We had our end-of-summer party last Wednesday, August 24 for the Novel Destinations adult reading program. The party is sponsored every year by the Friends of the South Brunswick Public Library and we thank them for providing for a delicious lunch of sandwiches and salads from Pierre’s and for the grand prize for the drawing. Over lunch, those that attended discussed the books that they read over the summer and ones that they were looking forward to reading this fall. The Help and the movie tie-in were the most well-liked of the summer. There were travel brochures that had been brought by Kuller Class A Travel for our travelogue programs this summer laid out in the tables for decoration and for conversation. The patron’s travel plans were also a popular topic of discussion.
At about 2:00, everyone moved to the other side of the Meeting Room where the International Food Tasting was set-up. There were place mats at every seat that had a spot for five samples to be placed. The five black licorice samples were out at each place, ready to be sampled. A description of the history and uses for licorice were given and the five samples from Australia (sweet), Finland (sweet), Holland (salty), America (sweet) and Italy (bitter) were tasted. The Finish licorice made by Panda and sold in specialty shops like Bon Apetit and Delicious Orchards was thought by the majority to be the favorite with it’s subtle flavor and soft texture. There were ice water and apple slices served to clean the palate between bites. The next item to taste was milk chocolate. There are so many choices in chocolate from around the world that it was difficult to narrow the samples down to just five choices. There was Elite from Israel, Cadbury Dairy Milk from England (now made by Hershey), an America Hershey bar, Italian Venchi Puro Cioccolato al Latte Superiore and a Nestle bar which is Swiss chocolate. The consensus was that the Elite chocolate from Israel was the favorite with a smooth, creamy texture. Also, the Hershey bar was preferred over the Nestle bar.
The third samples were Swiss-style cheeses. The Swiss make a cheese they call Emmentaler that is the official “Swiss Cheese” and can only be made outside of Switzerland by agreement of the Emmentaler cheese producers in Switzerland. That was the first sample tried – the Swiss Emmentaler. The other Swiss-style cheeses made in other countries were Jarlsberg, made in Norway; Tilsit made in Germany; Danish Fontina and a harder cheese, Reblevega, made in Spain. Jalsberg was the favorite.
The final food sampled were crackers, a logical segue after the cheese. There were two kinds of crackers included, water crackers which are made of just flour and water and soda or saltine crackers that have shortening, leavening and baking soda. Our familiar crackers today are descendants of the pilot cakes, sea biscuits and military hardtack from the Civil War when flour and water were mixed and baked to form a nutritious and ready to eat food that is advantageous for travel because of its long shelf life. The selections for the tasting were Osem Deli crackers from Israel, Dare Vinta crackers from Canada that had a poppy seed flavoring, Nabisco Premium Saltines from the U.S., Carr’s Table Water Crackers from the UK and Yarra Valley Crackerthins water crackers from Australia. This was perhaps not a fair comparison in that the Canadian and Australian crackers had other flavorings added so naturally they were the favorite and second favorite of the five.
A tally of the books read over the summer was discussed – the most prolific reader submitted sixteen entry forms all with reviews. Of the patron’s that attended the party, the reader with the most entries had submitted 15 entry forms, also with reviews. You can read the reviews that the readers submitted on the summer reading blog that you can find at http://sbreads2011.blogspot.com/or from the link on our webpage at www.sbpl.info. The event ended with a drawing for the runner up prize (a pick from the prize card) and the grand prize (a Barnes and Noble gift card) won by two patrons who submitted entry forms throughout the summer.
Thanks to all who participated in the summer reading program this year. Don’t forget you can still submit your vacation photos for the mural to firstname.lastname@example.org through the month of September and the drawing for a Shutterfly gift card from those who submitted photos will be done early in October. The tentative theme for the 2012 summer reading program is about nighttime and the adult readers’ theme is “Between the Covers!” Look for information early 2012 and if you have any suggestions that might pertain to this theme, contact the programming person at email@example.com.