Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Press Release

American Indian Memoir Mixes ‘Good Seeds’ with Good Stories for Great Food

In this new food memoir, Good Seeds, tribal member Thomas Pecore Weso takes readers on a cook's journey through the North Woods tribal lands.

By - Sep 7th, 2016 10:55 am
Good Seeds: A Menominee Indian Food Memoir

Good Seeds: A Menominee Indian Food Memoir

For Menominee Indians, the “Good Seeds” of life are the manoomin or wild rice that also gives the tribe its name. In this new Wisconsin Historical Society Press food memoir, Good Seeds, author and tribal member Thomas Pecore Weso takes readers on a cook’s journey through the North Woods tribal lands. Drawing from his rare perspective as a Native anthropologist and artist, he mixes a poignant personal story with the seeds of Menominee cooking traditions.

With humor and heart, Weso folds Reservation life with ingredients that are not in most cooks’ pantries. From squirrel and beaver to dried corn and blackberries, he serves up the rich food culture of the Menominee Indian Nation and connects Menominee food–like trout, wild rice, maple sugar, partridge, and more–to the colorful individuals who taught him Indigenous values, including his medicine man grandfather, Moon, and his grandmother Jennie.

Sample one recipe here, for cornbread, on the Society Press You Tube site!

Cooks will learn from his authentic recipes. Amateur and professional historians will appreciate his often humorous personal stories about reservation life during the mid-twentieth century, when many elders, fluent in the Algonquian language, practiced the old ways. And, readers will savor this memoir for its equal helpings of humor, history, heart … and good food!

“Good Seeds” has been selected a Midwest Connections Pick for November!

An e-book edition of “Good Seeds” is also available.

Thomas Pecore Weso is an enrolled member of the Menominee Indian Nation of Wisconsin. He is the author of many articles, personal essays, and a biography of Langston Hughes with coauthor Denise Low. Weso holds a Master’s degree in Indigenous Studies from the University of Kansas and teaches at Kansas City Kansas Community College. He is a speaker for the Kansas Humanities Council library program Talk about Literature in Kansas and copublisher of Mammoth Publications. He is an artist with paintings in collections throughout the Kansas City area, and he has had solo and group shows at the Hutchinson Arts Center and other venues.

“These stories and recipes make us appreciate the past, make us long for woods and waters today, and make us just plain hungry.”

Heid E. Erdrich, author, Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories, & Recipes from the Upper Midwest

“Weso tells his tale of Menominee history that began with his family in a house that had been an Indian service jail. There is necessary information here–diesel fuel gels at 40 below. Pines burst at 20 below. The whole Wisconsin winter he knew begins to thaw in Good Seeds. Weso says his grandmother used to start fire each morning. I want to say, it is  Weso who starts fire, but the fire he builds is for the written word. It is language that sparks his work to life.”

–Diane Glancy, poet, playwright, and  author, Pushing the Bear: After the Trail of Tears

Friday, Sept. 16 — “Good Seeds” & Good Food, A Book Talk Dining Experience
Time: 3-5:30 pm
Location: 715 Restaurant, Lawrence, KS. Author Thomas Pecore Weso launches his Menominee Indian food memoir, “Good Seeds,” with recipe samples and a special menu at 715 Restaurant, 3-5:30 pm Sept. 16, Friday. (Raven Bookstore will sell books at the restaurant.)

Friday, Oct. 14 — “Good Seeds” Book Talk, A Write On Door County Event
Time: 7 pm
Location: Chief Oshkosh Native American Arts, 7631 Hwy. 42, Egg Harbor, Wis. Write-On Door County hosts author Thomas Pecore Weso for a book talk event featuring readings from his new book, “Good Seeds.” A book signing will follow.

Saturday, Oct. 22 — “Good Seeds” Book Talk: A Wisconsin Book Festival Event
Time: 3 pm
Location: Wisconsin Historical  Museum , 30 N. Carroll Street, Capital Square, Madison, Wis. 53703. Thomas Pecore Weso launches his Menominee Indian food memoir in his home state at this Wisconsin Book Festival Event, sharing the stories behind the Native American food and recipes in “Good Seeds.” A book signing will follow.

The Wisconsin Historical Society Press has been publishing the best of  Wisconsin history and culture, as part of the Wisconsin Historical Society, since 1855

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