Cook the Book one of many events at the library

Cook the Book participants line up to fill their plates with food at the Mickelsen Community Library here Saturday. It is a tradition for them to eat their food and socialize before explaining each of their dishes. Photos by Staff Sgt. Felicia Jagdatt, 3rd BCT, 1st AD Public Affairs.

Cook the Book participants line up to fill their plates with food at the Mickelsen Community Library here Saturday. It is a tradition for them to eat their food and socialize before explaining each of their dishes. Photos by Staff Sgt. Felicia Jagdatt, 3rd BCT, 1st AD Public Affairs.

By Staff Sgt. Felicia Jagdatt, 3rd BCT, 1st AD Public Affairs:

(El Paso, Texas, Nov. 9,2017)

The theme for November’s Cook the Book was entertainment, and when I attended Saturday, I was surprised at how much fun a library event could be. 

The Mickelsen Community Library, at 2 Sheridan Road, is in the basement of the Noncommissioned Officer Academy, and it’s a place that should be on everyone’s radar. This Fort Bliss jewel has so much going on that even I was surprised – being someone whose first inquiry on a new post is the location of the library. There is an adult room with computers and books lining the walls, a children’s area that has a Lego table, a craft room with a 3D printer, and a room where events such as Cook the Book is held.

The Cook the Book has been running for more than a year and has a different theme every month. This month participants picked recipes from books that featured entertainment recipes, brought them to the event, talked about their dish, and tried the other dishes.

All I could think when learning about this event was, “I get a chance to cook with my husband, try multiple different types of food in one night, learn about the history of food, and the event was free!” Of course, I had to pay for the food I was going to cook, but what a small fee for what I was getting. The opportunity cost was abundant.

Once we got started, I learned there were so many happy people who seemed to know each other well. These groups of people became friends over time. They just fit in with each other, but had no qualms with welcoming my husband and me – who were new to the event.

Cook the Book participants sit down with each other to eat the shared foods that each couple made at the Mickelsen Community Library here Saturday. They use this time to socialize with one other and make strong friendships.

Being social and building friendships was not even on the list of positives that I initially had in mind, but it definitely could be a bonus. My husband and I looked at each other and we knew this was going to be a new priority.

Unfortunately, he and I did not bring a dish to November’s Cook the Book night, but we have signed up for the December event. We look at it as a chance to build our relationship while growing in ourselves.

We are excited to learn how to follow a recipe while making mistakes together. Following a recipe is harder than it sounds because you have to be patient, read things through and ensure everyone involved is on the same page.

The best part of the event is that everyone who participates gets a free cookbook each month. The gift is even more special because it gives the members an opportunity to prepare for the following month’s theme.

Cook the Book is a great opportunity for everyone in the family – including kids – to socialize, share, learn and eat. No one is excluded; teenagers are even able to cook recipes and bring them, and children have an area to play, color, talk, and – most importantly – indulge in eating.

At an event like this, the more is truly the merrier.

For more information, see the adult circulation desk at the library or call 568-1902.