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Rank #26 in Personal Journals category

Society & Culture
Personal Journals

The Kitchen Sisters Present

Updated 2 days ago

Rank #26 in Personal Journals category

Society & Culture
Personal Journals
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The Kitchen Sisters Present… Stories from the b-side of history. Lost recordings, hidden worlds, people possessed by a sound, a vision, a mission. The episodes tell deeply layered stories, lush with interviews, field recordings and music. From powerhouse producers The Kitchen Sisters (Hidden Kitchens, The Hidden World of Girls, The Sonic Memorial Project, Lost & Found Sound, Fugitive Waves and coming soon… The Keepers). "The Kitchen Sisters have done some of best radio stories ever broadcast" —Ira Glass. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced in collaboration with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell and mixed by Jim McKee. A proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.

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The Kitchen Sisters Present… Stories from the b-side of history. Lost recordings, hidden worlds, people possessed by a sound, a vision, a mission. The episodes tell deeply layered stories, lush with interviews, field recordings and music. From powerhouse producers The Kitchen Sisters (Hidden Kitchens, The Hidden World of Girls, The Sonic Memorial Project, Lost & Found Sound, Fugitive Waves and coming soon… The Keepers). "The Kitchen Sisters have done some of best radio stories ever broadcast" —Ira Glass. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced in collaboration with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell and mixed by Jim McKee. A proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.

iTunes Ratings

956 Ratings
Average Ratings
601
304
25
10
16

Love these sisters and their kitchen

By Jalin Ma - Aug 13 2019
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Thoughtfully-rendered, uniquely SMART fun. Wonderful show!

Great narratives

By KHASL - Jun 09 2019
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Love these stories! One of my faves.

iTunes Ratings

956 Ratings
Average Ratings
601
304
25
10
16

Love these sisters and their kitchen

By Jalin Ma - Aug 13 2019
Read more
Thoughtfully-rendered, uniquely SMART fun. Wonderful show!

Great narratives

By KHASL - Jun 09 2019
Read more
Love these stories! One of my faves.
Cover image of The Kitchen Sisters Present

The Kitchen Sisters Present

Latest release on Feb 11, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 2 days ago

Rank #1: 67 – The Hidden World of Girls with Tina Fey

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Stories from The Hidden World of Girls with host Tina Fey: Nigerian writer Chris Abani tells about his English-born mother enlisting him at age 8 to be her translator in Nigeria as she travels door to door through the villages teaching women the Billings Ovulation Method of birth control. Plus stories from singer/actress Janelle Monae, science fiction writer Pat Cadigan, Estonian activist Tiina Urm and her “Let’s Do It Campaign” and more stories about girls and the women they become.

Mar 27 2017

25mins

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Rank #2: 79 – Pati’s Mexican Jewish Table

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A walk through Oaxaca’s Ethnobotanical Garden with chef and cookbook author Pati Jinich, host of the Emmy and James Beard nominated PBS series Pati’s Mexican Table and resident chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington DC. Pati talks about her Jewish heritage, growing up in Mexico, immigration, life choices and how she found her way into the kitchen.

Sep 25 2017

18mins

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Rank #3: 100 - The Keepers: Archiving the Underground—The Hip Hop Archive

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This is the first episode in our new series THE KEEPERS—stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, curators, collectors and historians—Keepers of the culture and the cultures and collections they keep.

We begin at The Hip Hop Archive and Research Center at Harvard. In the late 1990’s the students of Dr. Marcyliena Morgan, Professor of Linguistics at UCLA, started falling by her office, imploring her to listen to hip hop. They wanted her to hear this new underground sound and culture being created, the word play, the rhyming, the rapping. They wanted her to help them begin to archive this new medium. “Hip Hop *is *an archive," they told her. Dr. Morgan wasn’t an archivist and she didn’t listen to hip hop. But she listened to her students and saw a new kind of soundtrack emerging from the cracks.

