Thursday, August 30, 2018

Cook the Book: Falling Back in Love with Cookbooks

Kate Tigue is the Head of Youth Services at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, MA. Read Kate’s column in the August 30, 2018 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Once upon a time, I was an organized home cook. I planned our weekly menus for our meals at home, shopped for only fresh ingredients weekly, and did all my prep work in the mornings before work. Then I had a baby and all of my careful, well-honed organization went out the window. Gone were the days when I had time to flip through my cookbooks at a leisurely pace. I tried to make meal plans but then a baby wouldn’t stop crying and something would burn or a toddler interrupted me a thousand times before I could dice a shallot. Food shopping became a marathon exercise of half-remembered lists and saying “No, put that down; we don’t need that!”

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Binging in British Baking and Russian Pastry

Charlotte Canelli is the Director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte’s column in the August 23, 2018 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

Gerry and I binge-watched at least four seasons of the Great British Baking Show this summer. It had been recommended and once I started binging and proselytizing about my new-found crush, I realized that, as with most other hit series, I was years late to the party. Especially this British one.

During one particular B-A-A-A-A-K-E which happened to be pastries, I thought of the favorite savory pastry that had captured my fancy over 25 years ago. It was the kulebiaka (or coulibiac) – a time-consuming Russian first course. The kulebiaka boasts a flaky, buttery pastry that envelopes a filling of either cabbage and chopped hardboiled eggs or salmon, rice and dill. My finished kulebiaka’s crust is garnished with leaves and a rope closure and rises and bakes to golden perfection.

Once sliced and served with sour cream, it is always met with ooohs and aaaahs across the room. Anton Chekhov wrote in his short story The Siren that “the kulebiaka must make your mouth water; it must lie there before you, a shameless temptation! You cut off a sizable slice and let your fingers play over it. When you bite into it, the butter drips from it like tears.”

I fantasized, recently of course, that Paul Hollywood would have swooned over one of my masterpieces, the kulebiaka. I might have had a handshake.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Anne of Green Gables: A Short Bit about Adopting an Older Child

Carla Howard is the Senior Circulation Assistant/Marketing and Media Assistant at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, MA. Read Carla’s column in the August 16th issue of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

I fell in love with Anne of Green Gables while in college. I never read the books in high school, dismissing them because of the romance-y looking covers. I quickly realized my mistake and have read the series several times. I have visited Anne’s beloved Prince Edward Island, Canada.  I attended the Anne play in Charlottetown, and was in heaven as I sat with my fellow Anne-fans, finishing up with a raspberry cordial at a nearby restaurant.

A mother and daughter were seated next to us, and the girl, probably about 14, was making it quite obvious that she didn’t want to be there and that the whole thing was “stupid.” Her poor mother finally had her moment when Anne’s beloved adopted guardian Matthew died suddenly of a heart attack. Soon, there were sniffles all around, and the young girl, ready to roast her mother, looked around, and sat back, quietly. I think she must have finally realized that hey, my mom’s not crazy. This is a thing; this Anne of Green Gables.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

It Takes a Stretch

Nancy Ling is the Outreach Librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Nancy’s column in the August 9th issue of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.
You must have a favorite author. Someone you turn to when the rest of the world seems in chaos. Someone who is as comfortable to be with as your warm fuzzy slippers and a chair beside the fireplace. Perhaps it is Jamie Ford or Susan Meissner (two of my favorites) whose lyrical stories carry you back in time and make you fall in love with their characters. Or maybe you are addicted to Mary Higgins Clark or Louise Penny, and you cannot wait to settle down with their latest creations in your hands. 
While there is something magical and wonderful about those treasured authors, there is also something to be said for those books that you never ever thought you would read, and suddenly you do. Perhaps you’ve been astonished when your world expands after being stretched by a story or concept that greeted you when you dared to open a book that wasn’t part of your regular repertoire.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Polos, Picnics and People Watching

April Cushing is the Adult and Information Services Supervisor at the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Mass. Read April’s column in the August 2nd edition of the Norwood Transcript & Bulletin.
Pop quiz: Where can you show off your favorite sundress–or shorts, sip champagne–or soda, and stroll around an enormous field tamping down divots while kids cavort alongside canines, just over an hour away? (Hint: horses are involved.) Answer… at the Newport International Polo grounds in Portsmouth, RI. When friends invited us to join their party for an evening of polo this past Saturday I was all in, especially when I found out my four-footed companion was also welcome.
For over 130 years, polo matches have been among Newport’s grandest and most popular traditions–a legacy from the Gilded Age. I’m not the only Morrill Memorial Library staff member, it appears, to experience its charms. Hearing that I was going to watch USA take on Ireland the following day, Lydia, who oversees the excellent Technical Services Dept. in the fourth floor “stucco tower,” said “You’ll love it!” and suggested I bring along the library’s brand new picnic basket.
Among the Norwood Library’s circulating collection