By JEANNIE WILEY WOLF
A new club for people who have a passion for books and food starts this month at the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library.
The Cookbook Club kicks off with its first meeting set from 11 a.m. to noon Jan. 30 in the Lindamood Room. There is no charge and anyone with an interest in cooking is invited to attend, said Elizabeth Beidelschies, an adult services librarian who is in charge of the program.
“Other libraries do similar cookbook club programs,” she said. “But I just started here as a librarian at the end of last year, so I was just trying to think of something I could maintain throughout the year that would hold people’s interest. And everybody loves cooking.”
Copies of three pre-selected cookbooks are featured each month based on a particular theme. January’s theme is gluten-free.
“I think gluten-free is pretty tricky,” Beidelschies said.
Those following a gluten-free diet must avoid wheat, which is found in bread products and many processed foods.
“I think it takes a lot of practice, and a lot of people have to eat gluten-free,” she said.
This month’s cookbooks are “Wheat Belly Cookbook,” by William Davis; “Gluten-Free Makeovers,” by Beth Hilson; and “You Still Won’t Believe It’s Gluten-Free,” by Roben Ryberg.
The books are available on a first-come, first-served basis for checkout at a display located in the reference department.
“We have about four copies of each one so I put those out on display for people to take, and then I also have recipe cards on the display,” said Beidelschies. “We’re going to do like a recipe card swap, so I encourage people to write down their favorite recipe and then bring it with them (to the meeting).”
She will make photocopies of the recipes so everyone who attends will receive all of the recipes.
During the meeting, members will also watch a video that highlights the month’s theme and share their own experiences.
“I want to do … some sort of how-to video from people that know a lot more about it than I do,” she said. “And then I’ll have handouts and then we’ll just talk about it.”
Beidelschies said many of the copies of the cookbooks from the display this month have been checked out by library patrons.
“Try it out, learn about it and then come to the class and talk about what you did,” she said.
She’s also encouraging people to bring in samples of a dish if they find something they particularly like.
“Hopefully it will evolve into more of like a potluck program,” she said.
Even people who don’t get a chance to check out one of the featured cookbooks should still attend, Beidelschies said.
Other themes for the year include heart healthy in February; Southern cooking, March; vegetarian, April; raw foods, May; picnics, June; cooking from the garden, July; kid-friendly lunch box, August; vegan, September; soup, October; low-calorie, November; and cast-iron skillet, December.
“I was just trying to get different themes, things people don’t normally try on their own,” Beidelschies said.
Some of the themes were picked specifically such as Southern cooking in March which corresponds with Community Read Month. The book selection for the event is “The Help,” by Kathryn Stockett which tells the story of three women in Jackson, Miss. in 1962 during the civil rights movement.
And soup for October seemed like a natural choice, she said.
“I tried to fit some with the season and what was going on at that time of the year,” she explained.
Some themes are a little more unique, Beidelschies said, like raw foods in May.
“That one is a little tricky,” she said. “I know they do a lot of dehydration instead of cooking because I think with raw it can only get to a certain temperature but it can still be heated to a certain point.”
“I’m definitely learning a lot as I research,” she said.
The cookbooks for each month have also been selected and are available at the library for anyone who is interested in checking them out early.
“I tried to get newer cookbooks, things that had recently come out so a lot of them are pretty popular,” she said. “They might as well be getting used while we have them.”
Other cookbooks from the library’s collection will also be available at the meeting for people to see.
Beidelschies said she’s excited for the program to start as she likes cooking and trying new dishes.
“I definitely prefer quicker things, so I’m definitely going to try to do some of these recipes,” she said. “I think I’ll learn a lot, too.”
“Other libraries that do the cookbook club program, I think the ones that are already established do more of the potluck thing which is what I would like to get into,” she said. “Having samples (at that time of the day) will just get everyone in the mood for lunch.”
The library also hosts another monthly cooking program sponsored by the Hancock County OSU Extension office. Cooking With Karen, featuring Snap Education program assistant Karen McDougall, is held from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month in the Lindamood Room. Today’s theme is “Cooking for 1-2.” Registration for the free programs is required by calling the library at 419-422-1712.
Wolf: 419-427-8419 Send an E-mail to Jeannie Wolf
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