I have always enjoyed cooking, and since we are all staying home a little more these days, it’s given us an opportunity to explore that hobby a little more. You’ve probably seen the increase in cooking on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter- all the socials. People are baking bread for the first time or showing off meals that they’ve made with ingredients in their pantry. Cooking is fun and I’m glad we’re all starting to do it more.
I decided to check out some cookbooks on READS and try some new recipes out. My first choice in cookbook was Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey’s Elegant Meals by Larry Edwards.
This cookbook was much better than I expected it to be. Usually I am not a fan of themed cookbooks, because the recipes are typically lacking in number and quality. That is not the case here. There are a plethora of (80!) very good recipes with simple ingredients that truly sound delicious.
The recipe that I decided to try was Abbey Country Wheat Bread. “The Protocol of the abbeys was: If you serve a soup, you must serve a bread. Because all dinners at the abbeys consisted of three courses, with one being soup, bread was a paramount dish” – Larry Edwards. I love bread. I love kneading bread. I love smelling bread. Even more than that, I love eating bread (with butter). This bread was good bread, but it is important to knead the bread for an extended period of time due to the wheat flour- it needs more kneads. It’s worth the extra effort, because this bread is tasty!
The next cookbook I decided to virtually crack open was Quick Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin.
I don’t know about you, but I never feel like I have enough to time to all the things I need to do. So when I see the words “quick” and “recipe” together in the same title, my attention is sparked. I really thought this cookbook was great and I’m honestly considering buying it for myself after I return it to the library. The things I liked most about it were that the recipes had real, whole food ingredients, the ingredient lists were all short and easy to find, most of the recipes really were quick, and the one I made was tasty!
The recipe I chose was Penne with Spinach and Chickpeas in Garlic Sauce. It was simple and tasty, and I felt like it was pretty healthy. I used wheat pasta instead of regular penne pasta and it didn’t affect the flavor for me. I love garlic and the garlic is strong in this one! It’s also filling and sticks with you, which satisfies a complaint most people have about vegetarian recipes. If you don’t want to make it a whole meal, it would also be good as a side dish in a small amount.
My final choice in cookbook was One-Dish Vegetarian Meals by Robin Robertson.
To be completely honest, this cookbook wasn’t my favorite, but the recipe I made was yummy, which is really what counts. My complaint is that many of its recipes suffer from what many vegetarian recipes do: long ingredient lists, hard to find ingredients, and unnecessary substitutes. But, like I said, the recipe was tasty and that’s really what counts.
The recipe I chose to go with was Turkish-Style Stuffed Eggplant with Walnut Sauce. It had 14 ingredients (and if you want to include the salt and pepper, then 16 ingredients), which is more than I usually use to be honest, but they all worked really well together. The dish was flavorful and satisfying. It took me about 25 minutes of prep time and about 40 minutes to cook everything.
I feel the title of this book might be a little unintentionally deceptive. I thought based on the title of the book, there would be a lot more one-pot meals that you just throw the ingredients in one pot and cook, but they are more involved than that. That can be nice for developing dynamic flavors and falls in line with traditional cooking, but I just thought I would let you know because it may require you to dirty up quite a few dishes in the cooking process. You will be cooking in the skillet and on the oven and using a food processor for many recipes. There’s more than one pan involved in the production of these meals, but the flavor and end result definitely is worth the time you put into them.
I hope you’ll consider checking on an eCookbook in quarantine and giving it a shot! Many of them are surprisingly easy to navigate. I know it’s easy to just Google a recipe, but it’s nice to just browse a cookbook when you don’t know what you’re in the mood for and you may stumble across a new gem that is likely to become a staple in your house.
NASHVILLE, Tenn.– Despite restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many public libraries continue to serve their communities and in partnership with the Tennessee State Library and Archives, are offering several online resources for learning at home, research and entertainment.
“Local libraries provide vital services to their communities,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “Thanks to the Tennessee State Library and Archives expansive online resources and the spark of imagination, librarians across the state have found innovative ways to still serve their communities.”
Through curbside pickup services, some libraries are still loaning out books and materials after sanitizing them following CDC guidelines and letting them sit at least 24 hours before lending them again.
In Maryville, children can attend story time with songs and a simple craft project via Facebook Live. The library in White Pine has a cart outside with free puzzles, paperback books and some cleaning supplies available to community members.
While in Pigeon Forge, people who need to file for unemployment can visit the library, don a mask, and enter the library a few at a time to use the computers. Librarians, also wearing a mask and gloves, assist if needed.
Many libraries are still offering free wi-fi. Patrons can access the internet on their smartphone, laptop, or tablet from the safety of their car in the library parking lot. Libraries are also waiving overdue fines for anyone unable to return books and materials.
“Libraries are anchor institutions. In times like these, when the seas of life are rough, we need our anchors,” said State Librarian and Archivist Chuck Sherrill. “Librarians are talented public servants who use their skills to meet community needs. It’s amazing to see their dedication and creativity during this public health crisis.”
Libraries across the state continue to provide online resources around the clock as well. The Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) gives Tennessee residents access to over 400,000 magazines, journals, newspapers, essays, e-books, podcasts, videos, homework help and more. Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. offers more than 100,000 digital e-books, audiobooks, and videos to patrons of regional libraries for free. The TumbleBook Library provides a collection of animated talking picture books, read-along books, e-books, quizzes, puzzles, lesson plans, and educational games for children.
For more information on the resources provided by the Tennessee State Library and Archives visit http://www.sos.tn.gov/tsla. To find out what services the Williamson County Public Library System is currently offering call, visit our Williamson County Public Library System Website or Facebook page.
It’s okay to reach out for help when you need it. Through the partnership of our municipalities and partners ,we wanted to provide residents with a resource to receive virtual mental health assistance. Simply text “Williamson” to 741741 to reach a crisis counselor.