Monday, November 25, 2013

Staff Picks...Christmas Books!

A Christmas Memory            Christmas on Jane Street        The Story of Holly and Ivy

I started collecting Christmas books when I was in high school.  I have a pretty good sized collection which includes about seven editions of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and at least 20 versions of Clement C. Moore’s Night Before Christmas.    I won’t bore you with a list of all the books in my collection but I will share some of my favorites.
A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote and illustrated by Beth Peck.  “It’s fruitcake time,” says Miss Sook.  She and Buddy gather nuts, count their pennies to purchase dried fruit and spices and plan who will receive one of the 30 fruitcakes they lovingly bake.  President Roosevelt will, the driver of the 6 o’clook bus from Mobile will, and so will HaHa Jones, the man who sells them the whisky to soak the cakes!  Buddy and Miss Sook also decorate their house and make presents for the rest of the family and dream about a wonderful Christmas.  Capote is such a wonderful writer and the watercolor illustrations in this edition are just beautiful.
Christmas on Jane Street by Billy Romp.  This is the true story of the Romp family.   They are Christmas tree farmers in Vermont and spend the month before Christmas living in a small trailer in on the corner of Jane Street and 8th Avenue in New York City while they sell their trees.  They arrive in New York on the day after Thanksgiving and get home just in time for Christmas morning.   I love the descriptions of New York City at Christmas and the changing relationship between the father and his daughter. This one is warm and fuzzy and brings back memories of ice skating at Rockefeller Center and the omnipresent aroma of roasting chestnuts.
The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden and Illustrated by Barbara Cooney.  Ivy, Holly, and Mr. and Mrs. Jones all have one Christmas wish. Ivy, an orphan, wishes for a real home and sets out in search of the grandmother she's sure she can find. Holly, a doll, wishes for a child to bring her to life. And the Joneses wish more than anything for a son or daughter to share their holiday. Can all three wishes come true?  A sympathetic boy and a mischievous toy owl make this a terrific story.  The illustrations are lovely.

The Cajun Night Before Christmas by “Trosclair” and illustrated by James Rice.  Santa comes down the bayou on a pirogue pulled by eight tiny ‘gators!  Let the good times roll!

Wombat Divine by Mem Fox and illustrated by Kerry Argent.  Wombat loves everything about Christmas especially the Nativity Play.  He’s finally old enough for a part, but which part will be just right?

Here are some other Christmas books to try.

For children and their grown ups:

A Pint of Judgment Elizabeth Morrow
Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs
The Bird’s Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggins
Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto
Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Barbara Cooney
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Huston
Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon
A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

For grown ups:
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg
The Christmas Tree by Julie Salamon
Christmas at Eagle Pond by Donald Hall
These are just some of my favorites – what are some of yours?  You can get all these books and many, many more at the Kirtland Public Library…Check it out!
Cajun Night before Christmas         Wombat Divine                    Skipping Christmas

Monday, November 18, 2013

A New Spin on Thanksgiving Turkey

So. Full disclosure: I can't cook. 30 something male who plays games and reads comics? I know, it's crazy right? Sadly its true. But that doesn't mean I'm not a fan of spicing up my meal, and for YEARS there has been a recipe that has eluded  me. So when I was elected to do a post about cooking up a turkey, I ventured forth to find it.

To give a little background, I'm a big fan of the people over at RoosterTeeth Productions. I watch their videos, read the comics, and listen to their podcasts. Several years ago while they were still producing a tri-weekly comic, they produced this one...

In the RoosterTeeth podcast, RT founder Burnie Burns has on more than one occasion spoken about his now infamous "Deep Fried Jalapeno Turkey." While discussions of it have taken place, and threads upon threads of RT users have tried to wrestle the recipe out of him, yet to minimal avail.

This is something I need to have. Having already had deep fried turkey, the idea of adding Jalapenos to it is already making my mouth water. Since Burnie has been tight lipped about his recipe, I think I have found something comparable by adding this spin with one of my dad's recipes. 

