Cooks and books have a tasty time at Selbyville library

Date Published: 
Aug. 25, 20173

Coastal Point photos • Laura Walter: Cathy Martin serves chicken curry, next to a dish of chicken meatballs with smoked paprika tomato sauce.Coastal Point photos • Laura Walter: Cathy Martin serves chicken curry, next to a dish of chicken meatballs with smoked paprika tomato sauce.Libraries were never this delicious. But now people are turning on their tastebuds at the Selbyville Public Library.

Every month, the Eat & Greet Cookbook Club tries recipes from a new cookbook. Beforehand, anyone in the community can choose a recipe from a cookbook featured at the library. All the participants prepare a dish, and then they share a potluck dinner on the second Monday of each month. That night, people get to sample everyone’s cooking and take home the recipes.

It’s always a chance to try something new, and the group couldn’t name a recipe that they didn’t like.

In August, they tried “The Whole30 Cookbook,” a low-carb, high-flavor program by Melissa Hartwig. Recipes ranged from a classic slow-cooker chicken salad to an adventurous tomato-coconut curry chicken.

“I’m a basic person. This is my first time having [spaghetti] squash and cauliflower rice,” said librarian Ronshell “Shelly” Purnell, who roasted flavorful chicken thighs that night.

Sometimes it’s an intimate handful of cooks, while other nights are packed with a dozen or more cooks and dishes.

“It’s a nice way to meet people in your community,” said Cathy Martin. “It’s fun to get together and talk—”

“Food!” Dottie Kauffman interjected.

Over the months, they’ve sampled the flavors of Irish, Mexican and Cajun cuisine, and more. They reminisced about old recipes, including caramelized onion dip with Ritz chips; chocolate cake with marshmallow cream and chocolate ganache; and naan bread topped with fig preserves and layers of prosciutto.

Cooks can go big or a simple as they like. Unable to find ground chicken for chicken meatballs with spaghetti squash, Kauffman made her own using a food processor. She followed up with hand-mixed Italian herb seasoning.

Kauffman first learned about Eat & Greet when she saw people carrying platters of food through the library. She’s attended every Eat & Greet dinner since.

The Eat & Greet Cookbook Club will continue on Monday, Sept. 11, at 5:30 p.m. Until then, people can visit the library to claim recipes from the selected cookbook and prepare to join in the culinary adventure at their local library.