Monthly Archives: October 2020

Foodie Friday: Pumpkin Cornmeal Dodgers

Another recipe flashback perfect for fall! The pumpkin in these dodgers really ups the flavor of a bread similar to corn bread. This recipe is based on an old southern recipe handed down through several generations, and could go either savory or sweet.

Pumpkin-Corn Meal Dodgers

1½ cups cooked pumpkin

1 teaspoon salt

1½ cups corn meal

3 tablespoons shortening

2 tablespoons syrup

  1. To the pumpkin, which has been cooked very tender and mashed free from lumps, add the salt, syrup, melted shortening, and corn meal and mix thoroughly.
  2. Have mixture just soft enough to take up by spoonfuls and pat into flat cakes in the hand.
  3. Place on a griddle or greased baking sheet and bake about 20 min. in a hot oven (I did 350*).
  4. If desired, the corn meal may be added to the hot pumpkin and allowed to steam with it for 10 minutes before adding the other ingredients.
  5. Also cooked or baked sweet potato may be used as a substitute for pumpkin.

Featured in the “Farmers’ Bulletin,” 955 Use of Wheat-Flour Substitutes in Baking, March 1918

These we so quick and easy to pull together! Everything was something I have on hand in the fall. The only change I would make is the cook them in a skillet. I don’t think the baking sheet I use browned them enough. Cooking them on the stove in a bit of oil would also be good!

As an added bonus, they also reheated nicely in the toaster and were delicious with the Raspberry-Apple Butter I also made 😉

A Dive into the Archive: Inspecting Farmers of the Sea

Post by Valeria Dávila

When I rejoined OSUL as a Library Diversity Scholar in October 2019, the Valley Library was in the midst of moving collections stored at an off-site storage facility, set for demolition, to a new one. Some Special Collections and Archives Research Center (SCARC) collections, however, had been moved to the library first for a reassessment, and in that context, I was tasked with reassessing the 16 mm film production elements of Farmers of the Sea, a 1984 film documenting aquaculture practices in the US and abroad produced by Jim Larison for the OSU Oregon Sea Grant Communications Program.

Having no prior experience reassessing films, this opportunity was as frightening as it was unique. Until then, I had worked with films at SCARC only twice.

The first reassessing the Gerald W. Williams Moving Image and Sound Recordings Collection’s condition to craft a Salvage and Recovery Plan for a course, and second, inspecting, repairing, and rehousing the In Our Care series’ films in the KOAC TV Films Collection. I had also improved my skills by interning at the Yale Film Study Center that summer.

These experiences prepared me well for the task, but the project was still the most challenging I have ever had, not only in terms of size (311 film rolls for Farmers vs. 34 for the In Our Care series) but of the responsibility of determining which elements should be retained and which should be deselected. But these big challenges were also what made this project an opportunity to grow, and so, later that year, 11 boxes and 7 canisters containing these 16 mm films made their way to my office. Now ­I’ve completed the films’ inspection, I’m excited to share about this process in celebration of the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage!

Preparing for the inspection

Previous to inspecting the films, I reunited all the tools and equipment needed for the task. Available at SCARC were the inspection bench and lightbox, as were the loupe, split reels, gloves, splicer, and blank leader. Thinking about the inspection tools I had used at my summer internship, I ordered a film measuring stick for documenting the length of the film rolls and proposed to upgrade our lightbox with a LED light pad I had used at YFSC. The LED pad was not only smaller and lighter, fitting better in the inspection bench, but the lightning was even, unlike that of the fluorescent tubes in our lightbox. SCARC liked the idea so much that it purchased two, the second for patrons to use at the SCARC commons.

While I waited for the supplies to arrive, I watched the digital copy of Farmers of the Sea, which had been recently made available online. Farmers of the Sea had been broadcast by WGBH-Boston as part of their PBS NOVA series in 1984, and this was the version used for that broadcast. Taking screenshots of each scene of the video, I made a storyboard for visual reference, that way I would be able to check the scenes and editing without having to rewatch the video over and over. I also created a film inspection report using that on the Film Preservation Guide (National Film Preservation Foundation, 2004, p.94) as a reference. The report had fields for documenting the distinctive characteristics of the film elements (gauge, length, support material, color, positive/negative/reversal; magtrack/optical track; variable area/density, generation, etc.) as well as their current condition (mechanical, biological, and chemical damage and decay).

Inspecting Farmers of the Sea and the COVID-19 pandemic

Maintained as two accessions, 2000:100 and 2003:083, accession 2000:100 contained the fewest number of film rolls but they were the longest, with an average length of 1,000 feet. This accession was also the most diverse in terms of the film elements type and generation (A&B cut negatives, workprints, release prints, internegative, interpositive, master, etc.). Accession 2003:083, in contrast, was much bigger in quantity of film rolls, but also more straightforward, consisting mainly of camera originals trims and outtakes.

