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‘Cooking Allergy Free’ can help out at complicated holiday table

By Amy Notarius

Rowan Public Library

Can you believe the holidays are just around the corner? Planning holiday meals can often be a challenge, but when family members or guests have food allergies, it becomes even more difficult.

“Cooking Allergy Free” by Jenna Short contains a wonderful variety of recipes for those with the most common food allergies, such as nuts, milk, eggs, wheat/gluten and soy. It’s available from Rowan Public Library.

Short begins the introduction with a helpful explanation of the difference between a food allergy and a food sensitivity. She also examines the difference between celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

Short includes a useful section on substitutions, such as using applesauce in place of an egg in a recipe when baking, and a basic recipe for gluten-free flour.

Short herself developed an allergy to dairy while spending a semester abroad in Italy. Her major then was graphic design, and her background is evident in the layout of the book.

She has developed fun color-coded icons representing each allergy type, so it’s easy to scan a recipe and see if it is appropriate for your particular need. Short also includes notes on how to adapt a recipe to further suit your needs.

None of these are bland or boring creations, either. From her herb pesto-stuffed mushrooms to striped bass with sage and red-wine butter, you’ll look forward to trying out every mouth-watering entry.

Think you have to give up cheesecake because of a dairy allergy? Think again — Short has figured out how to make it possible.

Food is an important part of the holidays and of togetherness, so make sure everyone’s included at each special meal this holiday season. Check out “Cooking Allergy Free” at Rowan Public Library today.

Friends of Rowan Public Library book sale: Members only preview Friday, Nov. 6, 6-8 p.m. You can become a member for $10 at the door. Hardcover adult fiction, $2; children’s books, 50 cents to $1; paperbacks, large, $1, or small, 50 cents; audiovisual, $1 and up. Special items priced as marked. Call 704-216-8240 for more information.

Public sale Saturday, Nov. 7, 9 a.m-4 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 8, 1-4 p.m.; Monday, Nov. 9, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Same prices apply.

Book Bites Book Club: South (China Grove), Tuesday, Nov. 17, 6:30-8 p.m. Free, open to the public. We discuss a different book each month and serve refreshments loosely related to the theme. “A Walk in the Woodsby Bill Bryson. Need a copy? Call 704-216-7841.

Computer classes: If you’re new to computers or never felt comfortable, Computer Basics will cover everything from components to programs. Tuesday, Nov. 3, 7-8:30 p.m.; Nov. 19, 9:30-11 a.m., headquarters.

Getting to know your iPad, headquarters, Nov. 17, 7-8 p.m. Discussion of components, navigation, apps. Must preregister, bring iPad, charged, and with an updated operating system, and have a current, valid Apple ID. Free signup at https://appleid.apple.com/ Space is limited. Call Paul Birkhead at 704-216-8242 to reserve a spot.

Jack Tales by Jackie: East, Nov. 10, 6-7:30 p.m. Honoring local storytelling legend Jackie Torrence on screen. Refreshments. Appropriate for all ages.

Reading with Ringling: Nov. 16-Jan. 31, 2016. Children ages 2-12 may register at any library location to read and report on five books to receive a voucher for a ticket to the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey circus Jan. 27-21, 2016, at Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte. For information and program rules, call 704-216-8234 or visit www.rowanpubliclibrary.org.

International Games Day: Headquarters, Nov. 21, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Join thousands of libraries around the world for the eighth annual celebration of Games Day. Games for children, teens and adults. Skill toys available.

Displays: Headquarters, Photowalk photos and International Games Day; South, Rowan Doll Society; East, “It’s a Wonderful Life” Chrismas village.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second  language.

2015 Children’s Bookmark Contest: Through Nov. 14.  Children 4-12 years old create and submit their original Rowan Public Library bookmark design. The winning bookmarks in three age categories (4-5 years, 7-9 years and 10-12 years) will be reproduced for distribution at all library locations. Friends of Rowan Public Library Winners Reception will be held Monday, Dec. 7 at 6:30. Visit www.rowanpubliclibrary.org for contest rules, entry forms and more.

Explorer Club: Headquarters, Nov. 7, 11 a.m. Investigate different genres through activities based on books. Programs are for children in second-fifth grades; lasts one hour. This month’s theme will be “Step Into the Past: Who was, What was, Where was?” Investigate the facts of history in the library’s History Room; special tour, followed by a short computer session a a fun research activity. Attend the club this school year and get a Passport to Reading. Earn a stamp at each meeting. Children with three stamps by May 2016 will get a free book. Children attending six club meetings earn a special prize.

Lego Saturdays: The library’s Lego collection will be available for children to play; all times 10 a.m.-noon. East, Nov. 14; South, Nov. 21; headquarters, Nov. 28.

Book Chats: Thursday, Nov. 5, 4:15-5 p.m., for children in fourth and fifth grades. “The Sasquatch Escape,” by Suzanne Selfors. A book discussion group. A limited number of books will be available at all library locations, so registration is strongly recommended.

Adventure Club: Headquarters, Nov. 21, 11 a.m. Join Robert and Johnathan for another round of adventurous hands-on science activities and projects; lasts one hour. This month: “Pipe Cleaner Construction.”

Teen Fall Festival: All 5:30-7 p.m. Thanksgiving in a Jar, create Thanksgiving themed crafts and food in a jar, South,  Nov. 10; headquarters, Nov. 17; East, Nov. 23.

Teen Advisory Board: Teens who join this board provide input on the library’s teen programming and book selections and discuss current events and issues of interest to teens in Rowan County. Meets once a month, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Headquarters,  Nov. 3; East, Nov. 9; South, Nov. 12.

Anime Club: For teens, headquarters, Nov. 10, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Learn all things Anime. Second Tuesday of the month, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Weekly events for children through Nov. 30.

Baby Time: Loosely interactive, introducing simple stories and songs to babies  6-23 months old with a parent or caregiver. About 30 minutes. Headquarters, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.; East, Mondays, 10 a.m.

Toddler Time: Focused on sharing books, singing songs and encouraging listening skills for children 18-35 months old with parent or caregiver; 30 minutes. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Mondays, 11 a.m.

Tiny Tumblers: Simple stories, musical scarves and instruments for babies 6-23 months old with  parent or caregiver. South, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; 30 minutes.

Preschool Time: Encourages exploration of books and builds reading readiness  for children 3-5 years old. Headquarters, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Noodle Head Story Time: For children 4 and up to enjoy listening to silly books and tales together; 30 minutes. Headquarters, Thursdays, 4 p.m.; South, Mondays, 4 p.m.

Art programs: Activities and instruction based on various themes and media.  Program activities vary by branch. Children 8 and under must be accompanied by an adult; 30-45 minutes. Headquarters, Art in the Afternoon, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m.; East, Emma’s Easel, Thursdays, 4 p.m.; South, Art with Char, Wednesdays, 4 p.m.

Tail Waggin’ Tutors: Children 7 to 9 years old (first to third grade) can reserve a 15-minute session to read aloud to a therapy dog. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m., Nov. 3.

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