The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying & Start Making

I have a new love. It’s called Hollandaise sauce. Velvety, lemon-butter, it partners with meat or fish, eggs, grains or vegetables. A very democratic sauce. One for all.

The only way to enjoy this delectable garnish is to make it yourself. You can be tres authentique and do it the long way, a la master chefs Jaques Pepin, Julia Child and Elizabeth David. Or you can totally cheat and follow the example of this brief Food Lab video. A stick blender and two minutes and you’ve got it.

But why stop there? Next up - homemade mayonnaise. For such a common condiment it is way more complicated. Which oil, whole egg or just the yolk, lemon juice or vinegar, arm-powered whisk or blender? That’s where a number of lovely books came to my rescue and taught me way more about sauces than I thought possible, especially this marvelous book, Modern Sauces: More Than 150 Recipes for Every Cook, Every Day. We have many, many others! You too can emulate the great cuisines of every continent with sauces and toppings which enhance flavor and presentation.

But my greatest discovery was this handy compendium to the self-sufficient and frugal gourmet, The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making. Very resourceful, inspiring, entertaining, and useful! Next up - homemade ketchup.

PreK Bits - Inch by Inch

In honor of "I" .. Ms Rachel brought Inchworm to Storytime.
Inchworms are very useful because they can measure things ... including Nightingale's song ....

Find the stories to read/sing at home:
INCH By INCH by Leo Lionni
Ms. Sara sang INCH By INCH The Garden Song by David Mallett
You can hear the song (and more) on the recording PICKIN & GRINNIN Great Folk Songs For Kids
I MADE A MISTAKE was a silly story about how things can go wrong ... by mistake!

More Inchworms and Counting can be found below:
Stories To Go SIZE And MEASUREMENTS is a pre-selected set of stories on measuring sizes.
There are many more Stories To Go with Preschool themes. You can choose by the bag-full!

Here are more books to practice your counting:
INCHWORM And A HALF
LIFETIME:The Amazing Numbers In Animal Lives
100 ANIMALS On PARADE
The DEEP DEEP PUDDLE
20 BIG TRUCKS In The MIDDLE Of The STREET

Yes Please

Yes Please by Amy Poehler is everything I thought it would be. It is funny, candid, and at times, it addresses deeper issues like negative self-talk, disability, and divorce. According to the book jacket, Yes Please is "A collection of stories, thoughts, ideas, lists, and haikus from the mind of one of our most beloved entertainers, Yes Please offers Amy's thoughts on everything from her 'too safe' childhood outside of Boston to her early days in New York City, her ideas about Hollywood and 'the biz,' the demon that looks back at all of us in the mirror, and her joy at being told she has a 'face for wigs.' Yes Please is chock-full of words and wisdom to live by."

If you enjoy reading the smart and poignant writings of Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Lena Dunham, Sarah Silverman, Mindy Kaling, and Carol Burnett (I could go on and on, but I think you get the point) then I assure you, you will enjoy Poehler’s book. To give you any indication about how quickly it reads, I checked it out yesterday evening and before morning had read half of it…and I’m a slow reader.

If you prefer audiobooks, we have you covered. You can put the BOCD on hold here and experience Poehler's book by listening to her read it. Her voice is pretty strong in her writing, but I imagine her jokes will only be improved by her own vocal inflections. I know as much as I enjoyed reading Bossypants, I loved listening to it.

New Fiction by Anita Diamant: The Boston Girl

Anita Diamant, author of The Red Tent, Day After Night and The Last Days of Dogtown, has written a new novel to be published in 2015. Titled The Boston Girl, the book tells the story of Addie, a young Jewish woman growing up in Boston in the early twentieth century. Addie’s parents are suspicious of the changing world around them and want nothing more than to keep her and her two sisters close to home until they can marry suitably and begin families of their own. Addie’s curiosity and intelligence draw her outward, however, and she dreams of going to college and marrying for love, not convenience. As she ventures out into the world of short skirts, movie theaters, dancing, and opportunity, she experiences more than she would have ever dreamed possible. The premise of this lovely book is the question, “What made you the woman you are today?” asked of eighty-five-year-old Addie by her young granddaughter, which leads Addie to share her remarkable memories and experiences. “The Boston Girl is a moving portrait of one woman’s complicated life in twentieth century America,” reads the book jacket, “and a fascinating look at a generation of women finding their places in a changing world.”

Diamant’s books are notable for their focus on women in often-forgotten places and times in history. The Red Tent tells the story of the Biblical figure Dinah, a woman who’s life is only hinted at in the book of Genesis as the daughter of Jacob. Day After Night is a fascinating portrait of four female World War II concentration camp survivors who have escaped to Israel but are still trying to determine where they will fit in. Check these books and Diamant’s other works out at the AADL!

Fall fun!

This week at storytime Ms Amanda featured fall themed picture books and stories! Not Halloween, but FALL! We saw some animals swapping items in The Scarecrow’s Hat, we shook our heads at Anansi the spider as he played tricks on the animals in Anansi and the Talking Melon (I turned it into a talking PUMPKIN for this story!). We also had fun checking out GIANT pumpkins in How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow. And for the cuteness factor we met up with Penguin and Pumpkin on a fall adventure.

The library has all sorts of fun and beautiful fall picture books to suit your fancy. They sure are fun to share with little ones this time of year!

Vietnamerica: Pop-Up Exhibition by GB Tran

The University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities has a new Pop-Up exhibition series in the Osterman Common Room (#1022). The first, Vietnamerica, is an exhibition of images from GB Tran's graphic memoir of the same name, a visually stunning portrait of survival, escape, and reinvention, and of the fit of the American immigrants' dream. The exhibition will be up through Friday, November 7.

