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Library Program Adds Spice To Life
Lib spice
Escalon branch librarian Nazli Ali, left, and Library Assistant Michelle Bethea show the featured ‘spice of the month’ – Dukkah – available for April at the Escalon Library. Bethea normally works at the Fair Oak branch library in Stockton but was in Escalon helping out on Friday afternoon, April 8. Marg Jackson/The Times

Dukkah is the featured spice for April, as the Escalon Library continues its fun and unique ‘Spice of the Month’ program. Offered for free, the monthly spice is available beginning the second Friday of each month, the take home kits are available during open hours while supplies last.

Library assistant Jodi Crawford coordinates the program and the take home kits include a sample bag of the month’s featured spice, along with information on it such as historical background and nutritional information, in addition to some recipes to try.

For April, Dukkah is in the spotlight and is described as a “traditional Egyptian blend of nuts seeds, and warm spices.”

Originally introduced in ancient Egypt, it is also popular throughout the Middle East and around the world. It has also recently gained popularity in both New Zealand and Australia, used there to season mutton.

Dukkah can be used as a coating for meat, chicken or fish, sprinkled over salads and soups, eaten as a snack or tossed in to roasted vegetables.

Library officials ask those taking part in the spice club to let them know what they think of the spice, share a photo of the food they made with the featured spice, and share suggestions on how to use the spice, as well as what worked for them in recipes they tried.

The Spice of the Month ‘Spice Club’ is one of the family-friendly, take home activities offered through the library. They also have several interactive activities set up periodically in the Second Street library branch, now that it is fully open for regular hours. Those include the Poetry Creation station, where all ages can enjoy writing poetry and creative writing; interactive movie experience, the weekly Gadget Clinics on Thursdays and the popular Preschool Story Time at 10:30 a.m. Thursdays.