Seasonal Traditions from Library Staff

Rolling pin on some flour

As the days get colder, people often turn to food for comfort, and our staff knows a lot about that!

I usually catch the baking bug in the fall and winter. While I love baking, I used to stick to what I knew and didn’t deviate, which wasn’t exciting, but still delicious! During the pandemic, I started exploring different recipes and flavors, and I haven’t looked back. Last holiday season, I think I baked more than I cooked! This time of year, I typically bake and decorate sugar cookies with my family. My daughter has a sweet tooth like me, so she’s always excited and ready to help when she sees me bring out the hand mixer. The hand mixer is extra special to me because my grandmother gave it to me many years ago, so I get to share my growing holiday traditions with her in spirit. I also love making pumpkin bars, peppermint pie, blondies, and cookies bigger than my face! I can't wait to dive into a recipe book and see what I’ll make this season. 

-- Amber, Communications Coordinator

My brother and I affectionately called Palacsinta or Palatschinke (Hungarian crepe), "Polly Stinkies” when we were kids because we couldn’t say it right when we were little. (And when we got older it was just funny to use that name!)

-- Cheryl, Administrative Assistant

My family has been serving a dish called Pepe salad at family gatherings throughout my entire life. Its name is from the Acini di Pepe pasta used within the dish. It’s a pasta that, when cooked, turns into a small ball, something that seems like it should pop in your mouth! This custardy, fruity dish straight out of a 1960’s Midwest cookbook reminds me of fighting with my family to get to the salad first, being upset when it was gone, and eating way too many marshmallows before the salad could even be made. It also reminds me of one of the last Thanksgivings I got to spend with my grandfather. It was the first year I was allowed to make the salad, something that typically only my aunt or grandmother made. I was so happy to learn how to make the dish that I still think of that Thanksgiving as being one of the best ever. While the dish may not seem appealing to the masses, it is something that I truly believe everyone would enjoy if they had the chance to try it.

-- Luke, Patron Services Assistant

Every year in December, my family bakes cookies for their teachers to celebrate the season. Last year, we decided to make cut-out sugar cookies in the shapes of doughnuts to be inclusive of everyone’s holidays.

-- Michelle, Advisory Specialist

Create your own seasonal cooking traditions with these recommended cookbooks