Heights Libraries cooking up 'Culinary Comforts' this season
“Cast off the winter doldrums and dig into our savory menu of programs this quarter,” invites Heights Libraries’ winter program guide, Check Us Out, introducing this season’s Culinary Comforts theme.
From December through February, the library will offer a feast of culinary-themed literature, film and tasting experiences for all ages as a way to celebrate the multifaceted role that food plays in our lives.
“Our adult programming team was throwing around ideas for the library’s upcoming quarterly themes, and food and food-related topics seem to be perennially popular,” said L.P. Coladangelo, adult services associate. “We agreed that winter is a great time to highlight the fact that, in the darkest time of year, we often come together as families and communities to connect through shared meals.”
With this in mind, the library will offer food-related twists on some of its regular programs, such as the Original Voices Book Club and Lee Road Movie Night, which will feature My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme on Dec. 11, and the film "Julie & Julia" on Dec. 13.
For those who cannot consume food-related content without drooling, there will be plenty of opportunities for tasting.
“In some cases, we'll be talking about stories that focus on how food and cooking can change our lives,” said Coladangelo. “But we’ll have other events where we can come together to enjoy culinary delights with our friends and neighbors.”
Among the edible food programs on the winter program menu, amateur cupcake decorators can test their talents in "Nailed It! Adult Edition," a confectionary contest at the University Heights branch on Feb. 18. Library visitors can sip on hot chocolate at five programs throughout the winter months, including Hot Chocolate and Cookies Book Swap Night at the Lee Road branch on Dec. 10, and a number of cocoa-themed storytimes for kids.
In the children’s department, which consistently offers food-related programs for children and teens, staff chose to combine the culinary theme with their ongoing goal of offering more Afrocentric programs.
“This was a major request in the community survey that was completed in 2018,” said Shamekia Chandler, youth services associate. “We hope to provide children with culinary literacy skills that may help them in forming future career choices, and give young people a cohesive understanding of the African Diaspora and its place in our country’s history through food.”
Chandler will facilitate a Black History Month cooking series for ages 10 to 18 at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays in February. She will invite a local chef to demonstrate how to make simple meals that are both rich in flavor and history.
For more information, visit www.heightslibrary.org.
Isabelle Rew is the community engagement associate for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System.