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Kim Ode

Reporter | Features
Recent content from Kim Ode
Brock Clarke

Review: 'Who Are You, Calvin Bledsoe?' by Brock Clarke

FICTION: A lonely middle-aged man takes off with his aunt on a trip of adventures and crimes. And yes, you've read something like this before.
Lemon Angel Pie

Holiday shopping for the baker in your life? The 12 best new baking books

Add these to your list of holiday must-haves, whether it's for a gift for a favorite baker or for yourself.
Virginia Hall was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by Gen. William Donovan, chief of Office of Strategic Services, in 1945.

Review: 'A Woman of No Importance,' by Sonia Purnell

NONFICTION: The riveting and sometimes harrowing story of Virginia Hall, the one-legged American spy who confounded the Germans.
"Rural scene in Colorado, USA."

Review: 'Deep Creek,' by Pam Houston

NONFICTION: In this quietly stunning memoir, Pam Houston finds kindness and solace in unusual places.
Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois offer seasonal treats in “Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day.”

Minneapolis bakers tell you how to make holiday breads in 5 minutes

The bread-in-5 duo is back, this time with more butter, to the delight of one of the authors.
The Thanksgiving meal doesn't have to be overly complicated.

There are no stupid questions when it comes to Thanksgiving hot lines

Need help for Thanksgiving? There's lots of advice out there for everyone hosting their first Thanksgiving, or even old hands wondering how to rev up their traditional feast.
Canned cranberry sauce is a tradition in Amanda Rettke's family.

Thanksgiving hot lines offer last-minute help for cooks

Last minute questions as you're putting the early (or final) touch to the big meal? Help is nearby.
Almond Cake from "Food52 Genius Desserts." Photo by James Ransom/Ten Speed Press

Feast your eyes on the best baking books of the year

Whether it's for you or a holiday gift, these new baking books will send many to the kitchen in a flurry of flour and sugar.

If the reader disagrees with the critic, who is right?

If you read a review that disagrees with your opinion of the book, do you wonder what you missed?
Ron Chernow at his home in Brooklyn.

'Hamilton' biographer comes to St. Paul with another poignant portrait

"Hamilton" biographer sets his sights on another U.S. icon, but don't expect a Broadway musical.
Camas Davis
Photo by Cheryl Juetten

Review: 'Killing It: An Education,' by Camas Davis

NONFICTION: An American food writer heads to France to learn about butchering meat.
Mark and Katya Gordon sail on the world’s largest freshwater lake.

For daring sailors, Lake Superior beckons with moments of terror and serenity

The beauty and danger of sailing a great, untamed lake.
From left, muscovado sugar, granulated sugar and brown sugar.

Know your sugars, from demerara to muscovado to confectioner's

White or brown, sugar is essential to most baked goods. But each kind has its own character.
Bruce Kerfoot, owner of the Gunflint Lodge, surveyed the charred remains of a home after the 2007 fire.

Review: 'Gunflint Burning: Fire in the Boundary Waters,' by Cary J. Griffith

NONFICTION: "Gunflint Burning" is a riveting account of the Ham Lake Fire — a disaster that didn't have to happen.
Christy Marek, a certified death doula from Lakeville, is part of a new field that reflects gradually more open attitudes toward death.

Death doulas provide comfort on final journey: 'We know how to die'

End-of-life doulas fill an emotional gap between doctors, family and attitudes about dying.
Honeywell retirees who form the Ramp Crew have built more than 30 ramps since 2012 and donated almost 4,400 hours.

Rebuilding Together Twin Cities' Ramp Crew helps people navigate way back into homes

The group of retired Honeywell employees has, since forming in 2012, built more than 30 ramps for people in need.
So many chocolates: bittersweet, semisweet, milk, all the percentages.

Confused about bittersweet? Dutch cocoa? And what's up with white chocolate?

Baking with chocolate has its rules, but mostly it boils down to how intense we like our flavors.
Chelsea Ohlquist takes photos of her infant daughter Corah after an electrocardiogram.

Photo project puts cameras in hands of parents with gravely ill children

The idea began as a nice gesture for parents of children hospitalized with serious conditions, not for days, but for months. So much waiting, so…
Jane Freeman, shown in 2013, was a founder of the DFL Party in Minnesota with her husband, future Gov. Orville Freeman. She has died at the age of 96.

