The Best Deal in Town!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Ruddicks - Friends for Always

The Ruddicks are just good people. They are kind and giving to others, quick to smile broadly and offer a pat on the back. They are the kind of people who make good friends, especially award-winning Friends!

Local residents and South Brunswick Public Library volunteers Lease and Ruth Ruddick were recently awarded a Certificate of Appreciation plaque from the Libraries of Middlesex(LMx) for their many years of devoted service to the Friends of the South Brunswick Public Library.

“We do it because we love the Library,” explains Ruth, adult volunteer coordinator on the Friends Board. “We think the Library is a special place.”

The couple has been especially helpful in setting up and organizing items for the Friends sales held three times a year, as well as for the ongoing sale in the SBPL lobby. Library Director Chris Carbone says he is grateful for the pair’s efforts and proud of their LMx recognition.

Ruth and Lease have Life Long Memberships in the Friends of SBPL, a non-profit organization, composed of individuals, families, local businesses, and corporations whose mission is to support library services and programs.

“It’s a nice thing to do and you see the results,” Lease says of helping with the Friends book sales. “One hundred percent (of the money raised from sales) goes back to the Library.”

The book sales are also a good deal for the shoppers, Ruth pointed out, explaining that romance novels, for example, can be purchased 10 for a $1. “Where else can you buy a book for 10 cents?”

The couple spends about 20 hours the week of each sale, coordinating volunteers and sorting and stacking the hundreds of donated books and movies. And, on Tuesdays during the weeks in between sales they can be found doing general shelving and sorting and such.

Lease, a retired civil engineer from AT&T, says “it’s not a big commitment” to help the Friends, plus it’s a nice social outlet especially for retired folks.

While Lease and Ruth have been volunteers for several years now, she has been a part of the Library for much longer. She worked at the Library for 26 years before retiring in 2001, serving as Head of Circulation for the last 15 years of service. She hired many of the current staff, including our current Director Chris Carbone when he was just a college student.

"Working quietly to do good, Ruth and Lease Ruddick have played an enormous role in the success of our book sales. They have contributed endless hours helping to screen and organize our donations before most of the volunteers have their bite of the apple," says Friends President Susan Edelman, adding, "They never toot their own horns. They are intrinsically motivated, not drawing attention to their achievement. I commend LMX for its wisdom in selecting the Ruddicks for this honor."

When not at the Library the Ruddicks enjoy healthy endeavors such as regular trips to a local gym and buying produce through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program at Honey Brook Farm, which they’ve done for about 20 years now. Since retiring Lease has learned canning skills to preserve the CSA produce for gifts and home. They also enjoy listening to books on tape (borrowed from the Library of course!) for long drives to the Adirondack Mountains.

In February they will gear up for another big Friends book sale – the Love Them and Read Them sale on Feb. 16 and 17.

Joining the Friends of SBPL:
Join or renew your Friends membership in-person at the Library during operating hours or online anytime for as little as $10 a year.  To learn more or to join/renew online now, go to Watch for upcoming details on the For-Friends-Only Annual Membership Tea.  In addition to the Annual Membership Tea, Friends also enjoy perks such as coupons for fines and coupons for free movie rentals. The higher the membership the greater the perks!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

More Good Movies You Might Have Missed...

Hi Everyone,

If you're like me and you don't have any spectacular plans for New Year's Eve, why not stay off the roads and plan a fun night of movie watching at home? Try one (or all) of these fun movies from our collection:

               Your Sister's Sister

  Directed by Lynn Shelton. Starring Emily Blunt, Mark Duplass, Rosemarie DeWitt.  Having trouble coming to terms with the death of his brother, Jack accepts his friend Iris' invitation to her family's cabin for some time alone, but Iris is unaware that her sister Hannah is staying at the cabin to get over a breakup with her longtime girlfriend. Rated R 2011. ComedyDrama.


Directed by S. J. Clarkson. Starring Ken Stott, Helena Bonham Carter, Victoria Hamilton, Freddie Highmore.  Based on the autobiography of English foodwriter Nigel Slater. A delicious love letter to the tastes and smells that a young boy associates with his journey into adulthood. Nigel's mother was always a poor cook, and her addiction to all things canned isn't helping. Nigel, on the other hand, laps up cookbooks as if they were porn, and spends all his free time gazing longingly at the delights offered at Percy Salt's grocery shop. Not rated. 2010.  Comedy.

      Kissing Jessica Stein

Directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld.  Written by and starring Jennifer Westfeldt and Heather Juergensen. Also starring Scott Cohen, Jackie Hoffman, Tovah Feldshuh.

Fed up with her fruitless search for "Mr. Right" and tired of blind dates from hell, attractive journalist Jessica Stein whimsically responds to a classified ad-- from Helen! Making and breaking new rules of dating as they go, the two women muddle through an earnest but hilarious courtship that blurs the lines between friendship and romantic love. Rated R. 2002. Comedy.

Hey, beats watching the ball drop...

Happy New Year!

Jill Eisner
Sr. Librarian
Information Services

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Music, Merlot & Miele X - A Tasty Evening!

It was the 10th year milestone for this popular annual fundraising event, presented by the South Brunswick Public Library Foundation. Just as aging makes good wine better, Music, Merlot and Miele gets even better each year!
About 100 guests milled about the wine tasting gala at the Miele Showroom on Route 1 on Thursday, Dec. 6. A wide array of tempting hors d’oeuvres and desserts filled tables amongst the wine vendors, refrigerators and such. Furnished in an ultra-modern style to compliment the European-designed Miele appliances, the showroom is the perfect place for this gourmet/social evening.

