It’s the season of New Year’s resolutions, and as the temperatures drop, what better season is there for spending time in the kitchen honing your cooking and baking skills? Whether you’re sharpening your skills for fun or as part of your career, a valuable resource available to you in your culinary endeavors is your local library.
Of course, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of libraries is books, and the library offers a wide selection of cookbooks about nearly every subject in the culinary universe. Along with family favorites like the Betty Crocker Cookbook, recipes from Taste of Home and Food and Family, and classics such as Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the cookbook world is diverse and can be surprisingly specific. For instance, a book called Sauces teaches readers about which sauces taste the best on which things, and picking up a specific skill can be easy with cookbooks about specialized techniques like preserving, sous vide, or cooking with cast iron.
There are also plenty of cookbooks from your favorite TV shows, books by industry specialists, and even some by celebrities. Books with recipes especially for those with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and autoimmune diseases, and cookbooks for special diets such as keto, gluten free, or vegan are now more widely available than ever before. Furthermore, books like The Science of Cooking and How Baking Works explain the fascinating scientific processes behind cooking and baking, and The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt is a culinary class in itself, containing recipes, the science behind cooking, and how-to instruction ranging in level from basic to advanced. Books are a necessary resource in the art of cooking and baking alike.
However, the library also offers more than just books. In Howard at the Brown County Library’s Weyers-Hilliard Branch, patrons can even check out cake pans. With pans ranging from a basic 12×18 half sheet to fun shapes like a butterfly or a pirate ship, there is truly a pan for every occasion. The cake pans check out for one week and are renewable provided that there are no other holds on the item. Learn more and browse the whole collection here on the Brown County Library’s website.
With cookbooks, cake pans, and plenty of online resources, the library is not only a place to find a good story, but can also be a valuable learning tool. This year, explore what your local library has to offer. You just might be surprised by what you find.