I started with accession 2000:100 in February 2020, after all ordered supplies arrived. I printed blank reports and filled them by hand as I was inspecting the films, with the idea of transferring the data to a spreadsheet on the cloud at the end, once the inspection process of all films was completed.

I also produced photographic documentation using my cellphone. For each element, I photographed the box or canister the element had come in, as well as the labels and inscriptions on them. While inspecting the films, I photographed the information written on the leaders and film frames, making sure I captured the edge codes. These photos were valuable documents in themselves, but they also served as visual reference, allowing for rechecking the elements without the need of taking the films out again. For storing the photos, I maintained a Google Drive folder on the cloud.

As for the inspection goals, the first was verifying that each element had been correctly identified as per the preliminary inventory list. The second was furthering the identification and description of the elements, and the third, reassessing their condition. All elements were color acetate, so I paid special attention to vinegar syndrome and color fading. In the video below, I go through the inspection process step by step.

Step by step of the Farmers of the Sea inspection process.

By mid-March, I had managed to inspect 20 film rolls, 55% of the total 37 in this accession, but around this time, the COVID-19 outbreak occurred here in Oregon. My transition to remote work was rather sudden, and the films and equipment remained at the library. Permission had to be granted to go back in, and we decided to wait and see how the situation evolved, thinking that the onsite activities would resume sooner rather than later. But as time passed, and recommendations to quarantine continued, I asked for permission to bring the films and equipment home to resume work. This was May, so the project had been paused for two months.

Moving the tiny film archive home

Moving the tiny film archive to my house was not complicated, but adjustments had to be made, such as preparing the space I had been using as a home office to accommodate the 9 boxes and the inspection table. In addition to this, having no printer at home, I had to switch to entering the inspection information to the spreadsheet on the cloud much earlier than planned.

But perhaps the biggest challenge was catching up with the inspection after the two months pause and completing the inspection of the remaining 17 films in accession 2000:100, and the 274 in accession 2003:083, in a two-month timeframe, since I had my holidays starting in early August. Completing the task would not be possible on a part-time schedule, so I worked fewer weeks but on a full-time schedule instead. This way, I was able to return the films and equipment back to the library by August 1, and the fact that the majority of the elements in accession 2003:083 were smaller film rolls of camera original trims and outtakes also helped me achieve this.

Not all of it was inspection

Parallel to the inspection, I researched about the traditional film duplication process and the production elements often considered for retention and deselection at other archives. This process also involved consulting other film archivists in this last regard to compare against my preliminary thoughts. I also maintained conversation with the producer of Farmers to gain an insight on the production process of the film, which was helpful for clarifying one thing of two about some of the elements. Carrying out this project has been an incredibly rich learning opportunity for me, and I can hardly wait to see what I’ll be learning in the subsequent stages!

Foodie Friday: Potato Chowder

We wish we could enjoy a meal together with you to celebrate Oregon Archives Month, but since that’s not an option this year, serve this delicious fall recipe up for your friends and family at home. As an added bonus, this was even better as leftovers for lunch the next day…if you have some left!

Potato Chowder

  • 6 Medium sized potatoes, sliced
  • 1 lb. salt pork, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 pint milk (2 cups)
  • 1 pint water (2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Fry the pork and onions together until they are a delicate brown.
  2. Put a layer of the sliced potatoes into a kettle, then a layer of the pork and onions, and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Repeat this until all materials are used.
  4. Pour over them the grease from the pan in which the pork and onions were fried and add the water.
  5. Cover and simmer 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Thicken the milk with flour mixed with the butter and pour it over the potatoes.
  7. Stir carefully, so as not to break the potatoes.
  8. Serve very hot.

Farmers’ Bulletin 712 School Lunches March 1916

Oh. My. Goodness. This chowder hit the spot! It has gotten cooler here these past few days and this came together for a quick, warm, and filling dinner. I used a mix of bacon and ham instead of the salt pork, along with a whole onion (my guess is that the chopped onion in this recipe was actually dried onion). I also used more water, as the two cups listed barely covered my pot, let alone the potatoes!


Foodie Friday: Pumpkin Pie Chiffon

‘Tis the season for pumpkin everything! This pie is just the one to give you all the fall feelings. And the best part is that it is SUPER easy to pull together!

Pumpkin Pie Chiffon

  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1 package of instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  1. Mix pumpkin, pudding mix, milk and spice to taste. 
  2. Mix in whipped cream. Place in pie shell and chill for 1 hour.   

From: “Kent House Cookbook.” OSU Archives-Memorabilia Collection. 

This pie came together so quickly! Although it has all the flavor of a traditional pumpkin pie, I loved that this was silkier and not as dense. This might be my go to fall dessert and pumpkin pie recipe now!

Foodie Friday: Eggless, Butterless, Milkless Cake

Described by the Oregon Agricultural College Extension Service as a “war cake,” this recipe is a flashback to 1917 and then again  to 2008 when it was discovered and recreated for the “Taste of the ‘Chives” Recipe Showcase.

