What’s happening at the Library?

Published 3:27 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2023

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By James Gardner

Clark County Public Library

When it’s cold outside (or raining, or just Kentucky weather being its cantankerous old self), I often crave a bowl of chili. And when I get that craving, my wife usually does as well. This is either due to great minds thinking alike or simply a sort of telepathy nurtured from living close to one another. Either way, my wife or I usually talk the other one into making chili. We will eat this chili, and we will feel the pleasant warmth in our tummies (not “stomachs,” mind you, but “tummies”). And while chocolate gets the February spotlight because it is often gifted on Valentine’s Day, there is some logic to the fourth Thursday in February is National Chili Day since 1) as mentioned previously, chili generates a certain feeling of love in one’s tummy (citation for a study showing chili increasing serotonin levels needed), and 2) the weather is usually cold enough to enjoy it, even though temperatures neared 70 degrees last week. Kentucky weather might be cantankerous or have a disturbing sense of humor.

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Luckily, I like chili in all kinds of weather, and it is quite the chameleon of soups. There’s the classic red chili, with or without beans, along with white chili with chicken (It’s like red and white wine, but you don’t have to swirl it around the bowl before you eat it). Chili can have anything from short ribs and turkey for your meat (or you can, of course, have it meatless), and spiced up with everything from peppers to cinnamon, which is why Cincinnati chili is considered everything from a culinary delight to a joke taken way too far. Cincinnati citizens like to put chili on spaghetti, but chili can go on everything from hot dogs and hamburgers to fries and even Tater Tots. Whether you prefer your chili sweet, spicy, or in-between, the library has many ways to make chili that banishes the chills. For an assortment of chili recipes, as well as a history, check out The “Chili Cookbook: a History of the One-Pot Classic,” with “Cook-Off-Worthy Recipes from Three-Bean to Four-Alarm and Con Carne to Vegetarian” (641.823 Wals) or “The Ultimate Guide to Making Chili”(641.823 Rowl). For those who feel they don’t have time to cook chili, consider “Texas Slow Cooker” (641.5884 Jami) for some slow-cooker recipes from where chili was born. The library also has some super-secret recipes, like the famous chili recipe from Springfield’s Chief Wiggum in “The Unofficial Simpsons Cookbook” (641.5973 Rand) and Kevin’s famous chili (don’t spill it!) lurks in the pages of “The Office: The Official Party Planning Guide to Planning Parties” (793.2 Sume). If you have a recipe for chili or anything else you’d like to share, drop it by the library, and it might be featured in our Tried-and-True Recipes pamphlet. You can also email Jennifer Mattern at jmattern@clarkbooks.org. Soon, I will attempt to send these recipes to my wife’s brain telepathically, or I guess I could just get the brochure.

But once you’ve fed your tummy chili, come by the library to feed your minds with some servings of cinematic goodness (Caution: may be spicy).

The film for this week’s Kentucky Picture Show, beginning at 2 p.m. on February 22, follows the first two decades of Aretha Franklin’s life, from being born as a musical prodigy in an affluent African-American family, the repercussions of losing her mother at age 10 to her arduous rise to international musical stardom.

There’s also a Picture Show at Night, starting at 6 p.m. on February 22; that night’s film features Ruby, who is the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family’s fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her passion at Berklee College of Music and her fear of abandoning her parents.

Snacks will be provided for both, but you can also save your appetite for your homemade chili later.