Bread and Circuses

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It’s the holidays!  A time that can be calm and enjoyable but also stressful and nerve racking.  Family dynamics can be intricate.  Deep breaths, lots of smiles.  But don’t forget about the food and fun!  Holidays can be filled with it, especially when you plan ahead.  I know…kind of a dicotomy, planning your fun…but it can be FUN!

But, let’s talk about food.  Think of a type of food that is a staple at most meals?  Breakfast–toast, lunch–sandwiches, dinner–rolls.  Yep, you guessed it.  Bread. There’s really nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread at any time during the day.  And there is nothing more satifying than baking your first loaf or set of rolls.  Honestly, try focaccia bread first.  So.good.  Click HERE for a recipe from The Bread Lady and a video of how to make it!  Everyday can be Focaccia Friday. Checking out cookbooks about bread from the library is the best.  You can dream about all the pictures of beautifully formed loaves, the many types of bread and how easy they make it look.  Then, hit up your local bakery and buy some fresh out of the oven.  But, if you would like to branch out, try some of these fantastic cookbooks (on bread).  You can do it!! Clicking (or tapping) on book covers will take you to the catalog record if you would like to learn more about the books or place a hold:


Now, for the holidays, ’tis also the season to try new things.  If someone gave you their grandmothers’ favorite cookie recipe, you’d try it, right?!  Why not bread?  The library has a couple really fantastic cookbooks on food/breads from around the world we recommend trying.  The books are not beautiful with glamorous pictures that took three hours under the lights to make them look picture-perfect, but the recipes….out of this world. Well, out of the country at least.  Pick a country, learn about their favorite recipes like Shahi Tukra, Khachapuri, Tippaleipa, Mor Monsen’s Kaker, Spritz or Kimaje, every country has something different.  Holiday of the World Cookbook for Students is a great way to learn about different cultures through the foods people eat.  Our great-grandmothers, like generations of women before them baked bread all the time.  There wasn’t a bakery to run and grab a loaf.  It was a meal staple.  During the holidays, bread was part of the family celebration.  They used their best flour, freshest eggs, fancy spices to form bread all shaped with a message that told the religious meaning of the day.  Festive Bread of Christmas is a treasury of old traditions, recipes and lore of the Christmas season.  This cookbook is a compact book, chock full of breads from many countries and the meaning behind each bread that brought dignity to the days celebration. (See, not so pretty covers but don’t judge!  Really great recipes!)


Now, let’s talk about a different kind of fun.  What is a holiday without good, clean competition?  It brings out the holiday spirit in everyone.  Have you taken a look in your game cupboard lately?  Kinda old, used and played too many times, board games in there?  Did you know the library has board games for check out?  Yes!!  Put one on hold today.  Or more! Rumble Pie is a fun one.  How about Exploding Chickens? Giant Connect 4Corn Hole? Are You Dumber Than a Box of Rocks? Or maybe Taco Cat Goat Cheese PizzaThere is something for each eclectic, stoic, fun-loving, outrageous member of your family this holiday season.  Check other game ideas out HERE.



COMING VERY SOON! (Probably in the beginning of December)

Now…if you are into the puzzle craze and have put together your puzzles so many times you can do them with your eyes closed–you may be interested in the puzzle exchange at the Main Library of the Traverse Area District Library.  Trot on over to the puzzle display by the stairs to grab one or leave one for others.  If you leave one, please make sure it is in good condition without any missing pieces.  These puzzles do not check out, so don’t worry about due dates, puzzles are on the honor system and will not be checked by staff.  When you return or drop puzzles off, please bring them inside and put them on the puzzle exchange display.  We will have this exchange as long as there are puzzles available.

Note:  Keep checking the events page for a puzzle tournament in February.

FINALLY, if want to just zone out and enjoy a movie, ebook, audiobook or TV,   Hoopla has Bonus Borrows for November!  Hoopla is available to patrons who live in Grand Traverse County, Inland, Almira and Elmwood Township and have a username and password for their library account (check out THIS video for more information). Don’t forget to check out as many as you want for the usual loan periods. If you check them out on the last day of the month, you will still have that same loan period to read them. Sometimes even the Bonus Borrows come back, so if you think you’re going to miss something good, just click that heart icon to mark it as a “favorite” to remember.  Check out the movie Lion (may not be a bonus borrow) but  There are some great Halmark-esque movies in there too, just in time for the holidays! You are most welcome.