Library can help families cook up new traditions

One thing unites people of any age, with different backgrounds and from all walks of life: food!

Each November, many of us come together with those we love to celebrate our bonds over a delicious meal. Every family has their own traditions that are passed on to the new generation, and with the addition of young, smiling faces comes the birth of bright new ideas.

As they say, the way to win a heart is through the stomach, and cooking something new for someone you cherish is certainly a universal love language. Whether you want to surprise someone with a dish they have not tasted before, engage in a fun cooking activity with someone special or treat yourself as the air grows cold around us, the Hinsdale Public Library has more recipes than you can imagine! Here are just a few of our favorite cookbooks to spice up your culinary experience.

• "Salamati: Hamed's Persian Kitchen" by Hamed Allahyari

Salamati is Farsi for "health" and "cheers" and you'll certainly say it with joy when you cook these delicious, accessible and traditional feasts.

• "The Unofficial Narnia Cookbook: From Turkish Delight to Gooseberry Fool" by Dinah Bucholz

Bring the majesty of Narnia to your table! We also have unofficial cookbooks for Harry Potter, Disney and more.

• "Delectable: Sweet & Savory Baking" by Claudia Fleming

The perfect complement to the upcoming holidays from a "legendary pastry chef."

• "The Wok: Recipes and Techniques" by J. Kenji López-Alt

Whether stir-frying, deep frying, steaming, simmering or braising, the wok is the most versatile pan in the kitchen. This is a great guide to the technique of cooking with a wok. • "Bake, Make and Learn to Cook Vegetarian: Healthy and Green Recipes for Young Cooks" by David Atherton

The 2019 winner of The Great British Baking Show goes green with a collection of must-try vegetarian recipes.

• "Cook What You Have: Make a Meal Out of Almost Anything" by Christopher Kimball

Your pantry's possibilities are endless!

• "Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches" by Crystal Watanabe

Creating colorful, cute, and tasty Japanese-style bento box lunches has never been this easy and fun.

If you need a little more inspiration, consider joining HPL's Spice Club. Our monthly Spice Kit contains a featured spice, information about the spice from our "A to Z World Food" database and two recipes highlighting it. Return your box, including the spice jar, each month for a new selection. You only need to register once to receive a box on Dec. 12, Jan. 9, and Feb. 13. Space is limited; registration opens Nov. 28.

Maybe you would rather hear directly from a pro! Illinois Libraries Present invites you to a special holiday event with Shauna Sever at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 13. As a cookbook author, TV and radio contributor, and daughter of the great Midwest, Shauna will share tips that are sure to make your holiday gatherings even more delicious. Learn more about this virtual event at

You can register for these events or place holds on cookbooks anytime by approaching a staff member at the desk, over the phone or on our website at

- Capri Pappas is a youth and young adult services assistant librarian at the Hinsdale Public Library.