Thursday, November 13, 2008

Make holiday gifts, plan decorations, food

The holidays are right around the corner, so it is a good time to begin planning for the season’s gift-giving, decorating, cooking and music. Fauquier County Public Library has hundreds of cook books and guides for entertaining and decorating.

You can search the library’s catalog or ask library staff to help you find relevant titles, but below are some titles to help with holiday meal planning and other aspects of entertaining this season.

Papermaking for Kids: Simple Steps to Handcrafted Paper by Beth Wilkinson is a great book for kids who want to learn about the paper-making process and try simple projects. Some of the projects would be great holiday gifts.

Handcrafted Journals, Albums, Scrapbooks and More by Marie Browning provides instructions on creating handmade books with information on binding and folding methods, tools and materials, and decorations while her 300 Handcrafted Soaps: Great Melt and Pour Projects emphasizes soap made with additives such as essential oils, botanicals, spices, and even chocolate using kitchen equipment processed with no lye or animal fat.

Gifts of Food by Susan Costner presents tried-and-true recipes for items anyone would be proud to give as a gift, each clearly written to ensure success, and preceded by a brief description of what makes it so special.

Martha Stewart's Christmas: Entertaining, Decorating and Giving in the Holiday Season by Martha Stewart remains a classic cooking and decorating guide for the Christmas season while Handmade Christmas: The Best of Martha Stewart Living provides instructions for creating your own gifts, stockings, cookie boxes, wreaths and swags, ornaments, wrapping, outdoor displays and candles.

It's in the Bag!: Tasty Gifts in Crafty Sacks presents instructions for creating clever gift bags along with recipes for gift giving all year round. A Kwanzaa Celebration: Festive Recipes and Homemade Gifts from an African-American Kitchen by Angela Shelf Medearis leads us through the season, focusing on rituals and history, traditions and lore, and dishes that connect today's African-Americans to the culinary traditions of Africa, the Caribbean, South America, & the American South.

Christmas Presents Kids Can Make by Kathy Ross, targeted to children in grades 4-6, offers 29 handmade gifts for children to create for their families and friends. Most of the materials can be found in the home and often involve recycling items, such as old felt-tip pen caps, film canisters, laundry-bottle caps, and Christmas catalogs.

Christmas with Paula Deen: Recipes and Stories from My Favorite Holiday is a collection of beloved holiday recipes and stories interspersed with cherished family photographs. The latter includes Deen's most requested homemade gifts of food; a collection of cookies sure to become family favorites; easy dishes for a Christmas breakfast or brunch; impressive fare for Christmas dinner and holiday entertaining and, of course, spectacular cakes, puddings, pies, and other sweet things.

Holidays: Recipes, Gifts, Decorations, Thanksgiving, Christmas: The Best of Martha Stewart Living is worth taking a look at. It was taken, as the title suggests, from several years of the magazine’s November and December issues.

Hanukkah Crafts by Judith Hoffman Corwin explains the history and customs connected with Hanukkah and provides ideas and instructions for making greeting cards, gift wrappings, presents, decorations, and holiday treats.

Seriously Simple Holidays: Recipes and Ideas to Celebrate the Season by Dian Rossen Worthington includes wine recommendations by Peter Marks, one of only 20 wine masters in the United States. This book will show you how to entertain with style and ease while keeping things simple.

The Holidays: 21 Menus for Elegant Entertaining from Thanksgiving to Twelfth Night by John Hadamuscin has more than 200 traditional and new recipes. It provides ideas on everything from a Thanksgiving harvest dinner to a hearty wassailing buffet supper, from a morning-after wassailing buffet supper to a morning-after bunch on NewYears Day and, amusingly, it includes a back-to-diet dinner for Twelfth Night.

Paula Deen Celebrates!: Best Dishes and Best Wishes for the Best Times of Your Life by Paula Deen, with Martha Nesbit presenting themed recipes for celebrating American holidays throughout the year.

Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates: Festive Meals for Holidays and Special Occasions presents an assortment of meatless menus for holidays and special occasions throughout the year, including festive delights for Thanksgiving.

November is National Diabetes Month so the American Diabetes Association Holiday Cookbook by Betty Wedman is especially appropriate reading for some.

Check out titles soon for great ideas, resources and recipes in order to plan ahead. If the book or other item you are looking for is checked out, don’t forget that you can reserve titles at the library or online from a personal computer then be notified once it is ready to be picked up.