PBS show to explore food, family and traditions with author and historian Jerry Apps

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In an all-new television special airing Monday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. on PBS Wisconsin, beloved Wisconsin author and historian Jerry Apps, along with his daughter, author, and educator Susan Apps-Bodilly, will explore how food shapes the family. and traditions.

During the show, titled “Jerry Apps: Food & Memories,” Apps and his daughter will share family stories told through the food that Apps’ mother, Eleanor, prepared for their family using a wood-burning stove in an unplumbed kitchen. or electricity.


Photo: Wisconsin Historical Society
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“For me, food will always be associated with times of good eating, storytelling, laughter and hearty fun,” Apps notes, as he looks back on a time that modern generations are rapidly losing touch with.

Apps, a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was born and raised on a dairy farm in Waushara County during the Great Depression. In partnership with the University and the Wisconsin Historical Society, he has written and spoken extensively about his childhood and the agricultural history of Wisconsin.


The new TV show will work as a companion piece to Apps’ Old Farm Country Cookbook: Recipes, Menus, and Memories, a tome that describes both the challenges and nostalgia of farm life. in the 1930s and 40s, and how these traditions endure.

“If there’s one thing I’d like everyone to come away with, it’s: The history of agriculture is important. The history of life on the farm is important. The history of small rural villages is important,” says Apps.

“Jerry Apps: Food & Memories” will also be available for on-demand streaming at pbswisconsin.org and in the free PBS Video app on all streaming platforms, digital devices and Smart TVs.

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