I will just begin this post by saying that I am probably crazy. Nevertheless, I've decided to embark on a new blogging adventure called "Cooking the Books," wherein I endeavor to cook at least one recipe from every cookbook the Library owns. A casual consulting of our catalog shows me that the library currently owns 1,735 cook books, which means that if I cook a new recipe once a week I will be finished in approximately 33 years (just in time to retire!).
I haven't done something ridiculous like giving myself an unattainable deadline—this isn't some Julie and Julia experiment (though if Amy Adams would like to play me in the slightly boring movie of my life, I'm all for it). You won't hear about all the recipes—because they won't all be winners—but every month I'll bring you an update on my progress working through our entire 641 collection.
Of course, I chose an incredibly busy week to start this experiment (because why not?), and so as a full time working mom my mind naturally turned to the slow cooker. Slow cookers can be amazing for those busy, busy days when you don't have a lot of time but still want a great dinner. Plus, during the summertime I'm often reluctant to turn on my oven because I live in a shoebox of a house and the oven heats it up ridiculously fast.
My first recipe comes from Taste of Home's THE NEW SLOW COOKER. If I'm being totally honest, this wasn't my favorite thing I've ever cooked, but it did fit the bill for a very busy day. The recipe came together in just under 15 minutes, which made it pretty easy to fit into my morning routine. The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender, and I did enjoy this Asian-inspired twist on a traditional pulled pork. I have an electric pressure/slow cooker that has a saute setting that made the sauce come together in about 5 minutes (instead of the 30-40 the recipe recommends). As a bonus, I smelled like seared pork the whole day. This made A LOT of food, and I think it actually tastes even better left over. No picture for this one, because pulled pork is notoriously difficult to photograph appealingly.
Teriyaki Pulled Pork Sandwiches
from THE NEW SLOW COOKER: THE BEST RECIPES FOR TODAY'S ONE-POT MEALS
by Taste of Home
1 boneless pork shoulder roast (3lbs), trimmed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup teriyaki sauce, divided
1/2 cup pineapple juice
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 whole-wheat hamburger buns
1 can (20 oz) sliced pineapple, drained
1. In a large skillet, brown roast in oil over medium-high heat. Cut in half; place in a 5-qt slow cooker. Add the onion, 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce and pineapple juice. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until meat is tender.
2. Remove roast; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the flour and remaining teriyaki sauce until smooth; stir into cooking juices. Cover and cook on high for 30-40 minutes or until thickened.
3. Shred meat with two forks; return to the slow cooker and heat through. Spoon 1/2 cup onto each bun; top with a slice of pineapple.
Yield: 8 servings
(or, you know, 50, depending on how much you eat. My husband and I are going on 50).
As I’m out and about exploring nature in the blissfully scorching summer months, I find myself reflecting on this amazing planet with a heightened sense of wonder. I often turn to documentary films to learn more about a subject that has peaked my interest and as I explore the outdoors, I like to supplement my learning by discovering unique films about our natural world. As a kid, I remember watching those slow moving, nature documentaries in school, and man could they be boring! Well, these nature documentaries are of an entirely different ilk, one that includes adventure, captivating narration, and exciting locations and themes. Now, that’s the way I like my documentaries!
So if you’re in the mood to learn about our amazing planet, the creatures that inhabit it, and even the impact that humans have on the earth, these films will be right up you alley!
Famed documentarian Werner Herzog visits Antarctica and the McMurdo research station to document the life of the people who work there and the volatile and beautiful landscape of the remote region. Penguins also make an appearance, and who doesn’t like a penguin?
With 40 camera teams shooting at over 200 different locations all over the world over the span of five years, this series truly uncovers some rare and wonderful scenes of nature and animal life unlike any other nature documentary. Some of my favorites sections include those on caves and deserts!
In a moving and well-crafted documentary, Academy Award-winning filmmakers expose the forces that are leading our planet to its next mass extinction, potentially resulting in the loss of half of all species. Without implementing change, this film argues that creatures that have survived for millions of years may be wiped from Earth in our lifetime.
In the style of an action film, nature photographer James Balog and crew set up time lapse photography stations at various glaciers to capture the receding and calving of glaciers around the world as evidence of global warming and climate change. The images are equally visually stunning and shocking and the story has a fast paced feel.
If nature documentaries are not your cup of tea, we’ve surely got a different nonfiction film to suit your interests! With topics from ancient history to atoms, dance to dinosaurs, or literature to local government, we’ve got a little something for everyone!
We have hundreds of thousands of items available at the library, but sometimes we still don’t have quite what you’re looking for. If that’s the case, don’t lose hope! There are other options!
If an item was published in the last six months, it’s easy to submit a purchase suggestion to tell us you think we should buy the item. If the item is older than six months and/or we can’t buy it, the next option is requesting it through interlibrary loan, or ILL. We are a part of a large group of over 600 libraries across the country that all lend materials to each other. If another library in our group has the item that you’re looking for and it’s available, they can ship it to us, you pick it up here, return it here, and then we ship it back to them. That being said, there are some limits to what we can request and what other libraries are willing to send. We can’t get everything (we can’t get that +$100 text book you don’t want to buy for class), but we can get a lot.
Because we borrow from all across the U.S., sometimes it takes a while for things to get here. I’ve seen some requests come the same week the item was requested (we love BYU!), and some have taken just over a month (looking at you, New York). Because of that, it’s important that you request ILL items well in advance if you’re working on a deadline.
Other important things to know about ILL:
Your library card must be active and in good standing to make a request.
Patrons can only have three active ILL requests at a time. The request becomes active once you submit it, and becomes inactive once you’ve either returned the item, or we notify you that we cannot fill the request.
The lending period is set by the lending library, not Provo. Sometimes you may only have a few days with an item, sometimes a few months. Requesting an item through ILL is free…BUT fines for late ILLs are $0.50 per day, and any fines or fees received from the lending library will also be applied to your account.
So, the next time you’re looking for a book that we don’t own, consider requesting it through interlibrary loan!
If you've been to the Library the past week, or even driven by, you've surely seen an assemblage of folks in front of our building. They are united in their common stance—looking at their cell phones— and their common goal — to catch Pokémon.
Little does he know that Nidoran has it out for him...
The mobile game Pokémon Go has consumed batteries and attention spans everywhere, and the Library has become a major hotspot for players, so much that they've been staying on our front lawn until the wee hours of the morning. But we've got some photo evidence which reveals that these creatures aren't just outside, but have invaded the Academy building!
Ponyta always knows the best places to pose for pictures.
Mankey was dismayed to find out all our copies of the
newest DIARY OF A WIMPY KID were checked out.
Don't worry, Mankey, our hold queues aren't that long.
Pidgey's favorite move after "tackle" is "browse" (review journals, that is).
Come check out the Library and see if you can catch any elusive Pokémon, and while you're at it, check out a book or two! Stay tuned in the next few weeks for some more Poké-related activities in our Children's department.