Bit by bit she opened her office and her resources and began to collect the history and material culture of hip hop. Some 15 years later the Archive has gone from her office at UCLA to Harvard, where she and Professor Henry Louis Gates founded The Hiphop Archive & Research Institute at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute whose mission is to “facilitate and encourage the pursuit of knowledge, art, culture, scholarship and responsible leadership through Hiphop.” Along with gathering everything about hip hop for preservation and study, the Archive created the Nasir Jones Fellowship for scholarly research in the field, named for Nas, one of hip hop’s titans, and the “Classic Crates Project,” a collection that aims to archive 200 seminal hip hop albums in the same Harvard music library that houses the works of Mozart, Bertolt Brecht and Edith Piaf. The first four—Nas’ “Illmatic,” “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” and “The Low End Theory” by a Tribe Called Quest have been inducted into the University’s Loeb Music Library.

You’ll hear from Professor Marcyliena Morgan, Nas, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Nas Fellow Patrick Douthit aka 9th Wonder, The Hip Hop Fellows working at the Archive, an array of Harvard Archivists, and students studying at the Archive and the records, music and voices being preserved there.

And we take a look at the Cornell University Hip Hop Collection, founded in 2007, through a sampling of stories from Assistant Curator Jeff Ortiz, Johan Kugelberg author of “Born in the Bronx,” and hip hop pioneers Grandmaster Caz, Pebblee Poo, Roxanne Shante and more.

Sep 05 2018

32mins

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Rank #4: 3 – Eel Pie Island

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The Kitchen Sisters  take us to a little-known, hidden corner of London — to Eel Pie Island, a tiny slice of land in the middle of the Thames. Now a small bohemian community of artists, inventors, river gypsies and boat builders, on the edge of Twickenham, Eel Pie Island has a flamboyant history that stretches from Henry VIII to The Rolling Stones.

Eel Pie Island is produced by The Kitchen Sisters with Nathan Dalton, mixed by Jim McKee / The Hidden World of Kate McGarrigle, produced by the Kitchen Sisters

Fugitive Waves is produced by The Kitchen Sisters in collaboration with Tom Corwin

Apr 12 2014

18mins

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Rank #5: 4 – The French Manicure – The Long Shadow of Shirley Temple

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Shirley Temple died on February 10. 2014. Watching the parade of clips from her 1930s movies on TV that night brought back the magic she had as a child to delight and entertain. How many hours did we spend watching her tap her way through hard times and good?

It was actually Shirley Temple who triggered the story you’re about to hear. The year was 1999. I had been getting manicures for awhile at a Vietnamese nail shop in San Francisco from a woman named Shirley. Over the months I had come to know her a bit, she would ask about our radio shows, I would ask about her daughter Crystal. One day as we talked it occurred to me, why is this woman named Shirley? She is from Vietnam. There are no Shirley’s there.

When I asked how she came to be Shirley she told the most harrowing story of her passage to America as a young girl, her separation from her brother and mother as they escaped Vietnam by boat, how she washed ashore in America alone, sick and scared out of her mind, speaking no English.

She said in Vietnam her name was Hang, which means ‘Lonely woman looking at the moon.” Hang was hospitalized. In the hospital room she watched the black and white TV on the wall. Over and over she saw a little girl dancing, who was happy. She told herself she had to stop crying for her mother and brother. She was in America. She had to be happy too. Someone told her the little girl’s name was Shirley, Shirley Temple. So she took that name.

Shirley led us into her world. We spent months in Vietnamese nail salons, chronicling the lives of the women working there. Today we call this story “French Manicure: The Long Shadow of Shirley Temple”

Listen…..

May 15 2014

22mins

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Rank #6: 108 - The Dark Side of the Dewey Decimal System

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Melvil Dewey, the father of library science and the inventor of the most popular library classification system in the world, was a known racist and serial sexual harasser. Forced out of the American Library Association, which he co-founded, his 19th century world view and biases are reflected in the classification system that libraries around the world have inherited.