Jane Freeman, mother of Mike Freeman and a founding force of the DFL Party, dies at 96

The former first lady of Minnesota forged new roles for women.
Mary Julia Anderson

Mary Anderson, pioneer of women's baseball, dies at 100

Growing up across from Comiskey Park, home to the Chicago White Sox, Mary Julia Orban was bound to develop a love for baseball. But she…
Skyler Kuczaboski translated a Dartmouth College instructor’s children’s book into Ojibwe, which “is a passion of mine,” she said.

St. Paul grad works to revitalize indigenous languages through children's books

Skyler Kuczaboski, now a freshman at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., has created a children's book in the Ojibwe language.
People waited for the doors to open so the process of choosing who could interpret artwork for Art in Bloom could begin.

Art in Bloom draws aspiring Minnesota floral designers: 'It's spring!'

An annual ritual at the Minneapolis Institute of Art begins with a lot of fingers crossed.
Illustration for Baking Central as it explores the ingredient, vanilla.

Don't call it plain – vanilla is complex, even smoky, and may be a baker's best friend

Despite its reputation as bland, vanilla is a baker's best friend.
Hannah Brandt, the pride of Vadnais Heights and member of the U.S. women's hockey team, appears on a jug of Kemps.

Minnesota's gold medal hockey champ Hannah Brandt celebrated on Kemps milk

Milk jugs elbow cereal boxes as Olympic honor comes to dairy cases.
This time the weekly gathering of family and friends was at the home of Don and Ann Luce.

Two Mpls. families' weekly commitment to each other, over dinner, spans 30 years

The two households' weekly dinners are a testament to intention and connection.
Christopher Cardozo in his Minneapolis office near a large print of the Edward S. Curtis portrait "Qahatika Girl, 1907."

Minneapolis man finds 'soul's purpose' in historical photographs of Indians

A Minneapolis man has dedicated his life to the legacy of photographer Edward S. Curtis.
Lake Superior is deep into a Twitter battle with Mount St. Helens.

Lake Superior has its own Twitter account – and it's even sassier than Mount St. Helens'

Feel the earth move? Nope, that's just Twitter, home to geologic features that tweet.
After trekking on frozen Lake Superior, visitors admire the striking Apostle Islands Ice Caves.

Lake Superior explains why it loves Twitter

So who’s behind the geologic banter on Twitter? We contacted @LakeSuperior’s digital ventriloquist, where he tweets from Marquette, Mich. He preferred to keep his…
Kristin Hannah Photo by Kevin Lynch

Review: 'The Great Alone,' by Kristin Hannah

FICTION: Heart-pounding novel about starting over is set in Alaskan wilderness in '70s.
The Father of Waters statue in City Hall in Minneapolis was made for New Orleans, which wasn’t able to foot the bill.

For stroke of luck, try Father of Waters statue in Mpls. City Hall

Superstitious sightseers entering the spectacular five-story rotunda will see "Mississippi: The Father of Waters" lounging in modest Minnesotan nudity.
Delving into the world of various cinnamons.

What's up with different cinnamons? Can I choose wrong? Not really.

Don't worry too much about different cinnamon varieties when baking.
Chris Boles said he gives bread away when “my heart moves me.”

Chaska man bakes bread to share happiness and sustenance

What Chris Boles wants people — especially kids — to understand is that you can do amazing things with your own two hands. The heart often follows.
Richard Byrd’s ice breaker “City of New York” sailed from New York Harbor toward Antarctica in 1928.

Review: 'The Stowaway,' by Laurie Gwen Shapiro

NONFICTION: The tale of a young stowaway to Antarctica illuminates American culture as it emerges from the 1920s.
That looks cozy.

It's January in Minnesota, so just make like a bear and hibernate

Hibernating is rejuvenating, and January is cold, so hunker down.
Jillian Medoff

REVIEW: 'This Could Hurt,' by Jillian Medoff

FICTION: A cast of characters pursue their aspirations against the backdrop of the bottom line.
Forget the morning-after coffee: Have a Sprite instead.

Regretting that last martini? Here's how to ease a hangover

Did you party heartily and are paying the price? Read on. (But don't hold your breath.)
Virginia Corrick

Virginia Corrick, textile artist who helped found Wearable Art MidWest, dies at 94

When she was 90, Virginia "Gini" Corrick had her first one-woman show of the art form that earned her national and international honors.Her work was…
An upside-down Christmas tree.

