Shawnee Public Library
Food for Thought Learning Institute was a hit in local libraries last summer with its family-friendly tour looking at easy recipes using items most people already have in their cupboards.
And they had so much fun last summer they’re back for an encore. And it’s put them in a pickle.
Well, actually, they’re just fine. But they will be talking “Science in a Pickle” during their tour of PLS libraries, which comes to the Shawnee Public Library at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 14.
Pickling is very popular and hip and is really seeing a resurgence in younger chefs,” said Matthew Joplin, one of the founders of Food for Thought. “And it really is a fun and inclusive activity for families.”
Participants in each workshop will work in groups at their own work stations with mason jars, spices and water or vinegar as a preservative. They’ll learn step by step how to make their own pickles and not only take home some refrigerator pickles but more importantly the knowledge to do it again and again.
“Participation is pretty much mandatory, but it’s so easy for everyone to participate,” Joplin said.
There is no limit on what people can use the pickling process to preserve, from beets to carrots to making traditional pickles out of cucumbers.
The science theme for this year’s Summer Reading Program was a natural for the group.
“We thought the science theme is so neat, and we wanted to try to keep up with it for a program where parents and kids are solving science experiments, and this is kind of what they’ll do here.”
Still just in its third year, the Norman-based nonprofit has seen its scope increase a lot since last summer. Now a United Way-funded organization, the group has begun working with students at Dimensions Academy and also with the Baby Steps program for new mothers. Its classes number in the hundreds and literally thousands of people young and older alike have learned some of their tips and tricks.
And their returns to the library are circled on the group’s schedule.
“We’re really happy being invited back for library programs,” Joplin said. “Going town to town and meeting so many people, it makes us proud and honored to be back.”
Major sponsors for this year’s Summer Reading Program are the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Oklahoma Arts Council, Hitachi, Kirkpatrick Family Fund, The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, Sonic, Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan, The Oklahoman, the Pioneer Library System and the Pioneer Library System Foundation.