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Monday, November 28, 2011

Have a Happy Gluten Free Holiday by Stacy

Several years ago, my husband’s whole family was transformed when it found out that a significant number of them are sickened by gluten.  Kids had been crying out in pain in the middle of the night, some were the tiniest ones in their class, and adults were perpetually sick with all sorts of baffling symptoms. 

Luckily, much of that is now under control.  Everyone has had to learn a whole new way of living (I love watching the little ones who can barely read furrow their brows in concentration to go over every ingredient on a snack they’re given).  And though one mistake in a dish can take down the entire family, most meals are as good if not better than before.

This year, we’re having Thanksgiving with MY family which scares me just a little because, as I said, one mistake can have my husband out of commission for weeks.  As I went through the menu with my sister-in-law, I was so grateful that they offered to go out of their way to make many dishes my husband could share. 

If you have a gluten intolerant friend or family member sharing your holidays, cooking a few gluten free dishes (ones without wheat, barley, rye and innumerable other items you’d never believe) isn’t so hard.  The library has many books on the subject to accommodate these needs.  Just a few include:

·             250 Gluten-Free Favorites” by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt-see the recipes for their pumpkin dessert and the pie crust recipes.

·             Complete Gluten-Free Cookbook” by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt- has great sides like mushroom &sweet potato casserole and potato salad.

·             Wheat-Free, Gluten Free” by Michelle Berriedale-Johnson- great turkey stuffing.

·             The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Kitchen” by Donna Klein- some favorites include kasha tabbouleh salad and out of this world pancakes.

Be sure to keep food packages and recipes, so the gluten intolerant guest can double check ingredients.  Even better, consult with the guest ahead of time.  Check the internet to find out which food brands are gluten free (especially on things like turkey and ham).  Never assume!  The most innocuous seeming ingredients can end up being the worst (hello vanilla extract and sour cream—you know I’m talking about you!).  And definitely use different utensils and dishes for the gluten-free items—cross contamination can make people sick.  Just a little prep work and investigation can help make you the perfect, beloved host—so let us help!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Back on the Court (or at 15 rows or so up in the stands) by Stacy

Several years ago, there was a time in OSU basketball (formerly known as "The Time Which Shall Remain Unspoken," but now for brevity's sake--"The Troubles") when a failing economy coincided with some difficulties within the program.  During "The Troubles," I quit attending games (no, I am not a fair-weather fan-"The Troubles" were just too troubling).  It was just last week that I attended my first game in nearly four years and it was an exciting experience that reminded me why I love Cowboy basketball.

Ok-I'm going to be honest here and say that I really really considered taking a book with me in case I got bored.  Turns out-I didn't need one!  This team is exceptionally athletic and it was the first time I've enjoyed a running game.  Even better was how businesslike they were-it was all about going to the office and getting the job done as a team.  With the current packages and prices, if you haven't been attending games, it is definitely time to think about going back. 

Anyway, that very good experience has me interested in basketball again and any good budding obsession starts with lots and lots of books.  If you're in basketball-mode or are missing the NBA, then here are some of the top books on basketball from this year:

·              "ShaqUncut: My Story" by Shaquille O'Neal-out this week, this autobio is already in Amazon's top 100 even though (as I am writing) it hasn't even been released yet. 

·              "CrazyBasketball: A Life In and Out of Bounds" by Charley Rosen-a tell all about the strange and crazy times of the CBA by a once player turned ESPN announcer.

·              "Scorecasting:The Hidden Influences behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won" by Tobias Moskowitz-in this Malcolm Gladwell like book, the author explains and sometimes debunks the facts every fan knows about sports.  One of the best sections is on the home field advantage which should be especially interesting to Cowboy fans.

And there are a ton more excellent books on the game--a bunch have won the Pulitzer Prize (but don't let that turn you away!).  Drop in if you need help finding them (or if you'd like us to borrow for you a copy of Coach Ford's Oscar worthy acting debut in the movie "The Sixth Man"!)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Watch History Come Alive by Mary Beth

Like many of you, I’ve just finished watching the latest Ken Burns’ documentary “Prohibition” on public television.  And no doubt like many of you, I found it fascinating.  Much of the history leading up to the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment was unknown to me or maybe just forgotten from those long ago days in American history class.  One thing I am sure of is that the 100 year period this documentary covers was just as tumultuous and transforming as events in our country today. 

I’ve always liked history and in my view no one does a better job of presenting it than Ken Burns.  Since the Academy award nominated “Brooklyn Bridge” in 1981, Burns has excelled in his efforts to tell the story of our country’s transformative events using a rich narrative and eye-popping visual landscapes.   He has gone on to direct and produce, in collaboration with other talented individuals, some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made.  

The list of Burns’ films is ever growing but included in the more well-known ones are “Baseball,” “The Civil War,” “Jazz,” “Lewis and Clark,” “Mark Twain,” last fall’s “National Parks,” “Baseball: the Tenth Inning,” “Thomas Jefferson,” “The War” (about WWII) and “The West.”  All of these great films are available here in the library.  If you missed them when they first aired on PBS, do yourself a favor and check them out for an unforgettable learning adventure.