Molly Schwartz of the Metropolitan New York Library Council and producer of the podcast Library Bytegeist visits Bard High School Early College in Queens to find out about how students there are rebelling against the Dewey Decimal System. She also talks with Greg Cotton (Cornell College), Barbara Fister (Gustavus Adolphus College), and Dorothy Berry (Umbra Search Project).

Jan 22 2019

22mins

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Rank #7: 129 - Martin Scorsese — Try Anything

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An onstage conversation with this master filmmaker about his extraordinary documentary work.

Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore… to name but a few. The films of Martin Scorsese are astounding. As is his effort to preserve and save the history and heritage of American cinema through The Film Foundation. Martin Scorsese is a Keeper. A steward of American and global cinema.  One of our heroes and inspirations.

Beloved for his epic fiction features, Martin Scorsese’s non-fiction films are also some of his best work. Whether depicting tales of American life, illuminating the history of cinema, or capturing the exuberant spirit of contemporary music, his documentaries are insightful and often playful, revealing his curiosity and passion.

And then there are his documentaries. His non-fiction films, starting with Italianamerican, a portrait of his own parents and family. The Last Waltz, Rolling Stones Shine a Light, Living in the Material World, his ode to George Harrison, My Voyage to Italy, Il Mio Viaggio a Italia, and his most recent documentary, but not quite documentary, Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review.

The San Francisco Film Society invited Mr. Scorsese to San Francisco to honor his non-fiction film work and premier his latest feature, The Irishman. We were so taken with Scorsese’s onstage interview with Rachel Rosen, Director of Programming for the Festival, that we asked The Festival if we could share it on the Kitchen Sisters Present podcast. They were kind enough to say yes.

Thanks to The San Francisco Film Society, to Rachel Rosen, and most of all to Martin Scorsese, film master and film keeper.

The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of PRX’s Radiotopia, a network of some of the most creative independent producers and podcasts out there. Make your mark. Go to radiotopia.fm to donate today.

Nov 26 2019

25mins

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Rank #8: 36 – Tupperware

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“Somewhere in the world there’s a Tupperware Party starting every 10 seconds.” And we’re going to one with The Kitchen Sisters.

Parties. Rallies. Sales sessions. More than a way of storing leftovers in covered plastic bowls, for many it’s a way of life. Earl Tupper took the plastics he developed for WWII into post-war American kitchens. The Tupperware Party is one of the ways women have come together to swap recipes and kitchen wisdom, get out of the house and support each other’s entrepreneurial efforts.

This story, which is used by instructors teaching audio classes around the country, was produced by The Kitchen Sisters in 1980, one of the first stories they created together. In this podcast the Sisters deconstruct the making of the piece and talk about the experiments and accidents  that led to the development of their production style.

We also hear from Tupperware historian Dr. Allison Clarke, Professor of Design Theory & History, University of Applied Arts, Vienna, and Tupperware consultant Lynn Burkhardt, and we hear vintage Tupperware ads from the Prelinger Archive—in a piece produced by Brandi Howell.

Dec 08 2015

18mins

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Rank #9: 128 - First Day of School—1960, New Orleans

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November 14, 1960 — Four six-year-old girls, flanked by Federal Marshals, walked through screaming crowds and policemen on horseback as they approached their new schools for the first time. Leona Tate thought it must be Mardi Gras. Gail thought they were going to kill her.

Four years after the Supreme Court ruled to desegregate schools in Brown v Board of Education, schools in the south were dragging their feet. Finally, in 1960, the NAACP and a daring judge selected two schools in New Orleans to push forward with integration — McDonogh No.19 Elementary and William Frantz.

An application was put in the paper. From 135 families, four girls were selected. They were given psychological tests. Their families were prepared. Members of the Louisiana Legislature took out paid advertisements in the local paper encouraging parents to boycott the schools. There were threats of violence.

When the girls going to McDonogh No.19 arrived in their classroom, the white children began to disappear. One by one their parents took them out of school. For a year and a half the girls were the only children in the school. Guarded night and day, they were not allowed to play outdoors. The windows were covered with brown paper.

