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Litchfield MN 55355

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Food, glorious food for our community

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

The Litchfield Library is again offering a Food for Fines program to support the local food shelf during Minnesota FoodShare month.  Our program will run from March 15 to March 31.  For each donated item you bring to the library for the food shelf, we will waive $1 of your late fees, up to a maximum of $5 per person.  This can apply only to late fees, not to replacement fees for lost or damaged items.  Last year, Dassel, Grove City, and Litchfield library patrons donated a total of 92 pounds of food to the Meeker County food shelf through Food for Fines.  It’s a good way to help your community and yourself at the same time.

While we’re talking about food, if you’re fortunate enough to be able to buy interesting groceries, you may want to know about some of our new cookbooks.  One that’s popular right now is by Oprah Winfrey: Food, Health, and Happiness: 115 On-Point Recipes for Great Meals and a Better Life.  While Oprah discusses her relationship with food throughout the book, it is also a cookbook.  It lists Weight Watchers points for all of the recipes and generally espouses the Weight Watchers philosophy.  The recipes have some fairly complicated ingredient lists for the ordinary cook, but that’s often true of cookbooks.

The London Cookbook: Recipes from the Restaurants, Cafes,and Hole-in-the-Wall Gems of a Modern City is a trendy new cookbook.  Author Aleksandra Crapanzano got incredulous responses when she told them she was writing a book about the food scene in London; England doesn’t have a reputation for stellar food.  However, she says things have changed so much in the past twenty years, with chefs like Yotam Ottolenghi and Jamie Oliver raising the bar in London restaurants.  The book blends travel information with recipes for the home cook. 

Based in a very different part of the world, Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South is all about American Southern cooking.  Author Vivian Howard is the star of PBS’s A Chef’s Life and the owner of Chef and Farmer restaurant in Kinston, North Carolina.  She based her restaurant’s menu on what was available from local farmers, even when that meant she needed to be creative with an overabundance of sweet potatoes and blueberries.  This cookbook combines her recipes with stories of growing up in Deep Run, North Carolina, and training as a chef in New York City.

Another PBS show, America’s Test Kitchen, has a new cookbook out called Bread Illustrated: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving Bakery-Quality Results at Home. Baking bread can be intimidating, but this cookbook breaks the process down into steps accompanied by six to sixteen color photos per lesson.  Recipes range from easy to advanced.

Another one for the bakers, Art of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings, and Life teaches techniques that can challenge beginners. Author Kate McDermott teaches Pie Camps across the country.  People describe her as a pie guru who teaches life lessons like peace and forgiveness along with crust techniques.  Personally, I’ve been more peaceful when making pies since I started using lard, and it sounds like some of McDermott’s recipes go that way, too. This book is Overdrive's Big Library Read through March 30th, so you can check out the e-book no matter how many other people already have it checked out right now.


Food, glorious food!  Whether you cook it for your family or donate it to people in need in our community, food is a great way to show you care.