Ryan S.'s blog

Food Workshop Goes Sour

People at the Fermentation Workshop Make Starter Jars of Sauerkraut

Growing up, we were taught to be careful about leaving food out too long; every family has a cautionary tale involving a hapless uncle and sun-warmed potato salad. But at IYM’s Food Fermentation workshop Wednesday night, our friends from Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard showed us how to safely let some foods sit—and sit—for delicious, nutritious results.

Unlike most foods, MHC's Kayte & Stephaniewhich simply spoil or mold when they’re not properly stored, many vegetables and fruits—and even some dairy products—go through fermentation under certain conditions. The result is often (but not always!) the sour, tangy taste we’re familiar with in foods like sauerkraut and yogurt.

MHC's Kayte and Stephanie shared with us how to prepare different foods for fermentation, and how to protect against spoilage (short answer: your chances of contamination are almost zero). But the highlights of the evening were sampling the many different fermented treats on hand like kefir soda and kimchee, and even taking home “starters” for sauerkraut, yogurt, and kombucha.

So what does food fermentation have to do with being money smart? For starters, it’s cheap. The cost of fermentation supplies and the foods you ferment are low, and you get a lot of bang for your buck. The live cultures found in fermented food also contribute to good health, which is always a money saver. And fermented food keeps very well, making it a good addition to your weekly or monthly menu planning.

If you’d like to give fermenting food a try, check out some of the many books the Library has on food fermentation.

You can find more free opportunities to get money smart at the Library on the It's Your Money events calendar.


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Along with a new look for our page, MCPL’s It’s Your Money project is working hard to help you get control of your money—no matter how big (or small) your income or family is.

Among all the great money tools here on the IYM page, we’ll focus on these basic topics:

Spending, saving, and budgeting. Often find yourself asking “Why’s there always so much month at the end of my money?” Check out the articles and links we’ll post regularly for practical, unbiased tips on getting organized with your finances. It’s easier than you think!

Managing your debt. Whether you’re prone to getting drastic with your plastic, struggle with student loans, or cringe when you think about how much you still owe on your car or mortgage, you’ll learn lots about how and when to take on debt—and how to best pay it off.

Big purchases. If you’re thinking about buying a home, a car, or another big-ticket item, you’re probably also thinking “Where do I start?” Keep your eye on this page for the most reliable information.

Investing wisely. Maybe you’ve already tried your hand at investing, or maybe you don’t know a stock from a Roth IRA. Either way, there are numerous ways to grow your money, and we’ll discuss many of them here.

We'll be adding lots of practical information and useful tools soon, so check back here often. See you around!

Find great stuff faster with More Search Options

With so much to choose from at the Library, it can sometimes seem overwhelming to find exactly what you're looking for quickly. Watch this video (linked from MCPL's Facebook page) to make your online Library catalog searches faster and more precise.

Ensure Excellence at School and Work with the Testing & Education Reference Center

ImageIt's been said that luck is simply the place where preparation meets opportunity. Thanks to the Testing & Education Reference Center, you can prepare for many of life's best opportunities FREE!

Whether you're studying for entrance exams like the ACT, SAT, or GRE, or preparing for a career Read more »

Would You Kill the Fat Man?


Here’s the scenario. Walking across a bridge over a railroad one day, you notice that five people are tied to the tracks below. Worse, you also spot a speeding train approaching, with no sign of slowing down—it’s sure to plow through the five people, killing them. Suddenly you see the only possible way to save them: an exceptionally large man—large enough to derail an oncoming train, it just so happens—is leaning on the bridge’s railing above the tracks, resting. Now’s your chance: do you push the man over the railing, killing him, but saving the five people tied to the tracks? Or do you refrain from pushing him, thereby sparing his life but effectively allowing the five below to die? Read more »



There are times when everything in life seems just as clear as... mud. That’s doubly true if you happen to spend lots of time scrounging the Mississippi River, which is exactly what the characters in the latest from Jeff Nichols (director of 2011’s shamefully overlooked Take Shelter) do to get by. Centering on Ellis and Neckbone, two early-teens swamp rats who befriend a fugitive hiding out near their fishing spot, Read more »

Playaways: Listen on Your Car Stereo With This Simple Trick!

PlayawayPlayaways are great—an entire audiobook on a gadget the size of a business card!—but they’re typically used with headphones. Don’t worry--using an inexpensive cable, you can connect Playaways to your car stereo for enjoying audiobooks on the road.

Read more »

No-Fuss, No-Hassle Audiobooks from AudioBookCloud

AudioBookCloud logoPick. Click. Listen. With AudioBookCloud, it’s that simple (honest!) to listen to great audiobooks FREE on any internet-connected computer or mobile device. All titles are always available--no software, no downloads, no checkouts, no headaches! Just go to the AudioBookCloud link on the library’s website, browse the 1000+ titles on the easy-to-navigate interface, and click to listen to your streaming audiobook. THAT’S IT!

An optional free personal login allows you to create a My Favorites list (accessible from anywhere!) and bookmark your place for listening later. Choose from fiction, nonfiction, classics, children’s, and Spanish-language. Audiobooks have never sounded this easy!

AudioBookCloud uses streaming audio, which requires a continuous internet connection. AudioBookCloud must be accessed via the library’s website.

Only the Young


 “Ah, these kids today!”

It’s the collective sigh huffed by every adult generation in history: our youth have no respect, no direction, no values. Fortunately examples like Only the Young (Oscilloscope Laboratories), the debut feature-length documentary from Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims, remind us that today’s teenagers are more than pop-cultured iPhone zombies—that perhaps they’re even human, and not so hopeless, considering the world they’re growing up in.

Only the Young follows skateboarders Garrison and Kevin as they navigate their high school years in a small town outside of Los Angeles. Thanks to the rapport the filmmakers earn with the boys, we’re able to roll right along with them—to an abandoned house, to the skatepark, and into their homes and their social circle. We meet Skye, who as the boys’ cohort, confidante, and sometimes-girlfriend becomes an integral character in the film herself. Read more »

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