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Antiques Shop, Espresso Bar, Wild Jams

Hill City - Western South Dakota
Central in the Black Hills National Forest
Walk to or from Historic Downtown



Mountains To Prairies Cabin Suites · Bed and Breakfast
makes itself comfortably at home with
Smiling Bear Antiques Shop
. . . in-house shop. CLICK

Smiling Bear, himself a gatherer of antiquity, likes to make his appearance in the shop pretending to be a vintage life-size Wooden Indian. He straightly stands and always greets customers with a smile . . . in spite of this arthritic condition.

The small town of Hill City is, first of all, a neighborhood,
so folks around here like banding together to create special events.
Some special events stretch their arms out to include a nostalgic audience,
like the Olde Tyme Antique Show - Sale - Evaluations . . .
a delightful event which is held most years, once or twice.

Since antique buffs do get thirsty, it seemed an ESPRESSO BAR might satisfy those thirsts. Shoppers may pause their hunt to rest under the covered porch, or on the deck, or at antique tables amidst the nostalgia, while savoring the aroma and flavor of delicious coffee in the espresso drinks of which Smiling Bear is so fond, prepared from the grounds up using roasted arabica beans. A favorite on the Smiling Bear menu is his invigorating Mocha Polka, and its cousin, Trufflmint Twist, either one enjoyed hot or iced, regular or decaf. Alternatively, one may wish to take the approach of cooling down with a blended frozen Frappe, from Kona Mocha, to non-caffeinated picks, to Chai. Healthy, freshly brewed organic tea is another fine choice.

Poem - Teapot To The Table

Since the Bear does get hungry often, he regularly stalks the pantry . . . I mean,
stocks the pantry, soon to find himself whipping up something homemade, maybe cookies, or muffins, or (thirsty again) an exciting original espresso BEAR-verage such as Wild Chokecherry Latte—cherries (pictured left, in background) gleaned from the Black Hills Forest—thus entertaining his homing inclinations and his ferocious, somewhat refined sweet tooth.
. . . Happily, he has been known to share.


It might have occurred to you that Smiling Bear does spend as much time in the woods as possible, and has pursued this habit all his long life. As noted, he carries home some of the forest fruits that he loves to pick. Since he has become quite accomplished at stirring up luscious jams and jellies, he even sells them! The bonus for our Guests is that . . .


. . . Jams & Jellies frequently dance their way to the breakfast table, along with
various and sundry other delectable foods . . . not bear.
One recent summer, wild rose petals (pictured top of page) were plentiful, and Smiling Bear remembered that as a cub his mother showed him how good they are to nibble on. Being nostalgic and with such a crop on hand, he researched how to make Rose Petal Jelly, then recruited all available family . . . including an enormously willing, but soon sleepy-eyed grandcub . . . for the task of gathering, washing and sorting.

The Bear uses many organic ingredients, among them organic sugar.

Speaking of sugar . . .
This is the tot stage of the grandcub in the background photo picking chokecherries.
She has grown from tossing around her fancy mwah!
. . . to displaying an impressive Mona Lisa smile, unpretentious and off-the-cuff.
In Smiling Bear's humble opinion.


Wild Raspberry Jam in 15 Easy Steps

In summer of 2004, before life became quite so busy, Smiling Bear submitted a fresh specimen of his Wild Raspberry Jam at the Central States Fair in Rapid City to be judged with other preserved goods. Much to his surprise, the humble jar of woodsy jam won a blue ribbon, and Best of Class . . . and, could this be? Best of Show! Smiling Bear had already jotted down the recipe, so he decided to take it to the fair and display it with the jam. Now, you too may try out this award-winning recipe. It has appeared in the local paper and in the B&B Innkeepers of South Dakota Cookbook.

1) First, you must show the raspberries where you are.
In fairy tales, they will smile and eagerly jump into your bucket.
By the way, you are in the woods somewhere.
2) Over your shoulder and on your knees:
a) Glance over your shoulder frequently while picking.
b) Pray you will not be pounced upon by a mountain lion.
3) While on your knees, lift branches and pick the big ones.
4) The big berries, not the big spiders.
5) And do not pick the bees either. Run from territorial bees. Come back later.
Two weeks later, or whenever the horsemint is gone.
6) While you are waiting, pick over yonder . . . but listen for rattlesnakes.
7) Keep the stinging nettle from your face.
Brush it away with a free hand.
On second thought, just step on it.
And on the thistles, too.
It is ok . . . Your shoes are tough . . . They have tripped you, right?
8) It is also ok, while confined to the bushes, to let your mind wander
and think grandiose things . . . Just do not hold your breath.
You need your breath for the next step.
9) Do deep knee bends for at least 1-3/4 hours for each batch of jam.
10) While on your knees again, thank God for no berry-munching bears out there.
(. . . with one exception, of course, yours truly.)
11) While on your feet, if something bites your ankle and you jump,
you did the right thing. You took your big foot off the house of those poor ants.
12) Pick like there is no tomorrow, because it might hail and take the crop.
Or worse, someone else might get them!
13) Pick some more, like crazy, because crazy is feeling familiar now,
and it is easy to do familiar things.
After three weeks of picking, though, you might get delirious and have thoughts.
. . . Like, What am I doing, I can get bigger ones at the store, already frozen!
Next, when another berry falls and misses your bucket cuz this is no fairy tale,
you will begin thinking of who you can call to come and get some of these berries.
In fact, you will probably be thinking out loud by then.
14) At that point, it is time to gel. So, gel out and enjoy the pleasant breeze.
Refocus on the perfectly scented scenery.
Watch the deer, the turkeys, birds and squirrels.
15) If the squirrel scolds you . . . move your berry bowl from under his tree.
And when the elk coughs . . .

That is it . . . the tongue-in-cheek recipe for Best of Show Wild Raspberry Jam.
The rest is history. For Smiling Bear, there is no place on earth closer to God than in a wild raspberry patch . . . or in a wild butterfly patch, a fine place for lifting thoughts. You may enter the patch if you like!

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. -Ps 103:2