Friday, April 18, 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

Puppies to take part in Vallejo dog show

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
‘Same Time, Next Year’ opens in Benicia

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

‘We Got Next’ Comedy Tour stops at Dimitri’s

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Man to stand trial in rural Vacaville killing

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 7 Comments | Gallery

 
Afisivalu announces run for Fairfield council

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

 
Tonnesen seeks Fairfield City Council seat

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Family matriarch celebrates 100th birthday

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Barbecue brings big crowd, progress to Parkway Gardens

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 12 Comments | Gallery

Town hall on crime set in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4, 7 Comments

 
Assist-A-Grad wraps up interviews

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Napa County bridge to close for work

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Crash shuts I-80 offramp to Highway 12

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5, 4 Comments | Gallery

Weather for April 18, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

 
Suisun City police log: April 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: April 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Putin’s choice of words shed light on Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Who gained, and what, at Ukraine talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Ukrainian unity on display with peaceful rallies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Deal reached on calming Ukraine tensions – for now

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Salmon released in California river restoration

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Jury convicts husband in Iraqi woman’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
1 dead, 1 injured in California boating accident

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

BART fined $210,000 for worker deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Military shell prompted evacuation of hundreds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Obama: 8 million signed up for health care

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

 
California health care sign-ups exceed projections

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Dirty creek, old purse solve four-decade mystery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Man said to be homesick for prison gets 3 1/2 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Chelsea Clinton expecting first child this fall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Holder: Hate crimes ‘an affront to who we are’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

Spate of Mideast virus infections raises concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Samples collected from oil slick not from plane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

S. Sudan: 12 die after mob attacks UN base

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Peru volcano prompts evacuation of 4,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Nigeria: Fate of 115 abducted girls unknown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Confused, chaotic scene described on sinking ferry

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
.

Opinion

Internationally out of touch

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 4 Comments

 
Watch out for grandson scam

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

Why so much spent to find a plane?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoons for April 18, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

Food brings back fond memories

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
.

Living

Today in History for April 18, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My husband tells our sons that they don’t need to listen to me

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B13

 
Horoscopes for April 18, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B13

.

Entertainment

Week in preview April 18-24, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Review: ‘Heaven Is for Real’ heartfelt but dull

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lost radio program featuring Hank Williams found

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
‘Real Housewives’ TV star faces battery charge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Ill, hospitalized Miley Cyrus postpones more shows

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment calendar April 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Badminton update: Rodriguez, Armijo head toward post season

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
MEL boys roll to easy win over SCAC

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Short-handed SCAC girls ‘gut out’ all-star win over MEL

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Sharks beat Kings 6-3 in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Dodgers get to Bumgarner early for win over Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Clippers-Warriors series billed as must-see TV

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Kuchar builds on Masters momentum, shares Heritage lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
War of words in Northwestern-athletes’ union fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Shumenov gets big chance in ring against ageless Hopkins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Montreal team sign Chad Johnson to 2-year contract

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Seattle 1B Choi banned 50 games for positive test

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Dodgers’ Puig focuses on baseball despite issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Miguel Angel Jimenez set for Champions Tour debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Sponsorship woes put Swan Racing future in doubt

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Ex-quarterback McNabb spends day in Arizona jail

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Season wrapup: Sacramento Kings’ ‘new era’ off to slow start

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Boston Marathon makes room for more runners

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Stanford takes lead at LPGA LOTTE tournament

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Vanden clinches at least share of SCAC boys tennis title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

Toyota Camry gets a top-to-bottom makeover

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
Hot models at this year’s New York Auto Show

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Judge won’t order recalled GM cars to be parked

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Cyber cops: Target hackers may take years to find

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Walmart jumps into the money transfer biz, loudly

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Obituaries

Sealwyn Shirley Brucefield Shepherd Malkiewicz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B13