A graphic says "Check These Out" with the library's logo and book covers: "Anne of Green Gables," "A Culinary History of Iowa" and "The Miracle Morning."
Post Author
Alison Gowans

March 18, 2024 – Darcy Doughtery Maulsby, author of "A Culinary History of Iowa" will bring her tales of Iowa history and food to the Downtown Library on March 30, 1-2 pm.

Maulsby, author of “A Culinary History of Iowa,” will share fascinating tidbits and cooking tips related to more than 150 years of Iowa cuisine and ethnic food traditions from all corners of the state, including Iowa’s classic breaded pork tenderloins, church dinners, the historic Younkers Tea Room, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and more. She explores how Iowa’s cuisine is quintessentially Midwestern, grounded in its rich farming heritage and spiced with diverse ethnic influences.

“From Iowa originals like Maid-Rites to kolaches to homemade cinnamon rolls —served with chili, of course — there are many remarkable stories behind Iowa’s tastiest traditions,” said Maulsby. “Pull up a chair, and relish what you missed in history class.”

Presented by Humanities Iowa and the State Historical Society, Inc., this program is free and open to the public.

Before her event, we asked Maulsby for a list of some of her favorite books. Dive into her list below – the books that are part of the library's collection can be put on hold by scrolling and clicking on their titles. We also included two of Maulsby's books, "A Culinary History of Iowa" and "Iowa Agriculture: A History of Farming, Family and Food."

Maulsby's book picks, in her own words:

"The Bible"

There is so much timeless wisdom here that offers a lifetime of encouragement, hope and spiritual guidance. 

"Anne of Green Gables" by Lucy Maud Montgomery

I'm not much of a fiction reader, but I've loved "Anne of Green Gables" since I was about 12 years old. I felt such a strong connection to Anne and her feelings of ambition, rejection and trying to find her place in the world. I loved seeing this story come to life on the PBS series in the 1980s that starred Megan Follows. 

"Tell a Tale of Iowa" by Don Brown

I discovered this little gem (which was published in the 1960s) after my great-aunt passed away in 1983. This little volume of Iowa history was in her collection, and I'll never forget the summer when I read the story "Villisca's Darkest Night," about the 1912 Villisca, Iowa, ax murders. 

"Broadcasting Happiness: The Science of Igniting and Sustaining Positive Change" by Michelle Gielan

I had the chance to hear Michelle speak at the statewide Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives' annual meeting in West Des Moines in December 2023. Her blend of science-based research and powerful storytelling made me rethink the way I communicate with others. Michelle offers practical tips about the benefits of scanning the world for the positive, and the power of saying "thank you" to improve not only my life, but the lives of other people. 

"The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8 a.m.)" by Hal Elrod

I've never been a morning person, but this book showed me that you don't have to be to get a lot more out of life. The book makes a big promise (start waking up to your full potential every single day), but it delivers. The Miracle Morning emphasizes that getting everything you want out of life isn’t about doing more. It’s about becoming more (for me, that means making more time for something I love – reading) to create the life I've always wanted. 

"Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations" by David Montgomery

As an ag journalist and farmer, I'm passionate about learning all I can about the incredible natural resource Iowa has been blessed with – rich soils. I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Montgomery speak in Ames in 2019, and his talk challenged me and inspired me. While Dr. Montgomery's book is called "Dirt," it's really about soil, which is a living organism. This book explains the nature of soil, why it's essential to life, how we have used and abused soil, how we can protect it, and what happens when we let it slip through our fingers.

"The Story of the Titanic As Told by Its Survivors" edited by Jack Winocour

I've been fascinated with the Titanic ever since Robert Ballard found this legendary ship in 1985, when I was in grade school. This volume contains "The Loss of the S.S. Titanic," by Lawrence Beesley, and "The Truth about the Titanic," by Col. Archibald Gracie. Both men were passengers on Titanic, and both survived the disaster. The third story in this volume, "Titanic," was written by one of the only officers to survive the catastrophe, Commander Charles Lightoller. I've been reading everything I can as I work on my next non-fiction book, "Iowa's Lost History on Titanic." 

The "Little House" series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

As a Midwestern farm girl, I've always appreciated how Laura Ingalls Wilder not only captured an important slice of American history, but she used her stories to convey the timeless, enduring values (from hard work to the importance of family and community) that have guided generations of farm families. 

"Jack Daniel's the Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook" by Lynne Tolley and Pat Mitchamore

I love cooking and love reading cookbooks, too. My favorites aren't just filled with recipes, but include photos and stories that help me glimpse inside the culture that creates this food. I purchased this cookbook 25 years ago on my honeymoon, and my husband still requests the Country Fried Corn (creamed corn with bacon – yum!)

"The 10 Stories Great Leaders Tell" by Paul Smith

As a full-time author, marketing specialist and journalist, I'm passionate about the power of effective communication. I also serve on a number of boards and like learning all I can about successful leadership. This clear, concise book helps you understand the various stories you need to tell to be an effective leader and how to present these stories in a compelling way. 

Signed copies of “A Culinary History of Iowa” and Maulsby’s other books will be available during the event. 

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a program or event should contact the library at (319) 261-7323 or info@crlibrary.org as soon as possible but no later than 48 hours before the program, meeting, or event.