What’s cooking at the library?

Published 2:00 pm Saturday, December 9, 2023

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The aroma of freshly baked vegan cinnamon rolls filled the Kathryn Tucker Windham conference room during this week’s “What’s cooking at the library?” event at the Dallas County Public Library. Summer Sturdivant, known as Summer the Baker, took center stage, sharing her passion for vegan sweets with the eager attendees. 

“I got my Easy Bake oven when I was 8, and my mom would buy me all the little mixes,” Sturdivant said. “It all started from there.”

Summer, a cottage baker licensed to cook and sell from her home, has been captivating taste buds with her vegan creations for the last year and a half. While reflecting on her culinary journey, she expressed her initial struggles transitioning from a vegetarian to a vegan diet.

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“When I just wasn’t eating meat, I was making dishes without meat, but they were all loaded with cheese which isn’t the healthiest. So, then I introduced myself to vegan cheese but it’s hard to find vegan cheese around here,” Sturdivant said. “A lot of stuff I couldn’t find, so I had to find recipes to make it myself.” 

The library’s “What’s cooking at the library?” series, has presented as a platform for culinary artisans like Summer to showcase their talents. Becky Nichols, the library’s Director, expressed her delight at giving Summer the Baker some exposure during this event.

“We’re just delighted that this series on cooking has been so well received,” Ms. Becky said. “During this season, a lot of us have our minds turned towards warm sweet treats and this was definitely a warm sweet day at the library.”

Summer, currently enrolled in culinary classes, aspires to expand her skills and introduce diabetic-friendly or sugar-free dessert options. Her long-term vision includes opening a storefront in Selma and shipping her creations across the country.

The library’s diverse offerings extend beyond culinary adventures. From the Lunch at the Library series featuring local authors to the weekly Book Bunch fun and monthly book discussions with Auburn scholar Nancy Anderson, there’s something for every avid learner at the Dallas County Public Library. 

There’s still time to sign up for the library’s next event, making Christmas cookies with Debra Mosely on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 10 a.m.

There’s also a plethora of upcoming events for children such as making Christmas decorations on Dec. 18, Donuts and photos with the Grinch on Dec. 19, a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer puppet show on Dec. 20 and Santa bingo on Dec. 21.