As usual it has been cold and windy this Winter in Morris. It is the kind of weather that makes me want to curl up with a book and hot beverage or, if I'm feeling really industrious, cook a hearty meal. There are so many wonderful cookbooks at our library. Nearly each month we add new additions to our already diverse collection. The images are so enticing and the descriptions of the food are so tantalizing, I want to make everything I see in these books. Since that would be impossible, I came up with a new idea for a library book club - a Cook Book Book Club.

At the end of December, I poured over the last year's worth of library cook books looking for the right one. I wanted to find something inspirational to a variety of tastes and preferences. Dinner: "Changing the Game" by Melissa Clark rose to the top and it turned out to be the best choice. The book has more than 200 recipes and is all about options. It's organized by main ingredient-chicken, meat, fish and seafood, eggs, pasta and noodles, tofu, vegetable dinners, grains, pizza, soups, and salads "that mean it". What if our book club had a potluck and we could all sample each other's dishes cooked from the same book?

It seemed like a good idea and quite a few people agreed - 24 different recipes were shared with 35 people! It was an interesting group of people, some that I recognized as library users and some I had not seen before. Farmers, business people, teachers, artists, and UMM students all came together with one thing in common - a love for cooking and sharing wonderful food. A few of the meals prepared at home and shared in the Morris Public Library Community Room were: Harissa Chicken with leeks, potatoes, and yogurt, Ginger Pork Meatballs, Shakshuka with golden tomatoes and goat cheese, Red Lentil Dhal, and Ham, and Navy Bean Soup. If you are not drooling reading just a portion of the recipes shared you should have been there to smell Mary Jo Forbord stir frying her beef, Korean-style in the room. It was amazing!

Here are the ingredients for the dish I made. For the instructions you can check out the cookbook and turn to page 246.

Black Bean and Roasted Poblano Quesadillas

4 poblano chiles

2 TB extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, sliced

1 tsp kosher salt

2 TB tomato paste

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp chili powder

3 cups cooked black beans

8 large or 16 small flour or corn tortillas

1 pound smoked mozzarella, shredded

½ cup fresh cilantro leaves

Lime wedges, as needed

Avocado slices, for serving

A selection of upcoming events at the library.

Game Day! Feb. 24. 1 to 5 p.m. All ages welcome. Come play Candyland, Battleship, Penguin on Ice, Twister, Life, Dixit, Small World, Setters of Catan, Forbidden Island, Dominion, Ticket to Ride, Exploding Kittens, Fluxx, Risk, Monopoly and more! Sponsored by Morris Public Library and Rodney A. Briggs Library. Refreshments provides by Friends of the Morris Public Library.

Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. March 3. 1:30-3:30 p.m.. Join us to update Wikipedia entries on subjects related to gender, art and feminism. During the first part of the afternoon we will provide tutorials for the beginner Wikipedian. Light refreshments will be provided by Friends of the Morris Public Library. This event is co-sponsored by the Morris and Briggs libraries. For more information about this event check out our Facebook page or call the Morris Public Library at 589-1634.

UMM Jazz Combo. March 7. 6:30-7:45 p.m.. University of Minnesota, Morris Professor Jonathan Campbell will be leading UMM's Jazz Combo at the library. All ages are welcome for this live free performance!

Library Book Club. March 15. 7 -8 p.m.. The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott. Book discussion location TBA.

Join us at the library for these activities, quiet reading, children's story time, ancestry research and more! We hope to see you soon!

"The truth is libraries are raucous clubhouses for free speech, controversy and community." -Paula Poundstone