Deck the halls with an upside-down Christmas tree — really, it's a thing

If "Tree Christmas the Around Rockin' " makes sense to you, here's a trend to match.
Vikings fans try to temper their expectations leading up to the Super Bowl.

Oft-burned Vikings fans temper joy to avoid Super Bowl jinx

Vikings fans whisper "Skol!" trying not to tempt their Super Bowl karma.
In August, Ben Lee was recognized during the 2017 National Student Poets Ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Edina teen athlete and budding scientist wins national poetry award

A Twin Cities high school student aims to help kids discover through poetry that "it's cool to be you."
Winter is taking its time; November among least snowy ever

Winter is taking its time; November among least snowy ever

Looking for snow? Don't hold your breath. The next 10 days may be flake-free.
Are you ready for some turkey?

Top question to Butterball experts: How to thaw a turkey? (Longer than you think)

Butterball experts suggest aiming for "imperfectly perfect" holiday feasts.

What happens if your kids don't cherish books the way you raised them to?

You can't nag someone to read for pleasure.
Izzy Blanchard’s hard work and can-do spirit prompted Shriners Hospitals for Children to ask her to represent them at its annual PGA event.

Disabled Anoka teen: 'I feel like nothing's in my path'

Despite her physical limitations, an Anoka teen tackles archery, cello and climbing.
Dan Chouinard led a singalong at the Luther Seminary’s Olson Student Center in St. Paul.

Why eclectic Minnesota accompanist Dan Chouinard is 'everyone's go-to guy'

Twin Cities music man Dan Chouinard wants you to put away your ear buds and sing with him.
Patrice Johnson

Twin Cities cook offers love letter to classic Swedish holiday fare in 'Jul'

Patrice Johnson celebrates our "immigrant nation" in new cookbook.
Halloween Jack o Lantern candy collector filled with candy over a white background

Is trick-or-treating dead? Not really, but it's been tamed

Kids are still celebrating Halloween, but in a safer — if still candy-fueled — way.
The old Camp Snoopy at the Mall of America.

'It'll always be Camp Snoopy': Airing it all out with #MinnesotaConfessions

Minnesotans shared a few shameful secrets on Twitter this week — and couldn't stop.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies.

Let pumpkin shine anew in a marbled brownie

Pumpkin gets a reprieve from the spice trend when swirled into a chocolately brownie.
Michele Tafoya's local airtime comes on the KQRS morning show, which she broadcasts from her home, allowing her to brush her daughter Olivia’s hair

Minnesota's Michele Tafoya: A sports reporter in a man's world

The popular sports reporter reigns by ignoring crowd catcalls, prepping hard and staying focused on the game.
The books are geared toward kids ages 4 through 12 who have health issues and could use a few laughs.

'Kid-inspired' UnitedHealthcare joke books have a serious purpose

Project aims to make sick children laugh and help pay medical bills.
Author Larry Olmsted

'Fake Food' writer warns consumers about 'pure audacity' of food makers

Author of "fake food" exposé asks: What's really in that burger?
Compact travel trailer glowing with warm light through windows in a forest RV park in the Pacific Northwest of the USA.

Review: 'Nomadland,' by Jessica Bruder

NONFICTION: Journalist looks at the growing number of "houseless" folks forced to move between seasonal jobs.
Baking Central features a seasonal treat: apple strudel

Making homemade apple strudel calls for some bare-knuckle baking

Apple strudel is a trifecta of desserts: It's fun to say ("struuuu-dle"), fun to eat and — trust us — fun to make.
Dave and Amy Freeman have a book documenting their year in the BWCA to raise awareness of mining’s consequences.
Photo by Amy and Dave Freeman

'Witness activism' drew Minnesota couple to live outdoors in BWCA for a year

A Minnesota couple's purposeful year in the Boundary Waters is revealed in a new book.
The LinkedIn profile of University of Minnesota Prof. Davis Logsdon. “There’s a very dogged Logsdon superfan out there,” says Andy Borowitz.

U's Dr. Davis Logsdon is an expert on everything — too bad he's not real

A fictional University of Minnesota professor's quotes fill satirist Andy Borowitz's column in the New Yorker.
Jack Wheatley, owner of Level Best Ranch and Anderson Hay Elevators, baled hay on his farm on Saturday, August 22, 2015, in Thorp, Wash.