The tasty eats were donated by a handful of community activists, as well as businesses: CafĂ© Calore, Cheng Garden, Capriccio’s, Fuji, Pierre’s, Ruth Chris, Romeo’s, Sens, Tre Piani, Stop & Shop, and Wegman’s. Choices included delectable penne vodka, Chinese dumplings, sushi, spring rolls, fruits and cheeses, and bread pudding and assorted pastries. Yum!
Sponsored by Miele, Inc., Eno Terra Restaurant and Wine Bar in Kingston, and Viking Buy-Rite Liquors in Monmouth Junction.  About half a dozen wine vendors were featured. Merlots, pinots, chardonnays, cabernets, and more were tasted, as well as Bailey’s new hazelnut cream liqueur (which may have been the most popular tasting spot!).

Bart Jackson of Prometheus Publishing was on hand to sell and sign copies of his book Garden State Wineries Guide.
After sampling the appetizers and wines, many guests moved on to the kitchen classroom for a cooking demonstration by award-winning Chef Christopher Albrecht. With the aid of wide screen monitors overhead, he demonstrated how to prepare eggnog pannacotta to start, followed by braised pork shoulder with farrotto, grilled apples and root vegetables.
Chef Albrecht is executive chef of the Terra Momo restaurant group and has worked with well-known culinary celebrities including Wolfgang Puck and Emeril Lagasse. He has participated in the Music, Merlot and Miele for several years now. The Terra Momo group includes the Eno Terra Restaurant & Wine Bar in Kingston.
Following the demonstration, Chef Albrecht served each “student” a generous warm plate of the meal. Trays of the eggnog pannacotta cups were carried through the showroom gala by wait staff for distribution to everyone’s delight!
Heard over the eating, drinking, mingling, and clinking glasses was live piano music provided through the Princeton Music Connection. As always guests also enjoyed the beautiful voices of the South Brunswick High School Concert Choir under the direction of Ginny Kraft.
Possibly the most exciting point of the evening was finding out who would win the coveted Miele vacuum! (a generous donation to the cause to be sure!). The prize drawings are done at the end of the night. Local artist/master gardener Art Lee was the random winner of the vacuum, which he held high above his head, obviously very happy to be chosen! The prize drawing also included numerous other prizes, all donated by local citizens and area businesses.

It was an exciting and delicious evening for all concerned. The Library Foundation is grateful for all of the support that was given to make the evening a success. In addition to this annual benefit, the Foundation also hosts the Book & Author Dinner Gala, which just took place in October, and the Beef Steak Dinner, which is anticipated for April 29, 2013. Tickets to Foundation events can be purchased at the Library or online at Watch the Library’s Compass newsletter and website for details of upcoming events.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ebsco Home Improvement Reference Center

You may have some  home improvement projects waiting to be done since Super Storm Sandy. South Brunswick Public Library has a new database that can help!

Our online magazine provider, Ebsco, has donated their Home Improvement Reference Center to assist New Jersey residents with their repairs.

If you need to install baseboard heating, redecorate, fix a deck or  leaky faucet this is the database for you. There are  how-to guides and nearly a hundred videos.

You can find this on our alphabetical database webpage under the  Ebsco Home Improvement Reference Center or on the E-Adults section of the library's E-Services webpage.

If you need help contact the Information Desk .

Friday, December 7, 2012

Surprising(ly) Easy Ombre Cake

Last week at the Library we had a retirement party for Chris from the Children's Department.  She loves the color purple, and one of her coworkers, Jen, asked me to make her a cake, preferably purple.  When I dropped off the cake in the party room, I could see that Jen was disappointed:  the cake I had made was chocolate with multicolored sprinkles all over.  I wrote on it - "Chris, have a colorful retirement".

But, trooper that she is, Jen said nothing, just oh, that's nice.  Ha, ha, I thought, I won't tell her the inside of the cake is purple ombre:  shades of purple from dark to light.

I left the party, as I had to prepare for teaching my class. Jen burst in to the Meeting Room laughing - You tricked us!  The cake is purple!  It was great, apparently everyone at the party was surprised when they cut the cake. Awesome:  better than the awful Rutgers football loss last night when the quarterback threw a long pass right into the arms of a Louisville defender.

You win some, you lose some.  This presentation, however,  I would call a definite winner.  To make this cake, prepare 2 boxes of white cake mix.  If you want it to be truly white, with the colors added, only use egg whites, not whole eggs.  (I wanted the cake to be a little richer, so I prepared each box cake with 1 stick of melted butter and 3 whole eggs.)  I weighed the cake batter, and divided it into five.  The first I left plain, the next I added a drop or two of purple food dye (the kind in a little jar, made by Wilton, available at any Michael's or just use liquid dye from the food store).  To the next layer, I added more, etc. Easy!  I also used a mix of raspberry preserves and orange marmalade for the filling, and then frosted it with chocolate frosting, and covered it all with tons of sprinkles (Costco!).

I found the inspiration for this cake from one of our new books, Cupcakes and Cashmere, by Emily Schumann.  The book was created from a blog by the same name, and is a fun, quick read with lots of young, trendy info on style, decorating and entertaining. Get it in our Library!

Diane Whitman
Reference Librarian
Lifelong Rutgers Fan