Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Books + Food = Books Appetit!

There are usually several very important things hanging on the bulletin board in my office, but yesterday, nothing was more important than this:
In what could only be considered a stroke of genius, the annual "Books Appetit" benefit at our local library was scheduled for Fat Tuesday this year! Be still my heart! Sumptuous food,(don't let the 'light refreshment' tag on the ticket fool you), was going to be consumed in my favorite place, on a day whose sole purpose on God's green earth is to over indulge? Surely, this was my admission ticket to heaven!
When we arrived at the library, we were given Mardi Gras beads.
Then, the ticket ladies took our tickets.
Other ladies sold us more tickets...
so we had a chance to win one or more of these gift baskets.
The circulation desk was converted into a very decent bar, and wine, beer, soda and water were liberally dispensed. Hey, that's my sweetie in the dark gray blazer getting me a drink! He's going to be surprised that he's on my blog. Thanks dear.
I just noticed that the computers are missing! Smart move to tuck them out of the way with the libations flowing so freely, and isn't that a lovely ice bucket?
Now experience is the best teacher, and we've been to this event before, so our next stop was the food area. Good food disappears fast here!
The pizza table was cleared and reset several times. I noticed that most of the men headed there first.
My personal philosophy is, why bother with pizza, (even though it came from excellent pizzerias), when you could head for the table with the gourmet delights???
I tried to get pictures of the glorious food array on this table, but a swarm of locusts, err...I mean patrons, were in my way. If you can't beat them you have to join them, so I grabbed a plate and got in line. I'll just list what I sampled:
-Heavenly crab cakes with a piquant tartar sauce
-Delicate, perfectly seasoned, stuffed mushrooms
-Ravioli with a sweetened ricotta filling that was gently kissed with nutmeg and cinnamon, then bathed in a light bechamel sauce studded with raisins
-Chicken tenders and spinach in a divine Parmesan cream sauce
-Potato/cheese pirogi, gently sauteed with onions in butter
-Feather light miniature rolls, generously filled with your choice of shaved ham or roast beef
There were other items on the menu, but I was pacing myself for dessert. There were tables that looked like this...
and then there was my favorite table. A local chocolatier was offering the most ethereal creations.

The handmade chocolate cups were filled with a lighter than air mousse, and topped with whipped cream. Surely, this was food for the Gods. But wait...what were marbles doing on a table full of sweets? I had to ask. "They're truffles," came the reply.
Truffles??? "Those can't be edible," I exclaimed. "Surely they're works of art!" I immediately told them that I needed three in different colors, because I just had to photograph them! Alas, because of my weak will, only 2 1/2 made it into the photo. I must, however, state for the record that I have no regrets. They were exquisite.The evening's entertainment was about to begin, and everyone began to gather near the stage.
The choir from our middle school gave a stellar performance. Impressive? You bet! And this is coming from an ex-stage mother!
The evening started to wind down and there were many happy people.
There were happy patrons, because they had been wined, dined and entertained.
There were happy circulation clerks, because they weren't working and didn't have to search for one of the gazillion books that I've placed on hold.
There was a happy library director, who was in perpetual motion. (I took 5 photos of her and this is the least blurry!) Tomorrow she's probably going to be written up in the Journal of American Medicine for having survived the highest sugar rush ever recorded.
And there was one happy me, because these are the remains of my day, which I tried to hide in the children' s section.
Shortly after I took this last shot, I melted into a puddle of chocolate ecstasy in the reference stacks. My husband scooped me up and poured the molten me into the car. My food adventure had come to an end.
Today is Ash Wednesday, and we will fast. Bread and soup is all that's on the menu, but I do believe that it will be easy to cope with fasting after experiencing my first truly decadent Fat Tuesday.


  1. Great food....chocolate....and books...OH MY if that isn't BLISS then I don't know what is. I would have been hiding behind the mystery section stuffing my face and READING!

  2. That is an awesome idea! Wow! I wish my library came up with such things.


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