Review: 'This Blessed Earth,' by Ted Genoways

NONFICTION: A Nebraska family struggles to keep a small farm afloat.

Review: 'The History of Bees,' by Maja Lunde, is about chemistry, both agricultural and familial

FICTION: A Norwegian novel explores a dark future without bees, as well as the struggle among parents and children.
Veggies can make a great quick bread.

Got beets? Got zucchini? Then you have the secrets to tasty quick breads

No sneaky nutrition here. Vegetables are proud ingredients in these quick breads.
Taras and Sarah Wybaczynsky of Chanhassen and Matt Braun and Christina King of Lakeville were among those enjoying a recent Beer Choir Twin Cities get

Beer Choir combines love of suds and singing: 'Zero talent is required'

In the words of the official theme song: "The Beer Choir is the choir that sings while drinking beer."
Despite all the focus on lying, experts say all is not lost.

We're more distrusting than we used to be, but expert on lying says all is not lost

Amid fake news and alternative facts, it's funny how trusting we remain.
North House Folk School instructor Jock Holmen carved a Norwegian-style acanthus in the classroom at his home in Burnsville.

Carve wood, make potica: Minnesota's folk schools teach heritage crafts

Growing movement enables people to learn traditional skills, as well as connect with others.
Ashley Shelby

REVIEW: 'South Pole Station,' by Ashley Shelby.

FICTION: Science needn't fear scrutiny — that is, if it's any good. Same with people.
Office life is seeing a rise in casual profanity.

As language grows more profane, office talk takes a turn for the curse

As conversations at work get bluer, some people are seeing red. But the shift to more casual profanity may be here to stay.
F. Scott Fitzgerald in the late 1920s.

St. Paul is throwing a big party for F. Scott Fitzgerald, and you're invited

International conference honors native Minnesotan and Jazz Age writer.
“Anything is Possible” by Elizabeth Strout

Review: 'Anything Is Possible,' by Elizabeth Strout

FICTION: Connections of small-town life weave web that is suffocating and affirming.
Pastor Chris Nelson

Bethlehem Lutheran Pastor Chris Nelson dies at 64

Nelson died June 18 at home in Eden Prairie with family and friends after a pancreatic cancer diagnosis in November.
Chris Cline has made his dog Juji the doodle a global star via his Instagram account, @christophercline.

Minnesotan behind viral giant dog Instagrams mauled by a cow — and survives

The Instagrammer of Juji the giant doodle — with more than 100,000 followers — is recuperating and has even posted a photo of the aftermath.
Tess Soholt of Golden Valley transforms old wedding dresses into “angel gowns” for stillborn babies “to lend dignity to their lives no matter ho

Retired Golden Valley nurse's 'angel gowns' honor stillborn babies

Old wedding dresses are turned into keepsakes for grieving parents.
Len Mathe intertwined with Naseema Omer at the Loring Pasta Bar in Minneapolis. Mathe, who has Parkinson’s disease, swears by dancing’s therapeuti

Lonely? Worried about dementia? Argentine tango finds home in Minnesota

The dynamic Argentine dance improves your social life and can protect your brain from dementia.
Pizza at Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest.

Gluten-free food festival coming to Minneapolis this weekend

The largest local fest of its kind showcases more than 70 exhibitors, with food, speakers and demonstrations.
The Shoe Tree is best seen while walking on the Washington Avenue bridge between the University of Minnesota’s East and West banks.

Mysterious Shoe Tree is University of Minnesota's 'weird landmark'

From a distance, the tree appears home to a dense flock of starlings. As you get closer, you can see that it's an artful tossing of shoes. For decades, students have flung them there — but why?
Felicity Britton of south Minneapolis started the first U.S. outpost of Australia’s Boomerang Bags, which allows shoppers to borrow a reusable bag.

Forgot a bag? Don't want paper or plastic? Boomerang Bags can help

A south Minneapolis woman started the first U.S. outpost of an Australian operation that offers reusable bags to shoppers.
Marble rye is great for sandwiches.

Swirls of light and dark rye dough make a looker of a loaf

The swirls and curves of dark and light rye add some pizazz where it's least expected, especially with sandwiches.

Driver jailed after Andover crash that kills 52-year-old passenger

A 52-year-old Andover man died Saturday afternoon when a car in which he was a passenger crashed into a tree in a residential yard in Andover. His name is being withheld until family is notified.