GB Tran be there to talk about his work on Friday, November 7, 2014 at 2:00pm.

Note: The Common Room at Institute for the Humanities is open M-F 9am-5pm.

Book Fun at AADL!

Can't get enough of your favorite books? Have fun with other book-lovers and the Library's most popular characters in the months of November and December! The Ann Arbor District Library will host a variety of fun book-related events that will appeal to the whole family:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book Release Party- Saturday, November 8, 1-2pm at Pittsfield
Play the cheesy bean bag toss for prizes, hunt around the Pittsfield branch in a scavenger hunt, and do "Wimpy" crafts!
Check out the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series here.

*NEW* Story and Craft Time: Junie B. Jones- Sunday, November 23, 1-2pm at Malletts Creek
Listen to part of the famous book series and use your creative flair to make some sassy sunglasses!
Check out the Junie B. Jones series here.

Pete the Cat Fanmail- Monday, December 22, 2-3:30 at Traverwood
Write a letter to children's author Eric Litwin or illustrator James Dean and make a Pete the Cat puppet!
Check out the Pete the Cat series here.

For even more events for kids and families, check out our Jump events page. See you there!

Audiobook for Kids: The Fourteenth Goldfish

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm offers a fresh, funny, and surprisingly thoughtful take on a classic science fiction premise: a potion to make you young again.

Sixth-grader Ellie’s life with her colorful drama-teacher mom is turned upside-down when her old-fashioned, opinionated grandfather moves in with them. The twist? Her grandfather is a scientist who has uncovered the secret to anti-aging and is now a thirteen-year-old boy! While trying to help her grandfather recover the anti-aging potion from his lab, Ellie finds new friends, develops a growing love for science and a greater understanding of her unconventional family.

I found the audiobook to be a particular treat, with a narrator who not only sounds like a middle-school girl but also delivers lines with such perfect comic timing that I found myself laughing out loud again and again.

Fans of The Water Castle or other science-centered books for girls will definitely want to check it out.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #491 - “I've always wanted to play a spy, because it is the ultimate acting exercise. You are never what you seem.” ~ Benedict Cumberbatch

Called "one of the best and most compulsively readable spy-fiction debuts in years", one-time China correspondent for the BBC, Adam Brookes' debut Night Heron * * relocates the traditional Cold War thriller to modern China.

The novel opens with an edge-of-your-seat escape from a remote high-security Chinese labor camp. Prisoner 5995 was once a promising engineer, imprisoned for impulsively attacking a soldier during the Tiananmen Square protests. Back in Beijing, he (code name Peanut) is desperate to renew the deal with UK intelligence in passing along technology secrets, and mistakes British journalist Philip Mangan for an undercover operative who reluctantly, is drafted into the world of espionage. Navigating not only between their two governments, but also round the opaque American intelligence agenda, Mangan and Peanut find themselves running for their lives.

"Fans of the international espionage genre will inhale this fast tale in a few suspenseful breaths. Brookes uses multiple narrators - the spy, the engineer, the journalist, the agent, the boss, whose conflicting alliances tell the real story."

The Madness of July by James Naughtie is an "explosive, brilliantly written spy novel".

Set over the course of 6 sweltering days in 1976, an American spy is found dead, stuffed into a cupboard in the House of Commons. In his pocket is Will Flemyng's phone number. A former MI6 operative who is now a rising star in the Foreign Office, and tapped for the U.S. ambassadorship, Will is forced to return to his old craft in order to safeguard some of the most sensitive secrets of his government. In the meantime, Will and his 2 brothers with hearts set on vacation in the Scottish Highlands, are confronted with interlocking mysteries that involves family secrets and a cold crime case. Clever readers will sense early on that these threads are part of a single web.

"Unlike thrillers that focus on spycraft, this debut novel from a British political affairs journalist (The Washington Post and The Guardian) digs into the psychology of secrets hidden in the crevices between diplomacy and espionage."

"For mood and atmosphere, Alan Furst's novels come to mind and for tension and pace, think of the British TV series MI-5."

* * = 2 starred reviews

Mustache Madness!

In the month of November you might notice more men walking around sporting mustaches. No, there isn’t going to be a shortage of razors and shaving cream! Many of these men are taking part in a campaign called Movember. Movember started over 10 years ago in Australia as a way to raise awareness about men’s health. In the past few years the mustache movement has made its way across the world and has become an international campain that has raised $559 million and funded over 800 programs in 21 countries.
But hey, grown men aren’t the only ones allowed to have fun with Movember! Children can participate too by checking out these great books centered around, you got it, MUSTACHES!
Mo’s Mustache by Ben Clanton
Monster Mo's big, beautiful mustache inspires all of his friends to copy his style by growing fabulous mustaches of their own, leaving Mo to wonder how he will continue to distinguish himself.
Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos
When Baby Billy is born with a mustache, his family takes it in stride. They are reassured when he nobly saves the day in imaginary-play sessions as a cowboy or cop and his mustache looks good-guy great. But as time passes, their worst fears are confirmed when little Billy's mustache starts to curl up at the ends in a suspiciously villainous fashion. Sure enough, "Billy's disreputable mustache led him into a life of dreadful crime."
Mustache by Mac Barnett
When extremely good-looking King Duncan builds more and more tributes to his handsome face, neglecting kingdom projects and repairs, his loyal subjects find a mustachioed solution.
Big Bushy Mustache by Gary Soto
In order to look more like his father, Ricky borrows a mustache from a school costume, but when he loses it on the way home his father comes up with a replacement.

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