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Notes from a Western Life
Ranging Far and Wide on the High Plains and Beyond
Linda M. Hasselstrom's Blog

The Black Hills Yesterday and Today, by Paul Horsted

. . .
I’m so glad that I finally bought this book!

Paul Horsted spent four years of intense work visiting archives, museums and photo collections to glean some of the early images of the Black Hills region, in which he includes the area “within view of the Hills, including towns like Newell, Belle Fourche, Wall and Sundance,” as well as towns that boomed and died, like Cyanide and Crook City. He even included Hermosa, which is often absent from books about the scenery of the Hills.

From the work of about 50 different photographers, he selected images that showed significant scenes in the Hills. The original photographers included Eastman, William Henry Illingworth, Rise Studio, Stanley J. Morrow, and many unknowns. And then, incredibly, he located the spots from which those photographs were taken and provided a modern view of the same scene.

That’s amazing enough, but he didn't stop with the photographs. He included the date of the original photo, if possible, credited the photographer and collection, provided GPS readings for the location (unless it was on private property or in a few other instances). Furthermore, he added field notes, which included descriptions of what he encountered while locating the photograph, or other observations he made.

The photographs are delightful; Horsted hauled his camera to the top of rugged cliffs so we don’t have to climb there in order to see the sights these early photographers observed. In some cases he placed his camera’s tripod in the precise location where a photographer had taken a photo a hundred years before.

I studied each photo and learned so much about the Hills. But my favorite part of the book is the field notes, because of Horsted’s generosity. He says things like, “It is a beautiful place to have a picnic lunch and ponder the changes that have taken place in more than 100 years of Black Hills history.”

Additionally, he notes where changes have taken place since the original image, or since his own photograph. He explains how he balanced on roofs and dangled from rusty ladders to capture a shot. When photographing from streets, he was occasionally threatened by cars, and in Newell, SD, he was nearly run down by a thrashing machine.

He adds travel suggestions like this, “When you go to Deadwood, be sure to stop at the Adams Museum behind the depot. It is a treasure trove of Deadwood history that could easily occupy a few hours.”

A handy index helps the reader quickly locate favorite photos. Many of the images in the book are available as prints.

The Black Hills Yesterday and Today was published in 2006; I never should have waited this long.


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For more information:

To learn about this and other books by Paul Horsted, visit his website at www.dakotaphoto.com

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Between Urban and Wild

Andrea M. Jones with her book.
Andrea Jones, who came to her first Windbreak House retreat in 2007, came to her sixth retreat in September this year (2014), bringing a friend. While on retreat, Andrea, hikes and thinks and writes ferociously and this year she's working on a proposal for her second book.

Her first book, Between Urban and Wild: Reflections from Colorado (see information below), explores the crucial question of whether it's too late for residents of the West to really live with the land, rather than perching on it. And she offers hope.


At my Road Scholar presentations, I always display postcards advertising Andrea's book, along with cards about other books I recommend. The cards are scattered attractively among my books, which I also sell to participants.


I was signing one of my books last Friday when a woman from the class snatched up Andrea's postcard and said, "Do you know her?"


I was able to say, "Yes, I do. As a matter of fact, she is at my retreat house right now, working on a second book."


"Oh, good," said the woman. "I want to get her book!" And, carrying the postcard, she turned away from my stack of books.


Then she turned back around, blushing, and stammered, "I mean, not that I don't want your books, but she's from Colorado, where I'm from and . . . ."


I assured her that I was perfectly happy for Andrea to make a sale!


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For more information:

Between Urban and Wild: Reflections from Colorado by Andrea M. Jones
is available from University of Iowa Press, www.uiowapress.org or 800-621-2736.

Andrea's website with information about her book and an entertaining blog BetweenUrbanAndWild.com


For information about the Road Scholar program in the Black Hills see www.roadscholar.org

Or see "Where in the World is Linda M. Hasselstrom?"


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Summer Basil, Winter Pesto

The basil harvest done by hand.
I've had better success growing basil in a very large pot near the house rather than in the garden.
. . .
Near the end of August, when the gardening chores become lighter, I love harvesting basil-- though it can be harvested several times in a season.

I clip off individual leaves with my thumbnails-- giving them black tips for a month no matter now much I scrub-- and each leaf drops into my bowl. I try to pick clean, that is with no stems, no dried or yellow leaves.

Then all I have to do is wash the basil thoroughly in a big bowl and tip it into a strainer. To finish the drying I bundle the leaves in a dish towel, take it outside, and swing it around. Then I spread those leaves I’m not using for pesto in my homemade food dryer. (see website information below)

Once the leaves are crisp, I'll pack them into recycled jars for use in soups, stews and spaghetti sauces during the coming winter. Some go into decorative jars for gifts to friends who appreciate the scent.


Here’s my recipe for Basil Pesto:

INGREDIENTS:
1 Cup (firmly packed) snipped fresh basil
1/2 Cup snipped parsley May omit
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (approximately 2 oz.) – don’t skimp; use more if you like it
1/4 Cup pine nuts, walnuts, or almonds
1 to 2 cloves garlic, quartered (may use 4-6 if you love garlic)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 Cup (or more) olive oil


FOOD PROCESSOR:
For each batch of basil pesto, put above ingredients, except olive oil, in the food processor. Turn it on and begin pouring in olive oil in a thin stream. Cover and process briefly a couple of times, then use the ON button until the paste is smooth; takes about a minute.

Possible additions: a few drops lemon juice when serving, or a few sprigs coriander.


GOOD EATING:
Serve over pasta, without any other sauce. Spread on sandwiches, or bread or crackers


STORING:
Pesto can be kept in refrigerator for weeks if covered with a layer of olive oil to keep it fresh and prevent discoloration.


FREEZING:
You can freeze pesto in muffin tins lined with paper cups; once it’s frozen, pop each “basil muffin” out of the tin, and package several in a double layer of plastic bags. Each “muffin” is enough for a single serving of pasta, and one batch of ingredients makes 6 pasta “muffins.” Or put one or two servings in small plastic bags, flatten them, and freeze. Then enjoy this summer green all winter long.


This year I'm not making pesto because I have an ample supply in the freezer left from last year. Still I can't resist nibbling some of the leaves as I pick, and will no doubt sprinkle some over the scallops and pasta I'll fix for lunch.


# # #
For more information:

Living Foods Dehydrators website: www.DryIt.com

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