Not remembering much about the 2008 version, I approached this first as a curiosity and then as a challenge to make something other than a dense “prune brick.” It would be my first time cooking with prunes or lard. 

Eggless, Butterless, Milkless Cake  

  • 2 cups brown sugar    
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups hot water         
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons lard (or other shortening)   
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 cups of raisins or dried prunes or dried apricots
  • 4 cups of flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Cook everything together, except the flour and soda, for 5 minutes until it begins to bubble.

Cool mixture and then add flour and soda sifted together.

Bake in 2 loaves for 45 minutes at 350 degrees (this is not clarified in original recipe).

Best after standing a week.

(Featured in the Oregon Agricultural College Extension Service Boys’ and Girls’ Industrial Clubs Extension Bulletin 242, November 1917.)

What emerged from my oven (after only about 25 minutes) was dense, but also sweet and moist. Not brick like at all! The pairing of prunes and apricots worked well to keep everything solid and moist, while lending a tasty fruity texture to the cake. It has the feel of a more-filling cousin to Mom’s legendary banana bread. Autumn is a good time to warm up and rediscover this cake, which will give you an excuse to haul out all those holiday aromatics-cinnamon, brown sugar, and cloves.

September 2020 guides added to SCARC collections

SCARC completed two new or updated finding aids in September 2020. The following is a list and a little information about what we accomplished. 

These finalized finding aids are available through the Archives West finding aids database, and the OSUL discovery system (a.k.a. “the catalog”). All of these materials are available to researchers.

A new collection that was previously not available to researchers:

Roman Schmitt Papers,  1961-1988 (MSS Schmitt)

The Roman Schmitt Papers are comprised of materials generated and collected by chemistry professor Roman Schmitt that document his research and instruction. Among the materials in this collection include: article reprints, committee records, a grant proposal, lecture notes, photographs, and research data. Schmitt worked for Oregon State University from 1966 until 1999 in a joint appointment with the Chemistry Department and the OSU Radiation Center. Specializing in the field of cosmochemistry, Schmitt used neutron activiation analysis in the research of moon rocks collected as a part of the NASA Apollo Sample Return Program.

A finding aid for a collection that was previously under-described with an incomplete guide: 

Western Small Fruit Pest Conference Records, 1968-1999 (MSS WSFPC)

The Western Small Fruit Pest Conference Records document the establishment and annual meetings of the organization.  The first meeting of the Western Small Fruit Virus Disease Conference was held in Portland, Oregon, in January 1950 for breeders, plant pathologists, and entomologists to report on the detection, identification, and control of small fruit viruses, especially of raspberries and strawberries.

Foodie Friday: Quick Aprecan Loaf

One of our favorite Oregon Archives Month events is “Taste of the ‘Chives.” This exploration of recipes past, is both tasty and not so tasty, but either way it is a great way to experience the past and learn about changes in the foods we eat on a daily basis.

Since we’ve gone virtual with all our events, this year we’re bringing you a recipe every Friday. One of our archivists will try it out and review it, complete with pictures!

Quick Aprecan Loaf                                                    

3 cups flour                                        ½ cup chopped pecan meats
1/3 cup sugar                                     ½ cup dried apricots, cooked
4 teaspoons baking powder            1 egg                                                   
1 teaspoon salt                                  1 ½ cups milk  

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add the pecan meats and the dried apricots cooked and cut in pieces. Beat the egg slightly and to it add the milk. Stir the liquid lightly into the dry ingredients. Bake in a moderate oven 350 degrees F, about one hour. Remove the loaf from the pan and let cool on a wire rack.                       

(Source: 1945 “Cooking Club Tested Recipes” Wall Calendar)

This loaf surprised me! I was hesitant to bake something without any fat (No butter? No oil? How is that possible?!?), but it turned out just perfect (even though they look quite anemic). It tastes like a pancake..slightly sweet and nice and fluffy! I would love to try this with other add-ins.

Happy Oregon Archives Month 2020!

Things are different this year… But we are still excited to share our treasures and connect with you all.

Enjoy student imagination with a showing of student produced films transferred from KBVR-TV! These short films, some of which were assignments for a New Media Communication class, feature action sequences, toys that come to life, and trees with eyes!

Hops have grown many places in the US, but since the 1890s, the Pacific Coast has dominated production. Learn about hops history and watch a short 1931 film about spring field operations and fall harvest.

Kenneth I. Helphand, author of Hops: Historic Photographs of the Oregon Hopscape book launch, in conversation with Tiah Edmunson-Morton, curator of the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives.

Valeria Dávila shares her preservation work experiences with “Farmers of the Sea,” a film documenting aquaculture practices. Blog post and behind the scenes images on October 27. 

All month long you can explore the past through favorite recipes from Tastes of the ‘Chives past! Recipes and photos posted every Friday across our social media.

  • #timetraveltuesday
  • #womenwednesday
  • #waybackwednesday
  • #tbt
  • #throwbackthursday
  • #flashbackfriday
  • #foodfriday
  • #WDAVH
  • #archivesmonth