What on earth am I going to do with this pile of zucchini?
By Marissa Creamer
Rowan Public Library
If you are fortunate enough to have a summer vegetable garden, you have probably been enjoying a bounty of fresh squash, butterbeans, cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, eggplant and yes, zucchini.
There’s nothing quite like a meal of fresh vegetables picked that very morning from your own garden. But after a while, the produce can begin to pile up and you may find yourself wondering what to do with your bumper crop. Before you resort to leaving bags of zucchini on your neighbor’s porch under the cover of night, visit Rowan Public Library for these helpful books.
“Cooking From the Garden: Best Recipes from Kitchen Gardener,” edited by Ruth Lively, celebrates the season’s best with more that 200 innovative recipes. Made from the freshest produce, these tasty dishes highlight ripe, seasonal ingredients.
You will find ideas for everything from appetizers and main dishes to desserts; including Eggplant “Sandwiches” on Crisp Greens with Sherry-Shallot Vinaigrette, which uses oven-roasted slices of eggplant in a twist on grilled cheese sandwiches. Or try Spicy Carrot Fritters with Fresh Salsa, Okra Tempura with Soy Dipping Sauce, Peach Crisp with Lavender and Lemon Verbena Ice Cream.
If you still can’t cook it all, then try preserving your bounty. The idea of canning may seem overwhelming, but you can start small with “The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving” by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard.
This book provides more than 300 recipes that yield just three or four jars of jams, conserves, pickles, relishes, mustards, marinades, salsas, desert sauces and more. There are also recipes for the freezer and for making low-sugar preserves. Sparkling Sweet Pepper Jelly, Summer Vegetable Ratatouille, Rosemary Wine Syrup and Fresh Fig and Strawberry Jam are just a few of the tasty recipes included.
Preserving the harvest doesn’t have to stop with jams and pickles. Many fruits, vegetables and herbs can be made into delicious beverages to drink fresh or preserve for later. “Drink the Harvest,” by Nan K. Chase and DeNeice C. Guest, shows you how to turn your bounty into juices, wines, meads, teas and syrups.
Make Heirloom Potato Wine, Strawberry Juice, Sensational-7 Vegetable Drink, Mixed Berry Mead or Passionflower-Lemon Balm Wine. These delicious beverages will make wonderful gifts to share with your friends. “Drink the Harvest” will also teach you how to create your own beverage garden and how to harvest ingredients for maximum flavor.
Come to Rowan Public Library to find these books and many other titles to help you make the most of your harvest.
Under the Sea Art Gallery: East Regional, Saturday, Aug. 22, 10:30 a.m.-noon. Receptions and display of ocean-themed children’s artwork. Light refreshments and open to all. The art is made by rising kindergarteners through eighth-graders. After the reception, artwork will be on a rotating display in the children’s room of the east branch. For more details, call 704-216-7742.
Reads to Reels: August Book Bites Club. “Chocolat.” Tuesday, Aug. 25, 6:30 p.m., South Rowan Regional. Escape the ordinary with a delicious discussion of “Chocolat” by Joanne Harris. Copies of the book are available at all three library locations. Screening of the film adaptation of “Chocolat” (PG13), accompanied by a few treats sure to make your mouth water. Please call 704-216-7841 for more details.
Summer movie series: All movies start at 6:30 p.m. Headquarters. Aug. 11, “Captain America” (PG13). Movies are free and all ages are welcome. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Free popcorn and lemonade.
Friends concert series: BackPorch Bluegrass, headquarters, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 7-9 p.m. The band is from Wilkes County and is known for traditional hard-driving bluegrass. Sample the music at http://backporchbluegrass.com/music. Admission is free. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Sponsored by Friends of Rowan Public Library.
Computer classes: If you’re new to computers or never felt comfortable, Computer Basics is for you. The class will cover the very basics. Tuesday, Aug. 25, 7-8:30 p.m., headquarters.
Displays: Headquarters, Community Care Clinic; South, lunch boxes by Sharon Ross; East, lunch boxes by Sharon Ross.
Gallery at headquarters: Photographic prints and tintypes by David Lamanno.