“Old Line Plate” Blogger to Visit Library

October 5th, 2018

eggs whisk and cookbookIt’s no wonder that cookbooks are one of the most highly checked out subjects at the library—food is incredibly important to our daily life, culture, and history. We attribute cookbooks with nourishment, comfort, and for creating events and memories.

Kara Mae Harris, originally from the Maryland suburbs outside of Washington, D.C., provides a remarkable service: archiving Maryland cookbooks. Initially, she started reading cookbooks because she was interested in food, but then started learning about the recipes unique to Maryland, and she was inspired to learn more about the foodways of the state.

On her blog, Old Line Plate, she documents her progress, tries out recipes, and interviews authors of recently published cookbooks. Some of her most recent posts talk about blackberry pie, gumbo, and Baltimore Peach Cake. She’s also mapped out the 512 recipes found in “Eat, Drink and Be Merry in Maryland” online, which you can view through her website.

On Friday, October 12, the Elkton Central Library will be hosting Harris for a special After Hours program, where she will present on her research and the history of Maryland through cookbooks. After her presentation, attendees will be able to find new cookbooks and other books to enjoy. Doors open at 6:15 PM, and the event starts at 6:30 PM.

We asked Harris a few questions:

What inspired you to start archiving cookbooks?
“I was inspired to start archiving cookbooks when I realized just how many Maryland cookbooks there are. Some of them have the same or related recipes so I wanted to compare and contrast.”

What’s the most surprising, or interesting, thing you’ve discovered since starting this project?
“The most surprising thing at first was how vague cookbooks were. Sometimes they have no measurements or cooking times at all. They’d assume that the cook already had some experience.”

Do you have a favorite recipe?
“Aside from anything with crab in it, some of my favorite recipes have been shrubs – a berry syrup made with vinegar, and shad roe – I love that it is so seasonal you can only get it a few weeks a year.

To learn more about Maryland’s history through cookbooks, be sure to stop by the Elkton Central Library on Friday, October 12 at 6:30 PM. Register for the Library After Hours program by calling 410-996-5600 x 481, or by visiting www.cecil.ebranch.info.


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A quick quiz to find your next great read!

April 23rd, 2018

Woman writingHow would you prefer to spend your weekend?
A. Video games
B. Hiking
C. Learning something new

Which superpower would you pick?
A. Predict the future
B. Be able to communicate with plants
C. Read minds

What kinds of stories do you like?
A. Fast-paced and thrilling
B. Long and descriptive
C. Short and punchy

What are you watching?
A. Back to the Future, for the sci-fi
B. Planet Earth, for the beautiful natural imagery
C. Get Out, for the dark humor

If you chose mostly A’s, you should read…

The Oracle Year by Charles Soule
Twentysomething Will Dando wakes up with the power to predict the future and finds himself to be the most powerful man in the world.  Or you may like Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

If you chose mostly B’s, you should read…

The Overstory by Richard Powers
National Book Award winner Richard Powers is back with The Overstory. If the trees could talk, what would they say? Powers weaves multiple characters together, all connected by trees. Or try reading the nonfiction title The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben.

If you chose mostly C’s, you should read…

Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
This stunning debut collection of short stories features black middle-class America. Or have you read New People by Danzy Senna?

Want more suggestions? Discover your next great read on CCPL’s websites! We have book lists, staff recommendations, and more. Check it out now: https://www.cecil.ebranch.info/great-reads/staff-recommendations/

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash


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