Something smells good: Library recipe swap brings out best in West Rowan

Published 12:07 am Tuesday, February 21, 2023

CLEVELAND — Some secret family recipes are worth more than gold, but a few folks in Cleveland were willing to share their home-cooked favorites at the Rowan Public Library West Branch on Saturday.

Savory smells wafted through the auditorium at the former Cleveland Elementary School as area chefs brought in their concoctions. It’s a recurring event that started last year. The library’s supervisor, Lyndsey Maloney, indicated that this time, the only rule was that it had to be prepared in a slow cooker.

Recipes ranged from fall-apart slow cooker roasts to chocolate lava cakes and everything in between.

“The first time we did it, we asked for family favorites,” Maloney said. “We didn’t care whether it was a drink, entree or appetizer. It seemed like we got a lot of questions. So the next time, we narrowed it down.”

It was the 2022 football season, so Maloney directed that any sports-themed snacks or food you would eat while watching the game would be fair play.

“We had everything from dips to cowboy caviar,” Maloney said.

Maloney laughed at the temperature on Saturday, having conceived the idea for the slow-cooker day to be meant for a more seasonably cold day.

“February is usually cold, so we thought, why not let everybody warm up with the slow-cooker recipe swap,” Maloney said.

The recipe-swap event is still pretty new, and it’s part of the programming the library service does to cater to adults in the area.

“We try to do a couple of programs a season for adults,” Maloney said. “We do a craft one and a book one. We were trying to think of what else we could do here.”

Much like the proverbial cream, one idea kept rising to the top.

“We thought, well, people like food,” Maloney said.

To ensure that no one leaves without the resources to recreate a meal that stood out to them, Maloney and the library staff print the recipes so guests can take them home.

“Culinary literacy is one of those literacies that is thrown under the radar,” Maloney said. “So, we always provide the recipe book.”

The library will have another recipe swap event, but the dates and themes have yet to be confirmed. Continue following the Salisbury Post for those updates when they become available.