Thursday, April 24, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Beyond Twinkies: Cookbooks for the whole family

By
From page B8 | December 21, 2013 | Leave Comment

One of the roles of a librarian is to evaluate “the collection” (what we call all the materials in the library) to make sure it has the breadth and depth necessary to meet the needs of the community.

As I was evaluating the cookbook and culinary arts section, I came across “The Twinkies Cookbook.” With the demise (and then resurgence) of Twinkie manufacturing and perhaps the less than delectable recipes, the book hadn’t been checked out in three years. One recipe, a Mandarin Orange Cake, featured ingredients that were either manufactured from chemicals or drowned in sugar: canned mandarin oranges in heavy sugar syrup, artificially flavored vanilla Jell-O mix, nondairy creamer . . .

The book with its recipes for Pigs in a Twinkie, Twinkie Wedding Cake and Kebabals (marshmallows, fruit and Twinkies on a skewer) gave me a good laugh. I’ve considered re-cataloging it in the humor section, but passed given the lack of interest in the Twinkie.

Books about cocktails, wine, Twinkie hotdogs, and big coffee table cookbooks by famous chefs with recipes only a veteran chef could make are definitely not capturing the attention of Solano County residents.

Did you know that cookbooks are among our library system’s most popular subjects? Our customers often drive what we buy – and that’s the secret to good collection management.

Vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian and healthful eating in general is the trend along with canning, fermentation, juicing, raising chickens and beekeeping. We seem to be recovering some of our earlier home cooking roots in new cookbooks along with a philosophy towards sustainable farming and family activities.

I thought of my own ancestral cookbook, in which a great-aunt instructs the cook to “throw huckleberries into the pie crust and bake until done.” I liked her generation’s ease with cooking, of not having to rely on a cookbook, of knowing how to cook, combine or experiment with ingredients, and display the finished recipe in an attractive manner. While many of us don’t have that ease, we can find inspiration from a cookbook.

When I started my library career, a colleague told me to be sure to purchase cookbooks with color photos of well-arranged food. She said the photos would encourage readers to know that they could make the recipes and have some sense of what the dish should look like. It was good advice in an age where we often don’t receive instruction from a relative in how to cook. It’s true, the cookbooks with photos are borrowed more frequently.

Cooking is about both tradition and experimentation – not unlike families and public libraries. During this season of holidays and winter weather, consider trying a family recipe, a new recipe from a cookbook or improvising on a favorite.

Your children might enjoy cooking with one of our cookbooks written just for children. For older children, “The Silver Spoon for Children” features lively how-to illustrations for cooking classic Italian meals.

“Blue Moon Soup: A Family Cookbook” has beautiful storybook illustrations accompanying healthful, easy-to-make soups.

“Passport on a Plate: A Round-the-World Cookbook for Children” takes children around the world to sample various cuisines and cultures. I think one of the greatest gifts a parent can give is to teach their children how to cook, starting them on a lifestyle of healthful food shared with friends and family.

Among my favorite cookbooks from the library include “River Cottage Veg: 200 Inspired Vegetable Recipes” by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall; “Italian Family Dining: Recipes, Menus, and Memories of Meals with a Great American Food Family” by Edward Giobbi and Eugenia Giobbi Bone; “Biba’s Italy: Favorite Recipes from the Splendid Cities” by Biba Caggiano; and “Tomatoes Garlic Basil: The Simple Pleasures of Growing and Cooking Your Garden’s Most Versatile Veggies” by Doug Oster. Each cookbook features writing by passionate cooks, healthful recipes and a nice, low-key sensibility to eating and sharing food.

Solano County Library publishes a monthly email newsletter devoted to the news about cookbooks. News and recommendations come to your inbox each month and you can reserve a book directly from the links in your email. To sign up, go to the e-news sign up page under the Library News Link in the right corner of the home page, http://solanolibrary.com/signup.

The staff at the Fairfield Civic Center Library, Fairfield Cordelia Library and the Suisun City Library hope you will find some inspiration in our cookbook and entertaining aisles as well as time to share good food with family and friends.

