It seemed like an innocent question at the time.
In a column last week, I lamented the lack of places to which you could bring your old cookbooks. The cooking schools have all they need, many (but not all) of the local used book stores have closed, and even libraries, in general, are not in the market for them.
I don't think "deluge" would be too strong a word to describe the outpouring of helpful suggestions that flooded in.
The most popular of these noted that, while libraries usually do not want old cookbooks, auxiliary groups such as the Friends of the Library do. The Friends conduct sales of used books (at very reasonable rates), with the proceeds going to support the library system.
A small number of clean, non-musty books — a grocery bag full, or so — may be dropped off at any branch of the library. Larger donations should be brought to the book warehouse, 1301 N. Reynolds Rd., on the corner of Dorr Street and Reynolds Road.
Similarly, the 577 Foundation (577 E. Front St., in Perrysburg) has a charming little used bookstore that accepts cookbooks, with the proceeds going to help preserve that extraordinary property. If you live closer to Lima, the University Women group there holds a book fair every September, with the money going to help pay for scholarships.
Meanwhile, the good folks at Ex Libris Bookshop in Marblehead would like you to know that they also accept cookbooks, which they loan out or sell to vacationers and everyone else. The store is run by a non-profit organization, and the proceeds will help to establish a reading and resource center.
One reader called with an idea for a more anonymous sort of donation. She leaves her used books, including cookbooks, at nearby laundromats. While the customers there are waiting, waiting, waiting for their clothes to be done, they can page through them for recipe ideas. And if a customer wants to take a book home, well, that's fine too.
Joan Schwartz, who works at Lial Catholic School in Whitehouse, leaves notes in her co-workers' mail boxes saying that she will bring in two or three cookbooks at a time to give away. "They are loving the little cookbook store," she writes, and she even gets requests for certain types of cookbooks. In return, she writes, "I'm getting a shelf in the basement back."
Copy editor extroardinaire Jane Schmucker recommends paperbackswap.com. This free service allows you to list the books you have that you want to swap; when someone requests one, you send it on to him. Then you can choose a book you want (as of this writing, there are more than 4.7 million selections) to be sent to you.
And finally, there is Deborah Norin-Kuehn, a voice teacher and singer who lives in Sylvania. Ms. Norin-Kuehn called to say that she collects cookbooks. Although she is particular in what she is looking for (her collection is apparently already quite extensive) she would be happy to take a look through the books anyone wants to discard to see if any of them interest her.
I almost hate to do this, but her phone number is 419-350-5764.
Those clever kids at Clay High School are at it again.
The Culinary Arts students, directed by chef Robb Parmelee, are back with their annual Thanksgiving Pie Sale. Pumpkin, apple, chess, and honey-pecan pies will all be sold — but you've got to act fast. They stop taking reservations Monday, and are in danger of selling out.
Pumpkin pies, which come either fresh or frozen, are $7. Apple pies, which are also fresh or frozen, are $11. Chess pies (a delicious Southern custard pie) are fresh only for $7. And honey-pecan, which come with a full half-pound of pecans, are also fresh only for $12.
Ordering may be a bit tricky at this point, but you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the number of each pie that you want and, if you want pumpkin or apple, whether you want it fresh or frozen. Be sure to total up the price of your order. Include your name, your phone number, and the time you plan to pick up the pies. The pies will be ready for pick-up after noon on Nov. 26 in the Golden Eagle Café, Room 162, on the school's campus.
Clay High School is located at 5665 Seaman Rd., in Oregon.
If you've been to Revolution Grille, you'll know that one thing the hip restaurant does not serve is Italian food. But chef Rob Campbell loves a challenge, and he has the cooking chops to rise to one. So on Dec. 2, he will present what he calls a Twist on Italy Wine Dinner. It's a five-course meal, featuring his own unique take on classic Italian dishes.
And each course will be paired with a specific wine.
The first course, vitello tonnato, will include a chilled roast veal and tuna tartare, paired with a Sicilian Grillo from Marchese Montefusco. Following will be a pasta e fagioli, with cannellini beans, acini di pepe, and duck confit, paired with a 'Bratinis' Collio Bianco by Gradisciutta.
A lasagna course is third, made with bacon (of course, if you know Chef Rob), goat cheese, pecorino romano, and roasted tomatoes, paired with a red blend from Cascina Roverone, in Venice. The fourth course is branzino al finocchio e rosmarino — branzino (it's a fish) with fennel and rosemary — served with a Cannonau, from Cantina Pederes Ceraiso, in Sardinia.
And the final course is saltimbocca di maiale, a pork cutlet cooked with sage, prosciutto, and a lemon beurre blanc, paired with a Morellino di Scansano by Tenute Costa in Tuscany.
The price is $59.95, which does not include tax or tip. Seating is limited and reservations are required at (888) 456-3463.