What’s happening at the Library

Published 4:44 pm Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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By James Gardner

Clark County Public Library

Sometimes eating is just eating. 

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At its most basic level, eating is taking food and putting it into our mouths. The act may or may not involve chewing. Or tasting. The food may be hot, cold, soft, crunchy, or everything in between. For many who live and work in a fast-paced, demanding world, the actual food does not matter as long as it provides enough energy to keep us going for at least a few hours until we are able to cram more food into our mouths. 

But eating isn’t always about fulfilling a basic biological need (or even an emotional one). Eating can be an experience. While it might be easier to eat something recently nuked in the microwave or torn from its plastic wrap, there is an inherent pleasure about enjoying a more planned-out and less hectic dining experience, such as eating warm food from a plate with utensils. Many are quite content to cook for themselves, but for some, they cringe at having to cook. Luckily, we have restaurants for those who don’t like cooking (or simply don’t feel like cooking that day). Many of these restaurants are about getting food to you fast (hence, the term “fast food”) but others rely on ambiance and atmosphere, usually involving candles lighting up tables while the rest of the restaurant remains dark. And whether the food we’re not cooking comes in a box or on a plate with a garnish, there are the waitstaff who make sure we get our food, which is why they are celebrated on National Waitstaff Day (May 21st). 

My own experience in the food industry is rather limited; I worked for a few months as a Breakfast Hostess (my official job title was indeed “Breakfast Hostess”) at a Shoney’s Inn and usually involved making coffee and warming up egg patties and sausages in a microwave. If I’m being honest, I did not bring honor to the title of Breakfast Hostess, but the job did give me a level of respect for those in the food service industry. Though I have stayed away from preparing food in a restaurant setting, of which many restaurants can be thankful, I have always tried to respect waitstaff, especially since my job happens to involve working with the public. 

Despite what many are led to believe, being a librarian isn’t just about reading books; it greatly involves dealing with people and their many quirks. It can be difficult dealing with so many different personalities, but I also love the opportunities I get to interact with different people. It has also helped me be more patient and understanding (or even, dare I say it, friendly) when dealing with those who are waiting on me, whether it’s at the return desk or at restaurants. Waitstaff work to make one’s dining experience a pleasant one, but those waiters and waitresses might be going through their own issues that make it harder. That’s why I always try to be, if not friendly, then understanding. The main reason we have holidays like National Waitstaff Day or any day that celebrates a profession is to foster understanding, which is as important to our social fabric as eating is to our bodies. 

This week, you can enjoy these programs that your minds will surely find tasty:

On Wednesday, May 22, at 2 p.m., the Kentucky Picture Show presents a 2023 movie starring Sir Anthony Hopkins. Hopkins stars as Sir Nicholas ‘Nicky’ Winton, a young London broker who, in the months leading up to World War II, rescued over 600 children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. Rated PG. Popcorn and snacks provided. 

On Thursday, May 23, starting at 6 p.m., Learning @ the Library presents author Kim Wickens, who will be joining us to discuss her recent book, “Lexington.” This book details the powerful true story of the champion Thoroughbred racehorse who gained international fame in the tumultuous Civil War–era South, and became the most successful sire in American racing history. The potluck begins at 6 pm and the actual presentation begins at 6:30 pm. Register for just the program or the program and potluck by calling the library at 744-5661 or by using the calendar on www.clarkbooks.org.

On Saturday, May 26, at 2 p.m., the library will be having its monthly meeting of the Spice Club. The Spice Club is a great way to try out new spices and share ideas with other home cooks!  We will provide some info on the next featured spice, and a sample for you to try! Please bring a tasting sample if you would like! The spice for this month is Fennel. See the Reference Desk to register & pick up your spice sample.