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Rowan Public Library offers resources on slow cooking techniques

By Paul Birkhead

Rowan Public Library

Over 40 years ago, a cooking appliance debuted and set kitchens on fire around the world. Well, maybe we should say it slow cooked them.

In the early 1960s, a simple bean cooker produced by West Bend was a very popular item.

In 1971, another company, Rival, manufactured a device that would not only slow cook beans but other ingredients as well.

They called it a crock pot, it was a hit, and the rest is history. Crock-pots remain popular today, and the brand name actually evolved over time into a generic name for that type of cooking. If you are interested in slow cooking, Rowan Public Library has resources you just have to check out.

One Pot: 120+ Easy Meals from Your Skillet, Slow Cooker, Stockpot, and More is a new book from the editors of Martha Stewart Living and available at the library.

Beautiful photographs accompany easy-to-read recipes that you can use to prepare delicious home-cooked meals. The best part for some is the simple clean up in just one pot!

Are you a fan of celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse? If so, you’ll want to peruse his new book, Emeril’s Cooking with Power, where he showcases meal preparation using four countertop appliances; the slow cooker among them.

Delicious recipes to make using your slow cooker include: Sicilian Eggplant, Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, Barbecued Baby Back Ribs, and White Chocolate Pots de Creme. Since it is Emeril, it almost goes without saying that there are several Creole and Cajun dishes to try as well.

Fix-It and Forget-It New Cookbook, by Phyllis Pellman Good, is another resource you can find at the library. It is filled with 250 tasty recipes to try in your slow cooker. The title alone should remind you of one of the best qualities of a slow cooker. You can be gone for hours at work, at the mall, or the ball field and come home to a hot, delicious meal.  With everyone’s hectic holiday schedules, who wouldn’t want to open their front door after a long day and be met by the aroma of Steak Stroganoff, Chiles Rellenos, or Hearty Beef Barley Soup?

I knew if I walked through the periodical section of the library this time of year that I’d find an article about slow cooking touted on the front page of one of our magazines.  Sure enough, in the December 2014 issue of Mother Earth News, there is an article titled, Homemade One-Pot Meals.

Among the recipes mentioned are ones for Chicken and Dumplings, Short Ribs, and Shepherd’s Pie. Want to investigate those recipes for yourself?

Come to the library and read through our issue. Or better yet, go to www.rowanpubliclibrary.org and scroll to the bottom of our home page for a link to Zinio. Through the library’s subscription to Zinio, all those with a library card can read a digital copy of Mother Earth News (or more than 60 other titles). Regardless of your reasoning for being interested in slow cooking, head to Rowan Public Library fast and prepare to cook slow.

Staff Reports

As the holidays get closer, December’s calendar is filled with events for all ages.

Below is a list of several, upcoming ones:

Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. — Nutcracker Story — Stanback Auditorium

A classic holiday program for all ages. Enjoy dance selections from Piedmont Dance Theatre’s The Nutcracker Ballet performed to live music by members of the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra. For more information call 704-216-8234.

Dec. 16, 6:30 p.m. — “Redbird Christmas” by Fannie Flagg — South

Book discussion groups for both adults and children are being held at South Rowan Regional Library and will meet the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open to the public and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book, as well as light refreshments at each meeting. For more information please call 704-216-8229.

Dec. 17, 10:30 a.m. — Christmas Tea Party

Come join the annual Christmas Tea Party at the public library’s headquarters with stories and a visit from Old Saint Nick. For more information please call 704-216-8234.

December displays at Rowan Public Library:

• Headquarters – Eleanor Qadirah

• South – N.C. Music Hall of Fame Honoring Local Artist Curly Sechler

• East –  Holiday by Mary Earnhardt

Changed library hours during the holiday season:

• Dec. 22 & 23: Close at 7 p.m.

• Dec.24-27: Closed for Christmas holiday. Library reopens on Dec. 29.

• Dec. 29 & 30 — Close at 7 p.m.

• Dec. 31 — Close at 5 p.m.

• Jan. 1 —  Closed for New Year’s Day

Literacy tutoring:

For any information regarding teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those whom English is a second language, call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266.

Rowan County Literacy Council provides instruction to adults sixteen years and older in basic literacy skills and English as a second language. It is a non-profit organization.

It’s primary focus is free and confidential, one-to-one tutoring by trained volunteer tutors. When appropriate, some tutoring may be done in small group settings.

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