An evening with Alice

Presented by Catlin Langford, enthusiast and collector.

1book28 White rabbit

Illustrations by Sir John Tenniel from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, 1865: The Queen of Hearts and the White Rabbit.

ingpenAlicecvr   Alice-In-Wonderland-1972-Movie

Illustrated by Robert Ingpen, 2009          Film, Alice In Wonderland, 1972.

When:  Wednesday 8 July from 6.30 – 7.30pm.

Where:  Relaxed Reading Area, City of Tea Tree Gully Library.

Cost:  Free.  Bookings are essential.

2015 marks 150 years since the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, considered as one of the most famous works of children’s literature. An Evening with Alice will investigate the numerous ideas, people, food, and paintings that inspired Carroll’s celebrated work of literature, providing an insight into topics as diverse as the Pre- Raphaelite group, to the not-so-beautiful turtle soup, to poisonous hats, and pet wombats.

You can book for An Evening with Alice here or telephone the Library on 8397 7333.

If you are of a crafty disposition, enjoy a sweet treat and are interested in everything ‘Alice’, READ ME.

Hidden Treasures

Festival Foods coverIf you enjoy browsing through the Library’s cooking section, why not investigate the books in our Children’s collection? You never know what you might find. Discover a new world of recipes that are suitable for all chefs.

I borrowed Festival Foods by Jenny Vaughan and Penny Beauchamp, which features recipes from many different cultures, cooked for celebrations and feast days.

honey-cake1I created a delicious Israeli honey cake and also found some great recipes including a hearty Ramadan soup and savoury dumplings from China.


Children’s cookbooks are colourful and often include fascinating information on the cultural background of different recipes and the ingredients they use.


Other titles that impressed me are The Australian Women’s Weekly Kids’ Cooking for Health, The Usborne Healthy Cookbook by Fiona Patchett, Kids’ Cooking,  I Can Cook Middle Eastern Food by Wendy Blaxland and the series A World of Recipes by Sue Townsend.

You can search the Library’s online catalogue or enquire about children’s cookbooks next time you visit the Library.

Looking for some new recipes?

Well the Library has a fantastic collection of cookbooks for you to choose from. Come and browse in  Adult Non Fiction starting at 641.5 for inspiration to cook up a storm.
One book we found recently while reshelving that doesn’t quite offer that inspiration is “Food for the road” by Laraine Leyland of Leyland brothers fame.

This unique publication has lots of tips for campfire cooking, food and equipment checklists and an amazing array of tempting recipes from chapters entitled Toasted Temptations, Super Snacks and Marvellous Mince.

Some “favourites” chosen by Library staff  include; Saveloy Sandwich, Curried Eggs, Rissoles, Baked Beans and Frankfurts, Curried Savoury Mince and Devilled Wine Chops, not to forget a favourite from the seventies, Chicken a la king!

We’ll let the pictures tell the story. Just let me say food styling has certainly moved on since the Seventies!

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Do you think we should keep this book or send it to the library book graveyard, aka the Booksale shelf?

Also love to know if you’ve found any other “amazing” titles in our collection that you’d like to share!

Blast from the past with Mrs Beeton

Having an interest and love of books goes with the territory of working in a library. One staff member was given an antique copy of Mrs. Beeton’s Shilling Cookery Book, also known as The Englishwoman’s Cookery Book by Isabella Beeton. It was given as a wedding present to a neighbours’ parents in 1900.

There are many pearls of wisdom and practical hints covering topics such as hints to prevent kitchen waste, modes of preparing meat and home butchery plus serviette folding techniques. The class system of the time is evident with lists of kitchen utensils and cookware being necessary and ‘suitable for any mansion’, ‘Suitable for good class houses’, ‘suitable for small houses’ and ‘suitable for the smallest house.’

Advertisements in the front and back pages of the book include those for Bumstead’s Table Salt, Savory and Moore’s Best Food for Infants, and Freeman’s Syrup of Phosphorus – ‘for the most delicately constituted.’

Some of the recipes of note include: conger eel soup which included 2lbs of conger eel and 2 marigolds, how to dress a sheep’s head, calf’s feet jelly and gooseberry trifle. There is also a section on invalid cookery that includes such gastronomic delights as barley gruel, egg wine and mutton broth.

Useful handbooks advertised in the back of the book include:
The Manners of Polite Society, or Etiquette for All
All about Etiquette – for Ladies, Gentlemen and Families
Profitable and economical poultry keeping by Mrs. Eliot James – (author of Indian Household Management)
The manners of the aristocracy by One of Themselves
Our Servants: their duties to us and ours to them including the boarding-out question by Mrs. Eliot James.

The book is an interesting and nostalgic reflection on how times have changed. Although the Library doesn’t own this particular book we do have The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton and a massive range of modern cook books.

What antique books have you come across?

Mmm… scones anyone?


Tea Tree Gully Library staff have becomes fans of my scones.  I add a special touch and make sultana or chocolate chip scones. ;o)

The secret is a simple recipe from the book 4 Ingredients.
Some of you may be aware of the popular, simple cookbook series, 4 Ingredients, 4 Ingredients 2,
4 ingredients : gluten free
4 ingredients : fast, fresh & healthy
Kim McCosker and Rachael Bermingham.  There is even a 4 Ingredients in the large print collection.
I wasn’t aware until recently that there is also a DVD.

Check out their website, where you can download recipes and an iPhone application via iTunes.

Currently in Coles and Bi-Lo supermarkets when you buy any two of the fresh Gourmet Garden herbs and spices tubes you can receive a free limited edition of 4 Ingredients cookbook  (offer valid until 9th March 2011).

Tip: Scones need a hot oven, bake in a preheated oven at 220C (425 F) for 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Get cookin’…!

Beat. Heat. Eat.

The DIY manual for easy home meals for blokes is here. Dean Lahn has written the ultimate guide for simple meals to ensure you don’t starve- if you’ve just moved out on your own for the first time, or suddenly find that you need to learn how to cook when you’ve never needed to before, this book is for you. Simple tasks like making a grilled cheese sandwich by turning the toaster on its side, and freezing coffee into ice cubes so you can heat them up later is just the beginning, this instruction manual is full of diagrams to assist any bloke find his way around the kitchen. If simmering chicken in Coke is not your thing, then try home-made hamburgers using the meat squished out of a sausage. As the intro says “this is manual that shows you how to heat food so you don’t starve.” Sounds good to me. Check out his website for feedback from other successful almost-cookers.