A Silver Lining

While the closing of both of our locations here at the Everett Pubic Library, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, is definitely a disappointment to all of us, there is one silver lining: it is a great time to learn about, and take advantage of, our many digital services. If you haven’t accessed them before, you might be surprised to discover just how many materials and databases we have to offer electronically. And best of all, they can all be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home.

Today’s post will introduce you to one of our most popular digital services: eBooks & eAudiobooks

The library has a large number of both eBooks and eAudiobooks for you to enjoy. While there is a little bit of a learning curve at first, once you get your account set up the first time, it definitely gets easier. Our two providers are OverDrive and CloudLibrary. While they are slightly different, they both operate in much the same way: You download an app to your reading or listening device, register with your library card on the app, and then begin checking out.

Definitely take a look at our basic explanation of how the process works on our webpage as a starting point. We also have more specific instructions on getting both OverDrive and CloudLibrary on your device. If you run into trouble, both OverDrive and CloudLibrary have detailed help pages to address specific issues and provide solutions. While we normally encourage people to bring in their devices or to set up a Book a Librarian session so we can walk you through the process, those services are not available at this time. Once we are back up and running though, please do come in!

In the meantime, stay tuned for more posts highlighting our large array of digital services. The perfect way to connect with the library during the unique times we are living through.

Slow Cooking With Your Kindle

I’ve been exploring Everett Public’s Kindle holdings on Overdrive, which one can link to from our homepage. E-Readers have their detractors, but I enjoy the convenience of selecting a book at any hour of the day and being able to read it instantly. Also, it’s ideal for travel as it takes up almost no space in your carry on and you don’t run the risk of leaving your library book on the plane.

I recently purchased a slow cooker. It’s great because it doesn’t heat up the house or me on those hot summer days.

I wanted to expand my horizons beyond the cookbook that came with it, so I searched ‘slow cooker’ on Overdrive.  I found two titles: The Art of the Slow Cooker and The Everything Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook.

The Art of the Slow Cooker by Andrew Schloss has, as the title page says, ’80 Exciting New recipes’. Some of Schloss’ recipes will probably be a bit overwhelming for novice slow cooks. However, his creations are quite impressive. He takes slow cooking to a gourmet level, beyond tossing a bunch of ingredients into a pot and letting them cook all day. Most of the recipes are packed with ingredients and seem to be geared toward people who actually know how to cook, unlike myself. The recipes have prep times of between 5 and 45 minutes.

There are times when Schloss gets a bit pretentious. For example, his description of the ‘glory of curry’ in the recipe for Curried Vegetables and Dal: “The blend of aromas aerating your head and the cacophony of sensations titillating your throat are as complex as any food in existence.” I feel a bit light-headed after that description.

One dish I hope to try soon is a Corn Chowder with Jalapeno.  It is one of the easier dishes to prepare, with easily found ingredients. Apparently, the jalapeno is included to titillate rather than burn.  “Every bite should provide a tingle; every bowl should leave your lips with a characteristic jalapeno glow”, Schloss says.

The Art of the Slow Cooker is illustrated with photos of many of the dishes.  However, unless you have the Kindle Fire, which has a color display, you will see, for example, a rather unappetizing black and white photo of a bowl of corn chowder.

The Everything Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook by Rachel Rappaport is geared to a more general audience. It has 300 recipes for various occasions. The emphasis here seems to be on healthy meals with just a few minutes of prep time. Each recipe has nutritional information for a serving of that dish, something that The Art of the Slow Cooker lacked.

The book has 17 chapters including chapters with pork, beef, vegetarian, and vegan dishes. Chapter 6 covers one of my favorites, Chili.  There are 16 Chili recipes!

‘Secret Ingredient Beef Chili’ looks to be particularly delicious.  The ‘secret’ ingredient in the recipe is mango.  Rappaport says, “The mango melts into the chili and adds a fruity depth of flavor.”  The recipe serves 8 and it looks like a fairly nutritious dish with 200 calories per serving, just 3.5 grams of fat, sodium is 450 mg, carbs at 25 grams, 9 grams of fiber, and 19 grams of protein.

This book also has a chapter of breakfast recipes. With the slow cooker, one need never miss breakfast again. A number of the breakfast recipes in the book are started just before bed and are ready when you get up in the morning.

One of the best, in my opinion, is the ‘Ham and Egg Casserole’. It only has seven ingredients and can be ready for the slow cooker in about 5 minutes. One just pours a mixture of eggs, spices, cheddar cheese, chiles and ham into the cooker over two slices of sandwich bread. Set the cooker to low and cook for seven hours. When you wake up, breakfast is ready!  Just lift the casserole out of the cooker and slice it up on your cutting board. It serves six, and each serving has 140 calories and 11 grams of protein.

The Kindle won’t replace paper, but for convenience it can’t be beat. A search for cooking and food on Overdrive will bring up over twenty cookbooks. That’s a lot of books to carry out of the library, but with a Kindle or whatever eReader you might have, you can leave your book bag at home and carry those books with ease.

David