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Extended Hours Are Coming to an End

Today is the LAST DAY of Wheelock College Library’s Extended Hours. That means tonight is your LAST CHANCE to take advantage of library resources, get some drop-in research help, and participate in extended hours activities until 1:00 am. If you haven’t already stopped by to take part in the extended hours activities, it’s not too late. Here is a recap of all the fun activities we have available.

Adult coloring pages have been placed around the library on floors 1, 1M, 2M and 3. These coloring stations have been so popular that we have been printing out additional coloring sheets nearly every day! Students can take their work home, or hang it on our “Coloring Wall of Fame” located near the service desk.

ColoringCollageBingo&Candy

We also have Library Bingo! Bingo cards can be found near the elevator on the 1st floor, or scattered on tables around the library.  Each card has a variety of things you might see happening at the library during extended hours (“someone coloring”, “a student making flash cards”, “someone watching Netflix” etc). When you see an item on the card, cross it off. Once you get four in a row in any direction, you win! You can then turn your Bingo card in at the Service Desk for a piece of CANDY!

We have two puzzle stations on the first floor of the library. So far, our library users have worked together to finish two 1,000 piece puzzles. Each time one puzzle is completed, we put out another for students to begin working on. The two that are currently out are very near completion, so come by tonight to help finish them up before it’s too late.

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The library staff would like to congratulate all Wheelock students for making it through the fall semester! We have seen first hand how hard you have worked and how many hours of studying you have put in to succeed this semester, and you should all be commended for your efforts.

Happy Holidays to all, and we look forward to seeing you in the spring!


Eat Your Books

I love books. I love food. I love books about food. Food isn’t just a vehicle for the nutrition we require to survive as living organisms. It can do anything. Salt just about wrote the history of mankind. Nothing brings back my childhood memories more vividly than a bowl of rice cake soup and a handful of cherries. And there’s a reason why when you throw a party, everyone ends up in the kitchen no matter how comfortable your couches are. Here are a few of my favorite books in which food plays a starring role. They all include recipes so that you can recreate the food in the story and relive your favorite moments in a whole new way.

tangle

A Tangle of Knots – Cady is an eleven year old orphan living in a world where everyone has a Talent. Cady’s Talent is that she can determine and bake a person’s favorite cake even if they themselves don’t know it. This is a sweet story told from various viewpoints and each chapter brings you one step closer to unraveling the mystery of how all these different characters are connected. Recommended recipe – Cady’s Chocolate-Almond-Cherry Cake

sweetlife

The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious and Perplexing City – David Lebovitz is a professional cook/baker with a wildly successful blog and several cookbooks on his resume. He moved to Paris to start a new life and The Sweet Life in Paris is a hysterical ode to The City of Light and its inhabitants. If you ever take a trip to Paris, this book should be in your suitcase. All the recipes he shares are made with easy to find ingredients and have been tested in a kitchen so small that dishes must be cleaned in the bathtub. Recommended recipe – Hot Chocolate and Lemon Madeleines.

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The Girl Who Chased the Moon – I’m a huge fan of Sarah Addison Allen. In my opinion, she writes the best beach reads and food plays a major role in most of her books. There are two main characters that drive this story. Emily is a teenager adjusting to life in Mullaby, North Carolina after the death of her mother. She hopes that coming to her mother’s hometown will answer some of the riddles in her life but all she uncovers are more mysteries. Emily’s neighbor Julia can’t stop baking cakes. Her cakes contain all her dreams and, she hopes, the ability to bring back lost loves. Recommended recipe: Hummingbird Cake

relish

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen – Lucy Knisley is one of my favorite cartoonists and Relish is her food-themed graphic novel memoir. Her life lessons are learned through food and cooking and she shares how food has played a key role in shaping who she is today. You’ll envy her delicious life and then think back and recall your own food memories. It may also inspire you to start writing your recipes in illustration form. Recommended recipe: Huevos Rancheros

twinkie

The Truth About Twinkie Pie – GiGi (short for Galileo Galilei) is a brainy twelve year old being raised by her sister DiDi (short for Delta Dawn). DiDi wins a national cooking contest with their mother’s recipe for Twinkie Pie and uses the prize money to move themselves from a trailer park in South Carolina to New York City. Armed with her Recipe for Success, GiGi tackles a fancy new school, new friends and enemies, and a sparkling new identity. It’s a smart, warm and fuzzy feeling story about family and friendship. The recipes help set the mood and express characters’ emotions while satisfying your craving for comfort food. Recommended recipe: Mama’s Famous Twinkie Pie of course!