Serena Enger is the supervising librarian at the Fairfield Civic Center Library, Solano County Library. She is currently reading “The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame” by Peter Dreier.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Travis lines up 2 days of aviation excellence

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Congressman talks Travis, water

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Appreciate how good we have it now

By Angela Borchert | From Page: A2

 
Review set for $2M pizza case in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

Cherokee Nation to offer photo IDs at Rush Ranch

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3

 
Dixon May Fair has deals on advance tickets

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Accused machete attacker testifies in trial

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

 
Garamendi talks love, pro football and Peace Corps

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

All Things Art Festival organizers seek artists, vendors

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Author to sign books at Vacaville Museum

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Kroc Center women schedule inaugural Taster Tea

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Theme park welcomes seal pup

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

Mother’s Day fair returns to Suisun waterfront

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

 
Docents to lead paddling tour in marsh

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

Juneteenth committee extends vendors, exhibitors deadline

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Congressional Art Competition is back

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Spilled tomato juice case set for trial

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Report: Shots fired from car on Clay Bank Road

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A5

Fairfield police log: April 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: April 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: April 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Weather for Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

 
.

US / World

Syrian activists accuse Assad of new gas attacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Airport official: Teen had no clue he was in Maui

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Murder charge for Vallejo man in head-on crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California bill reignites affirmative action fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Andy Lopez protest leads to school campus lockdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Navy Cross bestowed on heroic Marine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Bashtag: NYPD Twitter campaign backfires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Soldier convicted in WikiLeaks case gets new name

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

US weighs clemency for inmates jailed for 10 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Gun carry rights expanded in Ga. under new law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

First lady announces one-stop job site for vets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Rail safety effort marred by squabbling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Small Wyoming town evacuated after gas explosion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Lawyer: US man held in Cuba seeks to go home soon

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Captain who left doomed ferry had 40 years at sea

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Russian social media CEO quits, flees country

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Amid Russia warning, Ukraine is in a security bind

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Palestinian rivals to try again for unity deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
State senators get ethics training after scandals

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Some Earth Day boos and cheers

By Jay Ambrose | From Page: A11

 
Question of the week: Will Flight 370 be found?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

Be the first and give specifics

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
What we can do about crime

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11

Castro at odds with mentor on deportations

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History for April 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

When Joe’s mad at me, he also ignores my 7-year-old son

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes for April 24, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Amazon snares classic shows in deal with HBO

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Jodie Foster weds artist Alexandra Hedison

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Singer Chris Brown’s DC trial delayed for months

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Performing dogs go big after $1 million TV prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
.

Sports

Girls soccer update: Armijo, Vanden on way to playoffs

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Mustangs swim to sweep of Indians

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Warriors, Clippers to meet in Oakland for Game 3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Sharks confident with chance to sweep LA Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Perez helps Rangers sweep A’s with 3-0 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Party a century in the making for Wrigley Field

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

A’s reject 10-year Coliseum lease offer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Prep softball: Vanden rolls to 14-0 win over Fairfield

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Prep badminton: Unbeaten Mustangs cruise past Crushers

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Prep boys golf: Vikings suffer SCAC loss to Panthers

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Sanchez’s slam in 11th helps Giants beat Rox 12-10

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Prep track: Armijo girls get win in MEL 4-way meet

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Emmert supports more efficient, effective NCAA

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Phelps having fun in his return to swimming

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Suns’ Dragic honored as NBA’s Most Improved Player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Seahawks to open NFL season vs. Packers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Oldest living ex-MLB player dies in Cuba at 102

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
.

Business

Wellness programs grow more popular with employers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Sales of new US homes plunge 14.5 percent in March

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Buffett disapproves of Coca-Cola’s pay plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Amazon snares classic shows in deal with HBO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
US stocks edge lower after a six-day rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Facebook 1Q results soar; CFO to step down

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Obituaries

Phyllis J. Miller

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jean Sophia Ruckdeshel

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Robert James Carty Sr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dondi Martin

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard Of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9