Monday, August 20, 2012

Interview with Evelyn Birkby: Part 4

What was the best part about representing Iowa at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival?

Oh that was a wonderful experience. Being interviewed by newsman Paul Hendrickson and a subsequent two-page spread  in the Washington Post. The time High Sidey (raised in Greenfield, Iowa) of Time magazine walked onto our broadcast set and joined in a discussion I was moderating that went out over the air. The television interviews I did with the Washington Monument in the background. And being a presenter in the food tent of some of Iowa’s most interesting cooks. That was great fun.

The final night with Lee Kline when we helped present a magical evening. Lee and I were the co-masters of ceremony, and we decided to make it like a real live old-fashioned radio broadcast. Somewhere the Smithsonian has a tape of that evening. It deserves to be preserved. And I made lifelong friends--Lee Kline, Lorene Horton, Riki Saltzman, etc.
The hotel where we stayed also had the people from the South who were part of that event, and I learned to love every one of them, especially the Native Americans. The day we said good-bye, one of them told me, ”We may not meet again in this world but hopefully we will meet again in the spirit world.” I told him, “I hope so, too.”

If your friends from the University of Iowa Press were coming to your house for lunch, what would you serve us?

My favorite menu for company lunch now is chicken in a sour cream sauce over rice, orange sherbet salad, probably a green vegetable, pie made with fruit in season—and if I have time and energy, fresh Hay Hand Rolls coming out of the oven when we are ready to eat, served with my homemade strawberry jam.

Evelyn Birkby is the author of Always Put in a Recipe and Other Tips for Living from Iowa's Best-Known Homemaker, as well as Up a Country Lane Cookbook and Neighboring on the Air.

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