NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Thursday February 22nd 2018

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P.T. Barnum Circus’ elephants, tigers, tents, and Tom Thumb, amidst urban, pioneer, frugal splendor “paints” image of the Layman Family and their Cedar Avenue homestead

The exquisite, yet frugal, homestead of Martin and Elizabeth Layman’s home on Cedar Avenue including sideyard and barn that hosted P.T. Barnum Circus tents, animals, and Tom Thumb on visits to Mpls.

by Sue Hunter Weir

When Martin and Elizabeth Layman arrived in Minnesota in 1852-53, they set up housekeeping in a log cabin. It was a tight fit. They had ten children at the time and three more after they arrived. In 1857, Martin Layman built what is believed to be the sixth permanent house in what later became Minneapolis.

There is no question that the Laymans worked hard, and they certainly prospered. In addition to owning the cemetery, they had a large farm where they grew fruit and vegetables. They sold their surplus food as well as wheat and oats that they grew. They sold the hay that they mowed and gathered in the cemetery. The sons hired out to work on other farms during the harvest season. They raised their own farm animals and sheared sheep for their neighbors. If there was work to be done, the Laymans could be counted on to do it.

In 1876, the Martin and Elizabeth Layman built their dream house directly across the street from the cemetery’s gates near what is now the intersection of Cedar Avenue and Lake Street. And, what a house it was. Their four-story house had marble fireplaces in every bedroom. It had indoor plumbing, a real luxury at the time. The hand-carved stair railing in the front hall reportedly cost $500.00. Peter Clausen, a well-known local fresco artist, painted the figures of four women on the ceiling of the reception hall; each figure represented a different season of the year. A chandelier that had five kerosene lanterns lighted the hall.

The house’s exterior was graced with a cupola, a wrought-iron enclosed widow’s walk, and numerous gabled windows. Yet, there is evidence of the Layman’s thriftiness, as well. The fence in the foreground of the photo has advertising for Edwards’ Monitor Liniment painted on it. Whether the Laymans used salvaged wood for their fence or charged a fee to have the ad placed there is not known. They had a windmill to pump water out of the ground for use in the house and the barn.

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Food Obsession: AS THE PUMPKIN TURNS

by Jane Thomson

As I remember the story, if Cinderella doesn’t leave the ball and get into her elegant coach by midnight it turns into a pumpkin. In these recipes, the pumpkin, perhaps your jack-o’-lantern, turns into food. Both recipes are originally from the S’Trib.)

The first recipe could be a second use of your Halloween pumpkin, if it is clean, still fresh, cleaned of candle wax, and does not have very large openings cut for facial features.

BAKED BEEF STUFFED PUMPKIN

One 5 to 6 lb. pumpkin or three 2-3 lb. pumpkins 2tsp. dried sage

2 tsp. salt, divided

1 ½ tsp. dried thyme

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

½ tsp. pepper (I used more)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 c. cooked rice

1 onion, chopped

2/3 cup of raisins

1 lb. ground beef

½ cup of pine nuts

3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Cut the top off pumpkin and remove seeds and strings. Prick cavity with a fork and sprinkle with 1 tsp. of the salt. Heat a large pot or skillet.

Add oil. When hot, add garlic and onion and sauté until onion is translucent.

Add beef and continue sautéing until browned. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.

Stuff pumpkin with mixture. Place one inch of water in the bottom of a shallow baking pan large enough to hold the pumpkin. Put pumpkin in pan and bake for 1 to 1 ½ hours. Drain. Cut into wedges. Makes about 8 servings. If there are any leftovers, reheat them but do not try to freeze them – the pumpkin gets watery.

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“Lutecorn,” “lutecream,” and “lutefish”… The Myth of the Lye-processed Cod fish is exposed bathed in butter

by Carsten Smith

It is Lutefisk Tasting Day at Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian Gifts. Customers who come in for Swedish meatballs and bakery products cautiously accept a sample from Diane Noble, an Ingebretsen’s employee in a traditional Swedish costume. They take a sample in a small paper cup and stab the white fish in butter with a toothpick. Gingerly nibbling, they gradually realize that they are not dealing with a biohazard or toxic substance. “That’s not bad. What is all the fuss about?” is the usual response. Some customers decide to buy some lutefisk and take it home. Others are content to know what the food that is often the butt of jokes really tastes like.

