, we headed off on our honeymoon! And let me tell you, after being in “wedding mode” for 18 months, a whole week of nothing but sun, food, and relaxation was just what the doctor ordered.
We were sad to leave this wonderful paradise, but we were looking forward to settling back into normal life. Wait, not quite – next up was reorganizing the house and writing wedding thank yous! – Which are almost on their way, wedding guests! :)
Besides getting back on track with normal life, I also had to catch up on everything that happened at work while I was gone. And let me just say that a whole week and a half away from the marketing department at Beck’s might as well be an eternity with how much takes place in our world over that amount of time!
And speaking of work, I have been keeping my blogging skills up to par by posting to my “Family and Farming” column on the Beck’s Blog. Here are some of the things I’ve been sharing:
I had a lot of fun making these recipes and sharing my memories so I hope you’ll check them out!
Well, there’s so much more to share, but I have to squeeze in a little sleep here and there so I’m calling it a night. But I hope to be back again soon! Hope everyone has a wonderful week!
Did you know that fewer than 1 percent of our population of 317 million are farmers? At one time, it was common for everyone to grow their own food. But with the immense amount of growth of our country has experienced, most Americans are now five generations removed from the farm. This means less people growing our food, and less land to grow it on, but that doesn’t mean there is any less care that goes into it.
Being five generations removed from the farm, a huge disconnect has developed between the farmer and the consumer. So much so, in some cases, that people couldn’t even tell you where their food comes from aside from in the grocery store. When in reality, about 90 percent of the food grown in America comes from a family farm.
It really saddens and frustrates me to see this happen, which is one of the reasons why I became an ag communicator. One of my greatest passions is helping to educate people where their food comes from and how it’s grown. But with anti-ag groups presenting misinformation, it’s sometimes hard to give people a firsthand look into what it is REALLY like on the farms across America. That is why I am so excited to share with you the new documentary, Farmland!
Released in theaters today, Farmland lets you step inside the world of farming and take an intimate look at the lives of farmers and ranchers in their ‘20s, all of whom are now responsible for running their farm and producing the food we all depend on.
As the trailer said, “When people see farmers, they think GMOs, organic, certified organic, all natural, treading an animal humanely” and all of the other buzz words that the media reports on, but what they don’t think about is that the farmer growing their food is a regular person just like you and me. And farming isn’t just a job to them, it’s their livelihood. Their lives depend on ensuring that their crops and/or livestock are healthy or nutritious. Not only because they feed them to their own family, but because hundreds and thousands of people are depending on them. To the outside eye, making sure that happens might look easy. But from firsthand experience, I can tell you that farming is anything but.
“We put so much time and so much effort into making something happen, when it finally does happen, we’re pretty proud of it.” – Farmland.
Thanks to the Indiana Soybean Alliance, the Indiana Farm Bureau, and BASF, I had the opportunity to attend an advanced screening of the movie and I absolutely loved it! I’m not sure if it was because it was such a great representation of the different areas of farming and what all it takes to be grow the food we all depend on, or because of how proud it made me feel to be a part of agriculture, but I truly hope that everyone takes the time to watch it! (Oh and maybe bring a tissue just in case, as I may have gotten a little tear-y eyed at the end.)
Farmland will be released in select theaters across the country starting TODAY! Please check www.FarmlandFilm.com for screening dates and locations. In Indiana, it will be showing at the Landmark Keystone Theater in Indianapolis.
If you don’t see a theater near you, their Facebook page said to send them a message with your email address and they’ll add you to the list to receive updates about the digital download and DVD release of the film.
Please do me, and yourself, a favor and go see this film! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!