Friday, November 20, 2015

Feast Your Eyes

It’s that time of year when many of us share our favorite treats with friends and family, and Newport Public Library’s collection of cookbooks might expand your options. We feature an extensive variety of offerings along many dietary disciplines. Here are gems to be mined for those with the time to explore and ponder and, as always, staff are more than willing to help you find what you seek.

Then there are the periodicals where editors have sifted and sorted and rated some of the best seasonal treats for each month of the year to amuse and amaze. The most recent month’s publication is on display only; however, for these we allow five free copies which makes a reasonably structured recipe yours on demand.

Bumping around in back issues lately rewarded my curiosity. The November 2014 issue of Saveur surprised me with a recipe for Navy Bean Pie on p.18. Touted as a top fundraiser for the author’s Chicago church, the “silky custard like filling” recipe comes down from a best friend’s immigrant grandmother.

My own aunt sends me her copy of Cook’s Illustrated which I recommend for the science of cooking as well as the section “Quick Tips” in each edition. This magazine brought me up to speed on banana cream pie when it suggested slicing banana into orange juice to coat and prevent browning. Much better!

Cooking Light, December 2014, has us parboiling cut potatoes then roughly tossing them with a bit of olive oil for a slightly mashed surface prior to roasting for an extra crisp crust. Low fat and fun eating here.

My friend Judy shared her secret of roasting fruit for dessert toppings last summer and I see that Bon Appetit (January 2015) includes a roasted citrus with avocado salad for a more savory dish.

Rustic, elegant, and retro Thanksgiving menus are featured in Country Living (November 2014). The photos are enough to satisfy the ravenous, but add in the recipe for baked kale gratin and it’s time to get cooking.

My future includes snooping into Vegetarian Times magazine for tips on vegan main course options for this year’s Christmas dinner.

What better way to spend the increasingly wet and windy winter months than exploring our cookbook and magazine collection at Newport Public Library? Come feast your eyes.

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