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Library resources can unlock how to use new ‘toys’

By Amanda Bosch

Rowan Public Library

If you are like me and you got a Christmas gift that you may not know how to use, Rowan Public Library can be a wonderful resource.  

In my case, I got an Instant pot for Christmas and while it is supposed to make life running a busy family easier by allowing us to cook healthy meals in half the time, the device itself can be intimidating.  Initially, I wasn’t sure how to unpack it or set it up but once that project was tackled, I had another problem – what should I cook in the Instant pot? Suddenly, I was out of ideas.

Rowan Public Library to the rescue! I searched the online catalog for Instant pot and found several options. “Instant Pot Miracle: From Gourmet to Everyday” caught my eye because I do need a miracle to help me get dinner on the table.  This was a wonderful choice because it included instructions demonstrating how to use the Instant pot.

Without any experience using this device, it can be intimidating because the food is cooked under pressure and if used incorrectly, it seems like injuries could be severe. I was relieved to go over the parts of the cooker so I understood how it all worked and which buttons indicated when it was safe to open the instant pot and get to the food. 

While there are breakfast, meats, appetizers, side dishes and desserts, I plan to try Instant pot Buffalo wings, which will be my contribution to our SuperBowl party this year. I am excited that I can cook wings without frying them so they will be healthier than in years past and hopefully they will still taste delicious. 

This book has a variety of recipes from different countries as well including Greek stuffed grape leaves, Cuban beans and rice and General Tsao’s chicken.  It was an excellent starting point.

Next up, I took a look at “Family Meals From Scratch in Your Instant Pot” by Lisa Burns. This sounds like exactly what I need. The point of the Instant pot is to save time and make healthy, home-cooked meals for the family. I found maple-herb salmon to make which should be a delicious meal when coupled with a quick salad.  On a more decadent night, I might be willing to give Creamy Garlic Chicken Risotto a try!

“Quick Prep Cooking with your Instant Pot” promises you can prep your meals in 15 minutes or less. Perfect. Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Tortellini and according to the recipe, it cooks in 2 minutes. I could get used to this!

There are many more titles available for Instant pot cooking at the library, including titles targeted towards those making baby and toddler food or struggling with finding meals that are diabetic friendly.  

You can find so many wonderful resources in the library, whether it is ideas for how to use your Instant Pot or resources for any other gift you may have received that seems a bit intimidating to use. Check out the library as your first stop for ideas.

January Scavenger Hunt: Snow Animals at headquarters and South, through Jan. 31. Can you find these snow animals hidden throughout the children’s room? Complete the challenge and get a prize. For more information, call 704-216-8234 or 704-216-7728.

Scavenger Hunt: Whiteout! at East, through Jan. 31. Missing! Answer clues and riddles to solve the mystery of where two Siberian tigers are hiding after they escaped from a nearby zoo. Discover their hiding place and be entered into a raffle contest for a literary-themed prize. For more information, call 704-216-7842.

PJ Storytime: Headquarters, Jan. 27, 6:30 p.m. Children ages 12 and under are invited to wear their pajamas, bring their favorite stuffed animal, and listen to bedtime stories with Ms. Char. A variety of bedtime stories will be read. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. Questions? Call 704-216-8234.

Char’s Stars: Beaded Snowflake, Headquarters, Jan 25, 11 a.m. Learn how to make a beaded snowflake using pipe cleaners and small beads. This activity enhances eye and hand coordination and creating simple patterns. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. For more information, call 704-216-8234.

Crafty Kids: Headquarters, Jan. 29, 6 p.m. Children ages 12 and under are invited to explore their crafty side using a variety of materials and techniques to create art! This program will be in the Children’s Room. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. For more information, contact Aida at 704-216-8234.

Teen Program: Headquarters, Jan. 28, 4-5 p.m.; East, Jan. 30, 4-5 p.m. Questions? Call 704-216-8229.

Gardening Party Saturdays: Farm Dreams/Farm Connections, South, Jan. 25, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. This is a small farm and farming networking event that will feature a workshop on farming technology, its use in sustainability, including a drone demonstration from Ashlyn Ozment and information from Agriprenuer Academy. Learn about farm funding, grants, farming resources and more. Come share farming enthusiasm, make new friends at a fun-filled experience, and maybe even win a raffle. Questions? Call 704-216-7731.

Book Bites: South, Jan. 28, 6 p.m. Refreshments will be served, and new members are welcome. This month’s selection is “Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver.  Contact Paulette at 704-216-7731 or Paulette.Stiles@rowancountync.gov for details.

Escape Room: Snow Bound! East, Jan. 27, 4-7:30 p.m. Danger! While on a winter retreat your family’s cabin loses electricity. As you start down the mountain, you get an alert on your phone that two Siberian tigers have escaped from the nearby zoo!  This program is appropriate for all ages and will engage individuals in riddles and puzzles of all sorts. The escape room will run every 30 minutes, beginning at 4 p.m., and each time slot can include up to six people. Registration is preferred. For more information and to reserve your time, call 704-216-7842.

Displays: Headquarters, YSAP Rowan (Youth Substance Abuse Prevention), and Salisbury Symphony; East, Disney memorabilia by Cathy Woods; South, South Rowan High School first semester student art presented by Jackie Elliot.

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.

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