Lutefisk means “fish in lye” and for generations of families in the Scandinavia, it was a steady supply of protein during the long winter months. In the United States, it is a Christmas tradition for many Scandinavian-Americans. But since the lutefisk tasting at Ingebretsen’s didn’t result in people running screaming from the store, why all the jokes and reputation so bad that Andrew Zimmern filmed an episode of Bizarre Foods at the store?

“To be fair, the way lutefisk was processed years ago smelled pretty bad,” says Chris Dorff, president of Olsen Foods in north Minneapolis. Olsen Foods is the largest lutefisk processor in North America, making and selling 500,000 pounds a year. A large portion of that goes to Ingebretsen’s. The traditional method was to catch cod in nets from February to April. The fish were then skinned, deboned, and hung outside on racks to dry. The combination of cold air and bright sun were just right for quickly drying fillets and preserving them to a board-like consistency. People were then able to safely keep the fish for months and insure a steady supply of protein for their families. When a cook was ready to use the fish, it had to be reconstituted. Because soaking in water alone wouldn’t soften the fish, lye was added to the process.

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Animal Kingdom & Centurion

Animal Kingdon

by Howard McQuitter

Crime Drama

Sony Picture Classics

Running Time: 113 Minutes

Rated: R

Writer/Director David Michod

Jacki Weaver as (“Mommy”) Jannie Cody matriarch of the Codys, a low-level crime family of sons, gives an excellent performance, Ben Mendelsohn as Andrew ‘Pope’ Cody, one of her most devious sons—a psychopath—the lean crook went into hiding from the cops. Craig (Sullivan Stapleton) and Darren (Luke Ford) are the other two brothers. The Codys live in one of the working class suburbs of Melbourne, Australia.

Center Stage is Joshua (or “J”) Cody, Janny Cody’s grandson, who lost his “mum” to a heroine overdose, staying with his conniving grandma and drug dealing and bank robbing uncles. Joshua is seventeen years old and not involved in their crime sprees but is sucked into it by default.

Smurf, nickname for Jannie Cody, overprotects “J” trying to shield him from her unscrupulous sons. Though “J” manages to not join the cabal he’s dragged in when the good cops bring him into custody and questioned on several occasions by police detective Leckie (Guy Pearce) hoping he’s the Key to the Codys’ nasty crime wave. Well, Joshua’s stoic demeanor precludes little if any valuable information. Nonetheless Uncles Craig and Darren became paranoid Joshua (James Frecheville) may spill the beans on their operation. Two cops have been shot and killed by part of the Cody clan.

Between a smiling, wide-eyed Machiavellian grandma named Smurf and a stoic grandson Joshua (and the relentless uncles) makes for a slow pace, brilliant crime thriller—Aussie style.

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A New “Ringmaster” at In the Heart of the Beast Theatre

by Harvey Winje

In the Heart of the Beast Theatre searched far and wide for an Executive Director to assume the role long and capably performed by Kathee Foran who retired last month.  The Board of Directors chose Loren Niemi.  Loren has a wide-ranging background that includes decades of involvement in local theater and literary circles.   Loren Niemi was the Tour manager and Ringmaster of HOTB’s “Circle of Water Circus” in the summer 1983.  It was an extravaganza that combined HOTB’s three venues—education, production, and events—in a tour from the Itasca headwaters of the Mississippi River to many towns along the River, culminating in a pageant near the Gulf of Mexico.

Chances are best that Executive Director Loren Niemi and longtime Artistic Director Sandy Spieler will combine to be a dynamic duo of “ringmasters.”   They both have the ability to be in the spotlight just long enough to focus the attention of the “roar of the crowd” on the most important performers of HOTB—students in classrooms, actors on stage, or the audience as “actors” on community streets.

