Reading in the Kitchen is a cookbook club sponsored by the Barrington Public Library and organized by librarian Jessica D’Avanza. The club had its first meeting on August 17, 2015 and read and cooked from Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating From America’s Farmers’ Markets by Deborah Madison.
The group meets monthly on the third Monday night of the week from 6:30 to 8 pm. Participants are asked to bring a dish to share from that month’s cookbook and their own table setting.
The club is organized by Community Services Librarian, Jessica D’Avanza. You can contact her at:
Why a cookbook club?
Everything I know about cooking I first learned from my grandmother or I read in a book. Books are the foundation for my life, as they are for a great many people.
As a public librarian I’ve always favored the “cookbook section” a.k.a. 641.5. I’ve borrowed hundreds of cookbooks from the library and recently started to keep track of every last one in an attempt to create my own “collection”. At home, I have a carefully curated cookbook collection and a massive amount of single recipes photocopied and stored in a binder or scanned and saved digitally on my iPad in Google Drive or the Paprika Recipe app.
While in library school I did my bibliography assignment on food preservation. I was starting to become an enthusiastic home canner and the professor said we could research any topic of our choice. I threw myself into the research, requesting every book on the topic from my public library consortium and leaving no cooperative extension site or blog unturned. It was the most fun I’d had doing homework.
Once I graduated and settled into a few years working at public libraries in Rhode Island, word was getting out about my cookbook fetish. Within time, I was able to use my job as a librarian to promote cookbooks beyond just a library display, to an actual club. Through this club, I found all the other closet cookbook readers out there just waiting to get in the kitchen and whip up something they discovered in a book.