BY SARAH CLENDINENG
Fort Madison Public Library Director
FORT MADISON – Cook the Book met at the Fort Madison Public Library Tuesday evening to share food prepared from the cookbook Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook by Liz Gutman and Jen King. The sweet treats included Buckeyes, Honeycomb Candy, Bacon Butter Crunch and Pecan Turtle Caramel Corn. Each month, participants sample the recipes and chat about how easy, or difficult, the recipes were to prepare, what worked and what didn’t. We also share ideas and suggestions for improving or adjusting the recipes.
Not every recipe is an overwhelming success and there have been some failures. Some of those less than successful dishes are due to user error, misreading a recipe or getting a substitution wrong. Some errors are because we found actual mistakes in the recipe. One of the most memorable recipe failures was a bread recipe that called for 2 tablespoons of baking soda when the actual amount needed was closer to 2 teaspoons. That was some very salty bread! We’ve also learned that not all cookbooks are created equal, some are much better put together than others and one of our least favorite cookbooks was published by a very famous cook.
Cook the Book meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 5:30. While people are welcome to come and check out the program without preparing any food, the cookbook of the month is available in the library and recipes can be photocopied for free. The March program will be a little different. Patricia Steiner, from the Des Moines County Extension office, will be sharing information about the extension office’s Spend Smart website. This website includes help and tips for menu planning and meal budgeting. Their website also includes a wide variety of inexpensive recipes that look like they would be very tasty. I haven’t tried any myself but, just glancing through, I’m looking forward to trying the tamale pie and the homemade mac and cheese. If you want to join us on March 13 at 5:30, you can pick a recipe from their website https://spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/recipes/ to prepare and share with the group or just stop by and see what the extension office has to offer.