Loren’s unbridled enthusiasm tempered by professorial, stage, organizing, and administrative experience addresses the three venues of the theatre company. He states, “I  will use my strong belief in HOTB’s transformative abilities to guide its resources,  build for the future, and advise on physical space needs as HOTB heads toward its 40th Anniversary in 2014.”

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October 2010-Dave Moore

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Third Annual Taste Of Phillips

Celebrating the diversity of arts and culture in the Phillips Community.

Sponsored by St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, at 2742 15th Ave S.

October 1 thru 10.

  • Friday, October 1, 7:00 pm Artist’s Reception and Poetry/Spoken Word reading.
  • Saturday, October 2, 10:00 am, Scandinavian pastries and Café con Leche, dedication of murals done by St. Paul’s youth during the summer, a photography exhibit of children’s work, and a hands-on mosaic class taught by Greta McLain.

This activity is made possible in part by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The church’s gallery, featuring work by local artists, will be open from October 1 to October 10. Please call the church office at 612-724-3862 for hours.

Local Visual Artists and Poets/Spoken Word Artists who wish to be a part of the event should contact Patrick Cabello Hansel at phcreate@aol.com or 612-724-3862.

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SEWARD CO-OP & Deli Debuts “Preferred Products: Principle 6” Oct. 2

By Lindsey Frey and Tom Vogel

“While organic and fair trade are very important, Principle 6 of the 7 International Principles adds support for local economies and quality small-scale production. We hope the P6 boosts sales for these producers and businesses, … giving shoppers a quick way to identify ‘best of the best’ products and companies,’” says Sean Doyle, general manager.

7 International Cooperative Principles.

Voluntary and Open Membership

Democratic Member Control

Member Economic Participation

Autonomy and Independence

Education, Training and Information

Cooperation Among Cooperatives

Concern for Community

P6 Products criteria:

Local –a product grown or produced in the 5-state region – MN, WI, SD, ND, IA.

Cooperative/nonprofit –cooperative ownership of the business, where members have a stake in the business, or nonprofit status.

Small farmer/producer –a.) independently owned and operated, and b.) selling direct to store or through a local distributor with a regional distribution area.

Find P6 list of items at: Customer Service Desk, www.seward.coop. www.p6.coop

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State Fair Angst

By Peter Molenaar

“Angst” is a German word which has achieved vernacular status in the contemporary English.  It means:  anxiety with a little depression thrown in.  For our purposes, the word connotes an omnipresent but less than full-blown anxiety, which normally remains repressed by the requirements of daily living.

To the discerning eye, an under-current of angst was revealed among the gathered “masses” at this year’s State Fair.  We are the masses.  Unfortunately, our angst has become a playground for dishonest politicians.

So, the annual reaffirmation of Minnesotan identity has passed.  The cow barn displayed again the Jersey Cow with beautiful eyes and baby face.  The sheep were proudly groomed, snow-white and alert.  Even the hogs were giddy.

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Update on the Backyard Initiative “Tell Me a Story” and Diabetes Projects Receive Support

by Janice Barbee, Cultural Wellness Center

In August, the Commission on Health, a citizen group of people who live in the Phillips community or in the Powderhorn Park, Central, or Corcoran neighborhoods, gave its support to two more projects developed by Citizen Health Action Teams of the Backyard Initiative.

The Backyard Initiative is a partnership between Allina and the community surrounding Allina headquarters to develop ways to improve the health of the community.

Communications/ “Tell Me a Story” CHAT

One of the goals of the BYI Initiative is to build the capacity and skills of residents in any ways that will contribute to their overall health. At the CHAT meetings, people often talk about how giving people opportunities to express themselves is a crucial component of health; it is one of the statements in the BYI definition of health.  The “Purpose Statement” for the Communication CHAT is: “Working to lessen or eliminate the divide between people who have information and those who don’t so that everyone has the opportunity to be engaged in a healthy community.”

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