Thursday, January 13, 2011

Let's hear it for LIBRARIANS!!!

Let's hear it for Librarians!!

What is your greatest librarian (library) memory ever??

I had the best weekend. I was invited to attend the American Library Association Mid-winter conference and sign books (for free) to librarians. What a blast. Signed and gave away over 144 books in a 45 minute span.

It was set in San Diego (click picture to the left for more on this fabulous city).

Dominique and Howard (in picture to left) and Tanya from the Penguin Library group were fabulous hosts! They made me feel so welcome. I was able to meet so many librarians. I learned that not only women like The Long Quiche Goodbye. Many men came up and said they were the foodies in the family. A few teens stopped by and asked for a signed copy, as well. Pretty much everybody said they couldn't wait for Lost and Fondue to come out in May. Yeah!

For those who haven't been, ALA is a convention that shares the up-to-date "new stuff" for librarians. Books, both adult and youth-oriented. Non-fiction and fiction. Books on tape. Tables, desks, chairs, and new digital-age wonders that will help librarians, etc. It's mind-boggling.

There was a mystery all-day forum that my friend Rosemary Harris put together. It figured panels with Hank Phillippi Ryan, Jeri Westerson, T. Jefferson Parker, and more.

I met up with a few soon-to-be published friends, Lynne Sheene (pic on right)
and Rochelle Staab, (pic on left, below; ). Take a look at their websites. You'll want to read their books.

Next, I drove from San Diego across highways 8 and 10 to Phoenix, where I joined up with my husband and his pals to see the BCS championship. What a game.

While I drove, I contemplated what my next
blog recipe would be, and I decided frittata. Why? Because I am in the middle of heavy edits on the third book in A Cheese Shop mystery series: Clobbered by Camembert, and I was adding a breakfast scene and it included a frittata. But let's face it, a frittata is good for lunch and dinner, as well.

And I was hungry (from all that driving and editing).

So when I came home, I made the following meal and it was delicious!



(for two to four)

4 eggs

½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of olive oil

1 pork sausage, diced

¼ cup yellow onion, diced

½ cup tomato sauce

3 ounces Mozzarella cheese, sliced

4 basil leaves, shredded with scissors


Preheat oven on broil.

Mix eggs and Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper in a bowl and set aside.

In 8-inch skillet, saute 1 tablespoon of oil. Toss in diced sausage. Saute on medium high for 3-4 minutes. Drain.

Wipe skillet. Add 1 teaspoon of oil. Toss in onion. Saute on medium high for 3-4 minutes until tender.

Add sausage and egg mixture.

Cook, using spatula to lift cooked edges and allow uncooked eggs to ooze underneath, 3-5 minutes.

In separate 8-inch skillet, saute 1 teaspoon of oil. Place hot-oiled skillet on top of egg mixture skillet.

Flip. Cook eggs in new skillet for 2 more minutes.

Pour tomato sauce in center of the frittata; spread to edges.

Arrange Mozzarella on top.

Broil frittata in oven for 3-5 minutes. (Be careful not to burn the cheese.)

Remove from oven (remembering to use a POTHOLDER for hot handle.)

Slide frittata onto serving plate.

Sprinkle with shredded basil.

My greatest library (librarian) memory ever?

Taking my young son to the library and
seeing him picking out book after book to devour that week.
I loved reading to him and loved seeing him choose challenging books, funny books, colorful books. What will we do without libraries? We've got to figure out how to save them.

What's your best memory?


If you'd like to know more about A Cheese Shop Mystery series and want to download a few other recipes from me (on recipe cards), click on this link to my website: Avery Aames. I've posted recipes in the "morsels" section. There's lots of other fun stuff, as well. And sign up for the mailing list to get in on the next contest...coming soon.

Say cheese!


  1. Having my son work his heart out to sign his name so he could have is own library card. He still has it, 16 years later.

  2. Taking out five oversized library book when I was five years old and telling the library I got it and holding those books with all my life.

  3. I wish I could have gone! Sounds like fun and that looks delicious!

  4. Wow, what a great time, Avery. So happy you were able to participate and encourage reading.

    Love your picture of that frittata. I want some. Now! I may have to settle for making my own, huh?

    My favorite library memory had to be when I was very young. My mom used to take us regularly even though it was a very long walk (no second car back then). I would take out A FLY WENT BY every single time I went there. Such a fun book. My mom eventually bought me my own copy. Still have it, of course. One of my treasures

  5. Julie - A Fly Went By - I'm not familiar with this one. My favorite kid's book was A Wrinkle In Time. I read it to my son, as well. Oh, and the AA Milne books. And Nancy Drew. And...

    Dru - oversized books. I can just envision. Too funny! "I got it, I got it...I don't got it." Did you ever see that Mel Brooks movie?

    Book Dragon - seeing your son sign his name has got to be a precious moment. I can remember that, as well. Lovely!

    Juju - it was almost overwhelming, there were so many books (and gadgets and people), so little time. :)

    PS to all - today I'm blogging on Killer Characters as well. Actually, I'm not, one of my characters from The Long Quiche Goodbye is. Stop in. Different recipes. :)

    Killer Characters

  6. OH, Avery, I have wonderful photos of your signing! And the HUGE line to get your book. I will download and send asap..

    So great to see you!

  7. the event sounds as delicious as this frittata!!

    I remember loving walking down a tree-lined cobblestone street to our local library when I was little. I remember the first "adult" book I checked out - "Forever Amber." The librarian looked over her glasses at me, but never said a word. To this day, I don't remember anything about that book other than the fact that the cover looked "interesting."