The story of integrating the New Orleans Public schools in 1960 told by Leona Tate, Tessie Prevost Williams, and Gail Etienne Stripling, who integrated McDonogh No.19 Elementary School, and retired Deputy U.S. Marshals Herschel Garner, Al Butler, and Charlie Burks who assisted with the integration efforts at the schools.

We produced this story a few years back. We want to put it out there again as part of our Keepers Series because it seems critical, particularly now, to remember and pay tribute to the many Keepers of the archives, the stories, the truth about our past and the long fight for what is fair and just.

Nov 12 2019

16mins

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Rank #10: 88 - Frances McDormand Hosts Hidden Kitchens

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Two-time Academy Award winning actress Frances McDormand hosts Hidden Kitchens—secret, underground, below the radar cooking—how communities come together through food. Stories of NASCAR Kitchens, Hunting and Gathering with Angelo Garro, listeners calls to the Hidden Kitchens hotline and more.

**NASCAR Kitchens—Feed the Speed: Behind every car race is a kitchen—hidden in the crew pit, or tucked between the hauler and the trailer of the trucks that transport NASCAR and Indy cars from city to city. Public radio listener Jon Wheeler cooks for the drivers, haulers, pit crews, sponsors and owners on the racing circuit. He called the Hidden Kitchens hotline line to tell us about his world.

**Hunting & Gathering with Angelo Garro: Blacksmith, Angelo Garro forges and forages, recreating in wrought iron and in cooking the life he left behind in Sicily. The Kitchen Sisters join Garro along the coast of Northern California as he follows the seasons, harvesting the wild for his kitchen and his friends.

Mar 12 2018

26mins

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Rank #11: 127 - Robert Krulwich—Talking Story, The First Third Coast

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Award winning producer Robert Krulwich talks about storytelling techniques and his early career in radio and television as part of Talking Story, a panel hosted by The Kitchen Sisters at the first Third Coast International Audio Festival in Chicago in 2001.

Robert Krulwich tells the improbable story of how he first got into radio covering one of the biggest stories of the decade — the Nixon impeachment. He deconstructs one of his early pieces — Kraslansky, and talks about the danger of creating radio

Part of The Keepers series, this recording is part of the Third Coast Audio Festival Archive a vast — and ever-growing — collection containing thousands of carefully curated audio stories and Third Coast Conference sessions featuring work by makers from all over the world.

Robert Krulwich, co-host of the Peabody Award winning show Radiolab, serves as a science correspondent for NPR. He has worked in television and radio at ABC, CBS, NPR and Pacifica. He has created pieces for ABC’s Nightline, World News Tonight, PBS’s Frontline, NOVA and NOW with Bill Moyers. Robert won an Emmy Award for his investigative work on privacy and the Internet, as well as for his ABC special on Barbie. He lives in New York with his wife, Tamar Lewin, a national reporter forThe New York Times.

Oct 22 2019

25mins

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Rank #12: 93 - Prince and the Technician

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In 1983 Prince hired LA sound technician, Susan Rogers, one of the few women in the industry, to move to Minneapolis and help upgrade his home recording studio as he began work on the album and the movie Purple Rain. Susan, a trained technician with no sound engineering experience became the engineer of Purple Rain, Parade, Sign o’ the Times, and all that Prince recorded for the next four years. For those four years, and almost every year after, Prince recorded at least a song a day and they worked together for 24 hours, 36 hours, 96 hours at a stretch, layering and perfecting his music and his hot funky sound. We interviewed Susan, who is now a Professor at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, for our upcoming NPR series, The Keepers — about activist archivists, rogue librarians, collectors, curators and historians. It was Susan who started Prince’s massive archive during her time with the legendary artist.

May 22 2018

24mins

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Rank #13: 120 - San Francisco—Stories from the Model City, Part One

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In the late 1930s, during the depths of the Depression, 300 craftspeople came together for two years to build an enormous scale model of the City of San Francisco—a WPA project conceived as a way of putting artists to work and as a planning tool for the City to imagine its future.

The Model was meant to remain on public view for all to see. But World War II erupted and the 6,000
piece, hand carved and painted wooden model was put into storage in large wooden crates “all higgledy piggledy,” for almost 80 years.

The story of this almost forgotten, three-dimensional freeze frame of the City in 1938 leads us on a journey through the streets and neighborhoods of San Francisco — contemplating the past and envisioning the future with poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, historian Gary Kamiya, writer Maya Angelou, the current “Keeper of the Model,” Stella Lochman, and many more.

In Part One we travel to the Golden Gate Exposition on Treasure Island where the model was first put on display in 1939. We visit Angel Island with SF Jazz Poet Laureate Genny Lim where her father and other Chinese immigrants were once detained. We ride along with bicycle historians Chris Carlsson and LisaRuth Elliott of Shaping San Francisco as they visit the 1938 model on display at libraries throughout the City. We hear from geographer Gray Brechin who helped save the model from the dumpster at UC Berkeley, and from the Dutch artists, Bik van der Pol, who imagined bringing this this gigantic object back to the people of San Francisco to stimulate conversations and ideas about the future of this City.

The Kitchen Sisters produced this story for SFMOMA’s Raw Material podcast in conjunction with their Public Knowledge program, “Take Part” in which the museum partnered with the San Francisco Public Library and artists Bik Van Der Pol to engage the community in a series of talks and events around
the Model.

Jul 23 2019

23mins

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Rank #14: 106 - 21 Collections—Every Object has a Story

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Paper airplanes, photographs of men in rows, birds nests, gay bar matchbooks, dolls hats —an untraditional take on what warrants our attention. As part of The Kitchen Sisters’ series THE KEEPERS, we wander through a curated collection of collections at the Los Angeles Central Library examining the role collections play in telling our stories.

As research for this project, Curator Todd Lerew visited over 600 museums, libraries, archives, and public and private collections, identifying those he felt told the most compelling and memorable stories.

We also hear from callers to THE KEEPERS HOT LINE —The Unofficial Archivist of Mt. Everest—Elizabeth Hawley; The Radio Haiti Archive; 19th & 20th century women scientists at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Glass Plate Collection; Christian Schwartz, 21st century naturalist and collector; Bobby Fulcher recorder and keeper of traditional rural Tennessee folk music and more.

Dec 11 2018

26mins

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Rank #15: 92 - The Working Tapes of Studs Terkel

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In the early 1970’s, radio producer and author Studs Terkel wrote a book called Working. He went around the country with a reel-to-reel tape recorder interviewing people about their jobs. The book became a bestseller and even inspired a Broadway musical. Working struck a nerve, because it elevated the stories of ordinary people and their daily lives. Studs celebrated the un-celebrated.

Radio Diaries and their partner Project& were given exclusive access to these recordings, which were boxed up and stored away after the book was published. Stories of a private investigator, a union worker, a telephone operator, a a hotel piano player, and more.

As The Kitchen Sisters warm up for our new series “The Keepers,” stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, historians, collectors, curators —keepers of the culture—we share these stories gathered by the ultimate Keeper —Studs Terkel.

May 07 2018

37mins

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Rank #16: 130 - Lipstick Traces — Dreaming in Public

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They say the average woman dies with a pound of lipstick in her stomach. “I have a feeling when I go they’ll find five,” says Davia Nelson of The Kitchen Sisters. Along with radio and podcasting, lipstick is a bit of an obsession. Over the years of producing and fundraising for our stories, we began to merge the two and started thinking that an intriguing way to raise money for public media storytelling might just be our own line of lipstick.

The Kitchen Sisters are Dreaming in Public of starting a line of lipstick, partnering with the right makeup company to raise new monies for podcast and public radio producers for stories coming from new and exciting lips. And they are dreaming of chronicling the creation of this line in a podcast series called — Lipstick Traces. Sort of a StartUp for Makeup.

Ours will be a sound and story themed line of lipsticks—Sonic Boom, Phantom Power, The Truth, Room Tone, The Allusionist… Lipstick Traces—Dreaming in Public of the power of a lipstick to seed new stories from new rouged lips.

Dreaming in Public is the theme of this year’s Radiotopia Fundraiser mini features. All of the podcast creators in Radiotopia’s Network are producing works about the kinds of stories we might do with enough story-making funds—funds that allow us to to go deeper and further, out on the next limb with our stories.

Your support for Radiotopia, a network of 18 fiercely independent shows, makes realizing those dreams possible. Take a listen to all of the Dreaming in Public stories at radiotopia.fm.

Make your mark. Support The Kitchen Sisters Present and all of your favorite Radiotopia shows. Donate at radiotopia.fm

Dec 05 2019

3mins

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Rank #17: 107 - William Ferris—Keeper of Southern Folklife

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Folklorist and Professor Bill Ferris, a Grammy nominee this year for his "Voices of Mississippi" 3 CD Box set, has committed his life to documenting and expanding the study of the American South. His recordings, photos and films of preachers, quilt makers, blues musicians and more are now online as part of the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina.

Bill Ferris grew up on a farm in Warren County, Mississippi along the Black River. His family, the only white family on the farm, worked side by side with the African Americans in the fields. When he was five, a woman named Mary Gordon would take him every first Sunday to Rose Hill Church, the small African American church on the farm. When Bill was a teenager he got a reel-to-reel tape recorder and started recording the hymns and services.

“ I realized that the beautiful hymns were sung from memory—there were no hymnals in the church—and that when those families were no longer there, the hymns would simply disappear.”

These recordings led Bill to a lifetime of documenting the world around him—preachers, workers, storytellers, men in prison, quilt makers, the blues musicians living near his home (including the soon-to-be well known Mississippi Fred McDowell).

Bill became a prolific author, folklorist, filmmaker, professor, and served as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is a professor of history at UNC–Chapel Hill and an adjunct professor in the Curriculum in
Folklore. He served as the founding director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of
Mississippi, where he was a faculty member for 18 years. He is associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South.

Bill’s has written and edited 10 books and created 15 documentary films, most dealing with African-American music and other folklore representing the Mississippi Delta. His thousands of photographs, films, audio interviews, and recordings of musicians are now online in the William R. Ferris Collection, part of the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina.

This story was produced by Barrett Golding with The Kitchen Sisters for The Keepers series.

Jan 08 2019

32mins

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Rank #18: 119 - Nancy Pearl—Librarian Action Figure

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Nancy Pearl—she’s been called “one of the 10 coolest librarians alive.” She’s the bestselling author of “Book
Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment and Reason,” and a regular commentator about books on NPR’s Morning Edition. She’s the creator of the much loved and imitated If All Seattle Read The Same Book project, encouraging everyone in the city to read the same book at the same time. And then, of course, there’s the Nancy Pearl Librarian Action Figure with amazing push-button shushing action.

A brilliant and entertaining storyteller, Nancy reveals how she became the “five-inch tall, plastic, non biodegradable librarian action figure with amazing push button shushing action.” She talks about her childhood library in Detroit—how it changed her life and provided refuge from her dysfunctional family. She gives tips on how to select books for people, and explains her Rule of 50 about when to give up on reading a book. She also talks about how “our leaders should be readers.”

Raised in Detroit, Michigan, Nancy earned her master’s in library science at the University of Michigan and became a children’s librarian at her hometown library. She moved to Oklahoma with her husband, professor Joe Pearl, and raised two daughters while earning a masters degree in history. In Tulsa she worked in an independent book store and the Tulsa City-County Library System. In 1993 she was recruited to join the Seattle Library where she later became executive director of the the library system’s Washington Center for the Book.

In addition to Book Lust, Nancy is the author of several other books including: Now Read This: A Guide to Mainstream Fiction 1978–1998 (and Now Read This II 1990-2001); Book Crush: For Kids and Teens; Book Lust To Go, Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers; and her novel, George and Lizzie.

Among her many awards, including the Library Journal’s 2011 Librarian of the Year Award, Nancy Pearl is the recipient of the coveted Kitchen Sisters’ Keeper of the Day Award (and trophy) presented at the American Library Association’s Conference in January 2019, at a special party sponsored by EveryLibrary, the national political action committee dedicated to the future of libraries, and bibliotheca, which connects libraries and their communities in new and effective ways.

Nancy Pearl Librarian Action Figure is part of The Kitchen Sisters’ series, The Keepers, about activist archivists, rogue librarians, historians, collectors, curators —keepers of the truth and the free flow of information. Heard on NPR’s Morning Edition, on The Kitchen Sisters Present podcast, and at kitchensisters.org.

The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of PRX’s Radiotopia, a collective of some of the best podcasts and audio storytellers on earth.

Jul 08 2019

24mins

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Rank #19: 12 – The Nights of Edith Piaf

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She rose every day at dusk and rehearsed, performed, ate and drank until dawn. Then slept all day, woke up and began to create and unravel again as the sun went down. Nearly every song Edith Piaf sang came from a moment of her life on the streets of Paris. She would tell her composer and musician lovers a story, or describe a feeling or show them a gesture and they would put music and words to her pain and passion, giving her back her own musical autobiography. Charles Aznavour, Francis Lai, Georges Moustaki, Henri Contet, some of France’s great musicians and writers recall their nights with Edith Piaf.

The Nights of Edith Piaf was Produced by The Kitchen Sisters in collaboration with Raquel Bitton, who hosts and translates the program.

Dec 16 2014

29mins

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Rank #20: 57 – War and Peace and Coffee

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“Nobody can soldier without coffee,” a Union calvary man wrote in 1865. Hidden Kitchens looks at three American wars through the lens of coffee: the Civil War, Vietnam and Afghanistan. And an interview with Anastacia Marx de Salcedo author of “Combat Ready Kitchen: How the U.S. Military Shapes the Way You Eat.”

The Civil War:  War, freedom, slavery, secession, union – these are some of the big themes you might expect to find in the diaries of Civil War soldiers. At least, that’s what Jon Grinspan, a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, assumed when he began digging through war journals in the nation’s Civil War archives. “I went looking for the big stories,” Grinspan says. “And all they kept talking about was the coffee they had for breakfast, or the coffee they wanted to have for breakfast.”

The Vietnam War:  Coffee may have powered the Union army during the Civil War, but during the Vietnam War, it fueled the GI anti-war movement. In the late 1960s and early ‘70s, as soldiers returning from Vietnam began to question the U.S. role in the war, GI coffeehouses sprung up in military towns outside bases across the country. They became a vital gathering place. Oleo Strut, Fort Hood, TX, Shelter Half, Tacoma, Washington, the Green Machine outside Camp Pendleton, San Diego; Mad Anthony Wayne’s, Waynesville, Mo., outside Fort Leonard, to name a few. As the anti-war movement heated up, these coffeehouses became places where GIs could get legal counseling on issues like going AWOL and obtaining conscientious objector status, and learn about ways to protest the war.

Afghanistan: “ The military runs on coffee,” says Harrison Suarez, co-founder of Compass Coffee in Washington DC. “The Marines especially. It’s this ritual.” Suarez and Michael Haft, who started Compass together, first became friends in the Marines over coffee learning how to navigate with a map and compass.

As the war in Afghanistan intensified, both Suarez and Haft deployed there with the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines. One of their missions was to help develop the local police force and army. The two men tried to bond with their new Afghan partners over coffee, but the Afghans weren’t having it. The Afghan culture is much more about tea. Regardless of what was in the cups, the experience of gathering together over a hot drink and “taking time to develop a rapport with your partners that you are fighting alongside holds the same.”

This story is part of the Hidden Kitchens series “Kimchi Diplomacy: War and Peace and Food.”

Oct 25 2016

17mins

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