-10-14 lb Turkey
-2-3 Jalapeno Peppers.
-Inject-able Jalapeno Marinade
-Optional Brine: 5 gallons water, 1lb kosher salt, 1lb brown sugar. (can set 8-16 hours, let set at room temp for 30 mins prior to cook.)
-Roughly 2 gallons of Peanut Oil (or oil of your choosing)

-To start, set your turkey in a 30 quart Aluminum Propane Deep fryer, and fill with water. This is measure how much oil you will need to use to deep fry. You will want to just barely cover the top of the turkey, and leave at least 4 to 5 inches of space from top.
-Remove turkey, rinse, and pat dry.
-Inject marinade. (There are different strategies for this. 3-6 oz. of marinade should be more than sufficient, but the locations and the number of injections is really up to the chef. up to 4 big shots could work, but little pecks all over the bird work too. It all caters to your taste)
-(Pre)cut your Jalapeno Peppers into sliced rings, and make small slices in the skin around the turkey. Neatly slide in your jalapeno rings under the skin around the bird. (Remove the seeds if you want to remove some of the spice kick.)
-Bring oil up to 350 degrees, and gently lower your bird into the oil.
-You will want to maintain the 350 degrees, cook time usually averages about 3 minutes a pound give or take so you can expect an average cook time of about 30-40 minutes or so.
-Using an internal thermometer, you can remove the bird around 151 degrees. The temperature should still rise to 161 after removal.
-Carve bird, serve, and lose yourself in sweet, sweet deep fried bliss.

Not a fan of the deep fried method or don't care for a little spice in your food? Not a problem. The CLEVNET catalog offers a number of different Thanksgiving Cookbooks that you can use to find a traditional cook more your style. Be sure to check them out, or stop in and we will help find one for you!

I am very much looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. Are you?

Friday, November 8, 2013

What Can You Do With a Library Card?

If you don’t have a Kirtland Public Library card yet, what are you waiting for?  First of all, it doesn’t cost anything to get a card --- no money down,  no 30 days same as cash.  It is F-R-E-E, FREE! 
Secondly, a Kirtland Public Library (KPL) card opens the door to practically limitless educational and informational opportunities.  Here are just some of the things you can do with your library card.
1. If you still like to read an actual book, with a cover and pages, we have them!  You can order them online, and pick them up at KPL or at any other CLEVNET library location you prefer.
2. You want to watch a movie?  We have those too; and free DVDs from the library are still cheaper than renting them from somewhere else.
3. KPL belongs to the CLEVNET Consortium of 44 libraries in 12 counties.  This means your library card gives you access to all the material in all of those libraries.  If we don’t have what you’re looking for, we can get it from another library.
4. Ebooks and other downloads.  Through the CLEVNET eMedia site, with the Overdrive or Adobe Digital Editions software, you can download eBooks to a wide variety of ereaders.  You can also download music, films and audiobooks.   Next year, you’ll be able to download popular magazines too.
5. Research databases.   Yes, everyone can find information using free internet search engines. The Library purchases premium databases and your card gives you access to over 60 research databases.  You can fix your car with AllData or research your family genealogy with or write your next research paper with the EBSCO databases.  Click on this link to see a list of all the databases.
6. You can get help with your homework.  Click on KnowItNow24x7 to access Ohio’s online reference service.  You can talk to a librarian 24 hours
7. You can use the Library website,, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to order books, and movies! You can even pay fines online with a credit card.

So, as they say on TV,  what’s in your wallet?  If it’s not a Kirtland Public Library card – come and get one today!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Read Any Good Books Lately?

Are you waiting for your copy of the latest best seller?
Have you read every book by your favorite author? 
Do you need a good book to read today?

  Tell us what authors you enjoy reading, and we can give you a list of Read Alikes - books by other authors who write in a similar style. Read Alikes can be based on a number of appeal factors, such as genre, setting, plot, or time period. You can even use our website to find your list.

Say you are on the waiting list for the latest John Grisham book, Sycamore Row. You have read all of Grisham's other titles and would like a book to read in the meantime. Follow these steps to find your new favorite author:
  • Go to our home page,
  • Click on find a good book at the top of the page
  • Click on Read Alikes
  • Click on the drawer labeled F-J
  • Click on John Grisham

Now you have a printable list of new authors to read, including David Baldacci, Steve Martini, and Scott Turow. While we have included some of the most popular authors in our Read Alikes section, we can find a great book for you to read based on any author or title that you have enjoyed. Just come to the Reference Desk and tell us what you like.

Come to the Library and find your new favorite author today!