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Holly Johnson: Enriching the season at the HHH

I am interrupting my series regarding the economic philosophies of George Hormel of which he wrote about in the Los Angeles Times in 1935.  I will return to his assessment of the 1930s economic environment soon.

The arrival of fall typically brings a whole new season of programming and events at the Hormel Historic Home.  Although this year is a little different (and definitely challenging), we have scheduled some activities that will enrich the season.

We are honoring the Hormel family’s appreciation for food and entertaining in a new series called Lillian’s Table.  The first event under this title will feature a free four-part online cooking series sponsored by Primrose Retirement Center staff.  Their demonstrations on Zoom will focus on simple menus that all can prepare and enjoy.  Recipes and instructions will be provided so participants can follow along and then prepare the menus at their convenience.

The second event in the series will be held on Saturday, Oct. 24, and will honor the fall tradition of tailgating, or home-gating as it is sometimes being referred to now.  For this event, participants will register for a meal kit which they pick up curbside at the HHH.  They are then invited to watch a live demonstration on Zoom of Neal Hull preparing the recipes. The kits are $40 and will serve approximately four people.  The menu includes a sloppy joe dip, teriyaki pineapple pork sliders and caramel apple crisp.  Yum!

George Hormel had great examples of good cooking and hospitality in his life.  In his autobiography, “The Open Road,” he wrote about his mother’s kitchen skills.

“I particularly remember a golden ‘Johnny cake’ she used to make from fresh ground yellow cornmeal, sorghum molasses, eggs, milk, and shortening—a far different kind of cornbread from any one can find today. She filled her hungry brood with young green cabbage coleslaw doused in sour cream, potatoes boiled in their jackets or baked, mashed rutabagas seasoned with butter and cream, and other fresh vegetables. And her vitamin-rich meat and vegetable soups, her stews and browned beef hash would have put life into anyone this side of a mummy.”

Lillian Hormel was also known for her wonderfully hospitable spirit.

“She kept the home in readiness to entertain the many who came on business missions to the plant.  For years the annual meetings and banquet of the stock-holders were held in this home where the heavy responsibility of entertaining fell on the hostess.”

Please join us as we celebrate the hospitality of the Hormel family.

Upcoming Events: History’s Sweet Reads Book Discussion, Week 5

5-6 p.m., Monday, Oct. 12

“The Open Road, Autobiography of George A. Hormel”

Sponsored by the Hormel Historic Home and Sweet Reads Book Store. Join in person or virtually.  All sessions recorded so participants can join at any time.  Pre-registration required on the website or by calling the Hormel Historic Home. $5 per session or $45 for whole series. Register at www.hormelhistorichome.org

History Happy Hour – In Person

6 p.m., Monday, Oct. 12

The “Feedsack Story,” Presented by Yvonne Cory

Hear about a woman’s role in taking the use of mundane pieces of cloth to a whole new height through the war years, factory labor, and hardships. Masks required and space limited. Please call to reserve your spot. A pre-package snack will be provided. Free for members of the HHH, Mower County Historical Society and Friends of the Library.  $5 for non-members.

Lillian’s Table Culinary Hospitality Series, Week 2

10-11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 15

This edition will feature four online cooking demonstrations led by the Primrose Retirement Center team.  Please register to receive the link to the Zoom event.  Recipes and instructions will be provided. Free