  8. Love your pictures! Looks like a huge success!

    Too many favorite memories to pick one...I practically grew up in the library and the librarians were kind and funny and were like extended families to me. Thanks for spotlighting them today! And for a great recipe, too. :)

  9. I love Frittata. It's my favorite breakfast dish because I can make it with my eyes half closed.

    ~ Krista

  10. One of my favorite pictures of me as a kid was taken outside our local library that we frequented :)

  11. Kaye, Elizabeth, Gigi. Aren't these memories to treasure! I have to admit I never read Forever Amber. My stolen pleasure was Gone with the Wind. So racy...not...but to a young impressionable girl? Oh, the tears.

    Hank, thank you. I look forward to seeing the pictures. I felt for a moment as popular as Sue Grafton or Janet Evanovich!

    Krista - yes, eyes half-closed. I adore frittata. And there's such variety. It's like pizza without the crust.

    Killer Characters

  12. Well thank YOU for the librarian kudos. I AM one but haven't been to an ALA in a few years. As I attempt to draft my own mystery novels, between a full time job and too many volunteer commitments I come here to be inspired and the food, always the food.

    Library memories? - there are so many on the other side of the information desk - are about the wonderful clients who always have such looks of wonder as we manage to nearly always put our fingers on *just* the right source. I LOVE that look. It's helping people with what they need to get on with their lives. I know a little about a lot of stuff. Everyday is an adventure in libraries. Keep writing, keeping cooking!

  13. Hi Avery
    It was wonderful spending time with you at ALA. The mystery writer panels were wonderful and I loved touching base with you, Rochelle Staab, Hank Phillipi Ryan, Kelli Stanley and meeting Rosemary Harris. I was also so inspired talking with so many passionate librarians. I have many wonderful memories of libraries from my childhood.

    And kudos to the mob that lined up to get a signed copy of The Long Quiche Goodbye. Go Avery!


  14. Avery - always a treat to spend time with you and ALA didn't disappoint. Your energy and enthusiasm are contagious! ALA Mystery Day was so entertaining and kudos to Rosemary, Hank, Kelli, Harley, Dianne, Sophie, and the rest of the authors who participated on the panels.

    I wish everyone could have seen the line of people at the Penguin booth waiting for your autograph!

    I was a library rat almost since the day I learned to read. I will ALWAYS remember the surging pride when I saw my name typed on my first library card. The Finney Public Library in Milwaukee opened the doors to the world for me. Dewey Decimal! - hmm, great name for a character.

    Thanks for sharing the photos and the memories of a great weekend! Say cheese :)

  15. I think my favorite library memory has to be when I was in the 4th grade and had read "The Phantom Tollbooth" and was recommending it to one of my teachers, who hadn't read it. She didn't believe me at first that I had actually read the book until I gave her a full synopsis of the book! In addition, my happiest memories were going to the library with a grocery sack and filling it up with books to read over the next 2 weeks: the Black Stallion series, Terhune's dog series (cementing my lifelong love of collies), and on and on! Give me a book and I am happy in my own little world! ~Nurse JudyMac

  16. Terri, Lynn, and Rochelle, thank you for taking the time to comment. Dewey Decimal as a character. Has anybody googled that?

    Judy, isn't it amazing how many worlds we have all visited because of our love of books? I've been to Africa, Asia, China, medieval times, futuristic times, fantastical worlds, and dark alleys that I would never have the nerve to visit in the real world.

    Thank you to authors who through the ages who have written fabulous stories. Thank you to librarians who have opened our eyes.


  17. I have two favorite memories - one as a patron - and it was an adult. The Army had just transferred us from Texas back to North Carolina. I was yet again between jobs and jonesing for a new book. The expenses with the move and my not having a job made going to the bookstore out of the question. I had not been in a library in a long time, but I went in one day and the peaceful at home feeling (the smell of the books, the quite atmosphere) made me realize that a library is where I should have been all along. After that I decided to work on becoming a librarian. My favorite memories of being a librarian are those times when a child breaks out into a big smile because they have found just the right book for them and when a student comes running up and exclaims "Mrs. Archer have you read this book? It's really good!" My grandmother wanted me to be a teacher, and I've never thought that was my talent, but putting people (adults and kids) together with the right book - that's my thing!

  18. Booklady - I love this story. Finding your calling is such a joy!!!


  19. Avery, I love the frittata recipe, and the question. Of course, I am very jealous about ALA! I have attended only one when it was in Toronto in conjunction with the Canadian Library Association. What a trip!

    As for libraries, in my first library job I discovered to my astonishment that I could select the mysteries and get paid for it! That was fabulous and I was glad they never learned I would have done anyway. I loved libraries all my life, enough to become a librarian and I still love the way they provide (and promote!) our mysteries. A lot of librarians are huge mystery fans.

  20. Oh, Mary Jane, we learn something new every day. I didn't know you were a librarian. How terrific!


  21. After I had read every horse book in the children's section of our town library (wasn't interested in the other books), I got to be an assistant! I checked out books, with a little date stamp. That was SUCH an important job to me.

    Thanks for the vicarious trip!

  22. Thanks for the shout out...and great to see that your publisher is showing you some love!!! If any of you are interested in Mystery Day at ALA in New Orleans next June just give me a shout.

  23. What a great day at ALA for you, Avery! And what a fantastic post. These comments are inspiring. My favorite library memories are many, including working part-time in one while in college. My earliest memory, though, is the sweetest - getting my very first library card from the little green bookmobile in the Acme parking lot of my small PA town.

    Let's hear it for librarians, for sure!
    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter