MTPR

Arts & Culture

Author interviews, food, natural history, poetry, and more from "The Write Question", "The Food Guys", "Field Notes", "Home Ground Radio", "Front Row Center", and "Reflections West".

Murray Hotel in Livingston Montana
Flickr user Carol Vinzant (CC-BY-NC-ND-2)

To Toby Thompson, the Christmas spirit is really just the warmth of community, something we can find any time of year.

Two volunteers at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Bonner, Montana roll out lefse dough.
Rachel Cramer

Food can be a powerful connection to the people and places of our past, and help define who we are today. We may not dress like our ancestors or speak the same language, but some food traditions remain strong, especially around the holidays. But why is this?

P.D.

"Ten years ago, my dad told me I would be inheriting his 30.06," writes Erika Fredrickson, arts editor at the Missoula Independent. "I nearly choked on my coffee. My grandfather, who died before I could meet him, had passed the gun to my dad, and my dad wanted to do the same. But I was a writer, not a hunter.

Botanical Field Trip Through Christmas Dinner

Dec 23, 2016
Flickr user, Andrea Pokrzywinski (CC-BY-2.0)

Going for a hike at this time of year just isn’t the same for a botanist. The flowers are dead and all the leaves have fallen. Not much material for a field note out there. But here in my kitchen there are lots of interesting and colorful members of the vegetable kingdom because I’m preparing my holiday dinner.

Misunderstood: Why the Humble Rat May Be Your Best Pet EVER
Farrar Straus Giroux

As much a moving memoir as it is an amusing pet manual, Misunderstood is a unique nonfiction book for teens and tweens about domesticated rats in general and a wonderful rat named Iris in particular.

Unknown

Emily Dickinson's Black Cake

Greg Patent writes:

The poet Emily Dickinson prided herself on her skill as a cook, and she was extremely proud of her black cake. This is a scaled-down version of her recipe, which was quadruple this one, and baked in a milk pail.

Harper

Hi!  I’m Dr. Jamison Starbuck, a naturopathic family physician.  I’m here today to talk about two plants that I always think about during the Christmas season.

I bet most of you know about the Three Kings.  The Christmas story talks about them, three Wise Men who made a long journey riding through days and nights from the Far East to bring gifts to the baby Jesus in the manger.

Do you remember what the three gifts were?

They were gold, frankincense and myrrh.  

Recipe: Welsh Tea Bread

Dec 14, 2016
Flickr user, oatsy40. (CC-BY-2.0)

Food Guy Greg Patent recalls:

"While I was hunting for immigrant bakers for my cookbook, “A Baker’s Odyssey,” I asked my Welsh friend and fellow Missoulian, Tottie Parmeter, if she might have a recipe she’d like to contribute.  She said she’d be delighted to show me how to make it, so here it is.

The texture of this Welsh bread is quite amazing, being both dense and light at the same time. For best results, make Bara Brith a day ahead.  The resting time makes it easy to cut the bread into thin slices with a serrated knife.  Serve with lots of butter and steaming cups of tea."

"Montana first told me a secret on the banks of Rattlesnake Creek in Missoula," writes photographer and writer, Jessica Lowry Vizzutti. "I was visiting in summer with my boyfriend as we made a cross-country road trip from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Montana and ultimately Los Angeles.  It was July, the perfect month for a Southern woman to fall in love with a snowy state.

“Allen Jones’s A Bloom of Bones is simply riveting. Always lyrical, often wise, filled with vitality, and the promise that love and loyalty can surmount the darkness in our lives. I couldn’t put it down.” — Mark Spragg, author, Where Rivers Change Direction and An Unfinished Life

“What a terrific novel Allen Jones has given us! Two attractive but emotionally isolated people, a rancher on the starved-to-death plains north of Jordan Montana who has written his way into nationally interested poetry, and a young woman who represents his New York publisher. A progressing love story and an unsolved murder on his ranch—A Bloom of Bones is articulate, occasionally heartbreaking, and all the way fascinating.” — William Kittredge, author of A Hole in the Sky and The Willow Field

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