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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Feast of All the Meats!

Something boiled, something stewed, something broiled, something brewed!
As you are preparing for your Thanksgiving meal, take a look at Major-General Philip Sheridan's troops' Thanksgiving "bill of fare" in 1868 during the Indian Wars as described by De B Randolph Keim in Menus from History: Historic Meals and Recipes for Every Day of the Year by Janet Clarkson.

Soup - Wild Turkey.
Boiled - Wild Turkey, Buffalo Tongue.
Roast - Buffalo Hump, Wild Turkey, Saddle of Venison.
Red Deer, Common Deer, Antelope. Rabbit.
Entrees - Rabbit Pies, Wings of Grouse, breaded, Turkey Giblets.
Broiled - Quails, Pinnated Grouse.
Vegetables (imported) - Canned Tomatoes, Lima Beans, Dessicated Potatoes.
Bread - 'Hard Tack,' plain and toasted, Army Biscuits.
Desert (imported) - Rice Pudding, Pies and Tarts.
Wines and Liquors - Champagne, 'Pinetop Whiskey,' Ale. (Clarkson, 734)

What does any of this mean? We found out for you!
  • Buffalo Hump - We'll save you the gory details of the process and just say it's the entire hump along the vertebrae of the bison (Clarkson, 602).
  • Saddle of Venison - Much like the buffalo hump, this is also a segmented area cut along the spine of a deer. "It is taken from the back, between the last rib and the hind legs. (Davidson, 679)."
  • Dessicated Potatoes - Potatoes cut into squares or slices and dried. They could then be reused in cooking by adding water, thus hydrating them again. Dessicated vegetables were commonly used by soldiers during the Civil War.
  • Hard Tack - Cracker-like squares made from water and flour, and sometimes salt.
  • Pinetop Whiskey - Pine needles, pine cones, and twigs were said to have made up this homemade brew (Clarkson, 736).

What's on your menu tomorrow? We hope it'll be tastier, if not quite so meaty, as Sheridan's fare! Have a great Thanksgiving day!

Clarkson, Janet. Menus from History: Historic Meals and Recipes for Every Day of the Year, vol. 2. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2009. Print.
Davidson, Alan. The Oxford Companion to Food. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. Print.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Picture Book Month
Did you know that November is picture book month?  The Mississippi Library Commission has a great juvenile section with some excellent picture books.   Here are just a few to spark your interest.

Has your child introduced you to these newer picture books?
A Splash of Red: the Life and Art of Horace Pippin
By Jen Bryant and illustrations by Melissa Sweet

Horace Pippin loved to draw.  He loved the feel of the charcoal as it slide across the floor.  He loved looking at something in the room and making it come alive.  Follow this inspiring story of a self taught artist through his humble childhood, the obstacles he faced as an adult, and being recognized as an established artist.


 The Hello, Goodbye Window
By Norton Juster and illustrations by Chris Raschka

For one little girl the kitchen window at her Nanna and Poppy’s house is a magical gateway.  Everything important to her happens near, through, or beyond this window.  This story also expresses the love between grandparents and grandchildren.

Look in our Mississippi collection to find Mississippi authors and illustrators as well as books on Mississippi related topics.
 Richard Wright and the Library Card
By William Miller and illustrations by Gregory Christie

This is a fictionalized account of Richard Wright and his first library card.  Richard grew up listening to his mother read the newspaper and teaching him to read the funny section.  Now working his way to Chicago, Richard wants to read more than just newspapers.   


A Medal for Murphy
By Melissa W. Odom and illustrations by James Rice

Murphy the mutt was nobody’s dog.  He roamed the town searching for scraps of food, getting in the way and becoming the town pest.  So how does Murphy end up saving the day?


Don't forget the classics!  We have some of the books that you loved as a child. 

Peppe The Lamplighter
By Elisa Bartone and illustrations by Ted Lewin

 A long time ago when there was no electricity the street lights had to be lit by hand.  Peppe, a young boy living in Little Italy, has taken on the job as a lamplighter to help his family.  However, this is not the what Peppe’s father had dreamed for him--until, one night, lighting the street lamps became the most important job in the world.

By Janell Cannon

Stellaluna, a fruit bat, is separated from her mother before she is old enough to fly.  She is saved by a family of birds, but now she must learn to be act and think like a bird.  Will Stellaluan ever find her bat family again?

Stop by MLC to share some of these fabulous books with your children! To learn more about picture book month visit

Friday, November 14, 2014

Book Club in a Box Presents: When You Reach Me

We add new titles to our Book Club in a Box kits year round. We have so many great titles for young adults, but one of my favorites right now is When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. Don't take my word for it, the New York Times called it "smart and mesmerizing".

Here is the summary from Stead's website
"Four mysterious notes change  Miranda’s world forever. By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it’s safe to go, and they know who to avoid. Like the crazy guy on the corner.
But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda’s mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper:
I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own.
I ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter.
The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows things no one should know. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she’s too late."

Contact us if you'd like to get this fun read for your book club! You can reach me by email at or phone at 601-432-4117.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Nabzdyk Chosen as ALA Emerging Leader

Jennifer Nabzdyk
Library Consultant
Mississippi Library Commission

The Mississippi Library Commission is proud to relate that one of our Library Consultants, Jennifer Nabzdyk, has been chosen as an American Library Association Emerging Leader for 2015. In a highly selective process--200 applied and only 50 were chosen--newly minted librarians will have the opportunity to "participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity" (ALA). She is the third participant to be chosen from Mississippi since the program's inception in 2007.

Upon learning of her acceptance to the program, Nabzdyk said, "I'm honored and thrilled; I didn't expect to be chosen after hearing the number of applications they received. I'm so excited to find out what our project will be!"

Nabzdyk will attend the Chicago ALA Midwinter Meeting in January, where she will be assigned to a group and a project. Nabzdyk believes that one of the reasons she was chosen is her many-layered library background. "They really seemed to be looking for diverse individuals. I've had experience working in public libraries, academic libraries, and our state library in such varied roles as cataloging, reference, circulation, and consulting." All of this will come into play when she and her group leave Chicago and head back to their individual libraries. Over the ensuing six months, they will continue to work together "in an online working and networking environment" (ALA). In June, she will travel to San Francisco to attend the ALA Annual Conference. Here, she and her group will present their project at a poster session presentation.

We at the Mississippi Library Commission are immensely proud of Nabzdyk and can't wait for her to "show her stuff" to the rest of the library world. Good job, Jennifer!
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