The Science of Food

While of course food is wonderful for eating, it is also a great way to enter the world of science and engage young learners. The Wheelock Library and the Earl Center for Learning and Innovation both have great resources to bring food in to the classroom or science in to the kitchen! Check out these two books available now!

booksThe Science Chef

This book is organized around food related questions like “How do sauces thicken?” or topics like “Make your own cheese.” Each topic is followed by an experiment that helps address the subject and answer science questions. Then a number of recipes follow using the food addressed in the experiment. The mix of science plus tasty recipes means you can go to this book for both food, fun, and education!

 

books (1)Foodworks:  over 100 science activities and fascinating facts that explore the magic of food

This book takes the science aspect of food to a new level by answering fun and interesting questions about food, and offering sciences experiments. For example: “Did you know you are being eaten right now by the 300,000 microbes on each dime-sized section of your skin? That you can make the soil in your yard suitable for growing anything? That a field mouse eats its own weight every day, while you eat about one ton of food each year- some one and a quarter million calories?” According to Barnes and Noble, all of the answers can be found in this book!

So bring learning to the kitchen. Have fun, learn, and eat deliciously!


Book, Movie, Food

n346955I’m writing today about a book I haven’t read and a movie I haven’t seen. But thing is, I’m excited for both. The Hundred-Foot Journey first caught my attention as a movie trailer filled with feuding restaurants in France, Michelin stars, and Indian cooking. Obviously, I was immediately intrigued. The basic plot, as described by IMBD: “The Kadam family leaves India for France where they open a restaurant directly across the road from Madame Mallory’s Michelin-starred eatery.” Sounds good to me! And when I discovered that this was a movie based on a book, I was even more excited. After hearing great reviews on both the film and the book, I knew I was going to be diving in to both.

See, I love reading about food. The descriptions of foods and their preparations–the smells and textures described in vivid detail–have always inspired me to get in to the kitchen to create the reality of the described experience. Reading about the origins of a dish, or the technique of a chef always makes me more reflective of my own food choices and preparation processes. So, I am excited to read this book. But I’m also excited to see this film.

See, I love watching people cook. I love seeing deft hands chopping, kneading, and grinding to manipulate ingredients. The vivid colors of foods, the distinct textures of ingredients, and the chef’s responses to smells and tastes make me want to recreate those experiences in my own kitchen. I love cooking shows (even Julia Child’s old black-and-white episodes!) because they remind me of why I love to cook. Films surrounding food offer both the excitement of a plot and the opportunity to gawk and drool over dishes that contribute to the story in meaningful and delicious ways.

The_Hundred_Foot_Journey_(film)_posterThe Hundred-Foot Journey gives me the chance to indulge in great food writing and great food on film. I can’t wait to dig in to both!


A Gourmet E-book

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Eat like Don Quixote!

Writing for this blog has allowed me to explore many different instances of meals in books–but I am not the first (nor do I suspect, the last) to tackle this tasty literary project. Available as an E-book through the Wheelock library, The Literary Gourmet: Menus From Masterpieces takes on the task of creating menus based on passages in famous books, from the Bible, to Don Quixote, to The Importance of Being Earnest.

The author, Linda Wolfe, provides a brief synopsis of the story, then excerpts a scene from each book in which the selected food appears. She then creates a menu with the help of historical resources–relying on varied sources such as Biblical encyclopedias for the Red Pottage of Lentils, or two women’s conflicting chowder recipes from the 1800s to reflect New England Clam Chowder as it was known in the time of Moby Dick and as it is recognized now.

There are entrees, starters and desserts (who knew The Legend of Sleepy Hollow betrayed such a sweet tooth!) so you can create an entire meal spanning some of the world’s most famous works of literature. My only criticism of this book is that it could stand to broaden the diversity of authors to include women and people of color. Perhaps, inspired by this delicious text, one of you, readers, will take up that task!