Library Columns Samantha Gambill

A Cookbook for Every Cook by Samantha Gambill

Samantha Gambill
by Samantha Gambill

Here at the Sebring Public Library we’re continuing to update our cookbook collection. Out with the very, very old, in with the shiny new–although never fear, classics will always remain classics. This culinary renovation continues to inspire me and I hope it will get you cooking too!

For those just starting out (like me), we have an ‘Idiot’s Guide’ for that. “Cooking Basics” by Chef Thomas N. England helps one learn how simple and fun cooking can be. According to the synopsis, it is a primer on common kitchen tools and equipment (with easy instructions on how to use them) plus it comes with tips on how to peel, chop and otherwise prepare delicious vegetables and guidance with stirring up sauces, gravies, and much more. Have you always wanted to learn how to make New England Clam Chowder, Lasagna, or even Risotto with ease? Then this is the book for you!

Once you’ve mastered that chowder, you might want to take the next step with “Magic Soup” by Nicole Pisani and Kate Adams. As the authors assert, soup is both comforting and nutritious. It is jam packed with flavors we crave and yet eating soup is also a great way to lose weight. It works, as I can personally attest having seen a family member lose sixty pounds in a healthy way from eating primarily soups and stews. This brings us to another new title from the editors of “Saveur” magazine. “Soups and Stews” is full of recipes from the critically acclaimed magazine. We can learn to make the elegant and sweet Strawberry Soup with Balsamic Reduction or take a journey across the world with their Thai Boat Noodle Soup, among others.

While you’re on that savory ride, why not stop by Africa for some truly unique treats? “Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl” by Pierre Thiam will “transport you deep into the country’s rich, multifaceted cuisine.” Thiam goes in-depth explaining the diverse Senegalese ingredients and their history (and also where to acquire some of these rarer delights). You can look forward to Selim-Crusted Salmon with Plantain Puree & Sauce Moyo and the slow-cooked Lamb Fonio Tabouleh.

On the way home take “A Food Lover’s Pilgrimage along the Camino to Santiago De Compostela.” Author Dee Nolan takes us on a food and wine journey through southern France and the north of Spain in pursuit of the scallop shell that is symbolic of the journey. Along the way we get to experience both modern culture and centuries old traditions, plus a few of the local recipes.

Other new cookbooks include “Farmhouse Rules” by Nancy Fuller, “An African American Cookbook: Revised and Updated” by Phoebe Bailey and “Chinatown Kitchen: From Noodles to Nuoc Cham” by Lizzie Mabbott. Or if you just want to relax, “Beer Pairing: The Essential Guide from the Pairing Pros” by Julia Herz and Gwen Conley.

Whatever you choose is sure to be good. If not, bring it back to your local library and try again. We have shoes for all sizes here.