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New Look for An Old Friend


By Gini Rainey

As a kid growing up in mid-America in the 50s, I had it all and didn’t realize it – you know, that time when life was so much simpler. Those were the days, my friends!  Those of you who survived the 50s drank water out of a garden hose, knew it was time to go home when the sun went down, roller-skated in the summer and ice skated in the winter, made dandelion chains, ate apples right from the tree, and laid on your back making animals out of the clouds.  We played marbles, hopscotch and four square, rode our bikes like maniacs, skinned our knees, ate popsicles to cool off, jumped off high-flying swings, and made a wish on the first star of the night.

When I was in elementary school, we lived so close to the school, I was able to walk home at noon for a nice, leisurely hot lunch lovingly made for me by my mom.  Mom would always ask me what I wanted, and my answer pretty much was always the same: a peanut butter sandwich and chicken noodle soup.  In fact, I seem to remember her saying one time that she didn’t know why she even bothered to ask because the answer was always the same.

Thus began my love affair with the butter of the lowly legume that George Washington Carver elevated to virtual mega-status with the invention of over 300 different uses and products that use peanuts.  So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to find out that when I saw this cute set of books that were cleverly packaged in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich shaped box, I just had to have them!  Published in 2005 by Sterling Publishing Company, “The Magic of Peanut Butter” and “The Magic of Jelly” are filled with 100 recipes each that are fun and delicious!

Filled with illustrations that smack of Norman Rockwell along with vintage-type photographs, these books are as much fun to read and look at as the recipes are to make.  Just when you think the only thing you can do with peanut butter and jelly is sandwiches and cookies, these books will turn you on to a whole new way of thinking.  From Peanut & Lime Shrimp Sauté and P. Nutty Quesadillas to French-Toasted Ham Sandwiches and Crispy Shrimp Dippers, there’s no stopping the good tastes once you get started cooking with these books.  Another plus is the ease and simplicity of the recipes makes this a pretty good set of books for the younger chefs in your home.

One recipe that totally jumped out at me was for Grilled Beef Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce.  Fairly easy to execute, the finished product will impress the folks at your dining table.  Starting with 1 pound beef top round steak (about one inch thick) cut into ½ inch strips, marinade in a zip lock bag, in the refrigerator for two hours in following:  ½ cup Italian salad dressing, 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger.  Meanwhile, make the peanut sauce: in a small bowl blend ½ cup creamy peanut butter, ½ cup Italian dressing, ¼ teaspoon hot or mild curry powder, and 1 teaspoon ground red pepper.  Set aside.

Remove the steak from the marinade and thread on skewers.  Grill the steak, turning once and brushing frequently with the marinade, for two minutes or until steak is desired doneness and serve with the peanut sauce.  If you want to go one more step fancy, you can peel, seed and dice a large cucumber and combine with ½ cup finely chopped red onion, 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro, and ½ cup Italian dressing and serve on the side.  Then all you have to do is sit back and get ready for the compliments to start rolling in.

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April 5th-7th: Smith County Medical Society Alliance Book Fair

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Smith County Medical Society Alliance Book Fair:

Thursday-Saturday, April 5th-7th

The annual Book Fair, the primary fundraiser, began in 1968. A spring and fall sale event, each consisting of a three day sale, gives 75% of net proceeds funds to health career scholarships at Tyler Junior College and the University of Texas at Tyler.

The Smith County Medical Society Alliance Book Fair will be held at 2004 Broussard St., Tyler. The book fair will be held April 5th-7th, 8am-6pm. Only cash and checks are accepted.

“The community looks forward to our sales and anticipates all the great ‘deals’ and wonderful books they will purchase. We have shoppers from all around the state. We enjoy greeting our seasoned shoppers and meeting new ones as they line up early Thursday morning in anticipation to opening,” said Kelly Michaels, current President of SCMSA.

She continues, “‘Achieving Dreams’ a group of exceptional young adults volunteer every Monday to sort, shelve books, clean, and help with other various jobs. The “Achievers” love working at the Book Fair and show us the meaning of giving back to the community. They are a huge part of Book Fair success.”

Now, shoppers have a nicer shopping experience with more room to roam and more books to choose from. There are books for everyone! There are children’s books, collector’s books, cookbooks, new releases, coffee table books, fiction, non-fiction, hobbies and “How To” books, autobiography and biography, sports, religion, self-help, romance, travel, children’s, gardening, history, and much more.

If you would like to donate books, please drop them off at the book shelves outside in the front of the building. Donations can be made any day, at any time. Donated books are brought in daily. For a donation receipt, please leave your name and address information with your donation or call (903)561-1353 to schedule a drop-off.

For additional information visit or call Book Fair at (903)561-1353.

We also take monetary donations. If you would like to donate to Book Fair, please see the Donations page at This is a wonderful way to honor or remember a friend or loved one and to further health care education.

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March 2018: Book Worm Events!

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March 23rd (3-5:30pm) – Meet Local Author Alma Ravenell  and discuss her book “Our Baby.” The Tyler Public Library is located at 201 S. College Ave., Tyler. Most events hosted by Club Reads are free. The Library is open Monday-Thursday 10am-7pm, Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, and Sunday 1-5pm. For more info call (903)593-7323 or go to

March 27th (10am) – Club Read – Join the Club Read group in discussing this month’s read, “Manhattan Beach” by Jennifer Egan. The Tyler Public Library is located at 201 S. College Ave., Tyler. Most events hosted by Club Reads are free. The Library is open Monday-Thursday 10am-7pm, Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, and Sunday 1-5pm. For more info call (903)593-7323 or go to

April 5th-7th (8am-6pm) – Book Fair – This year’s event focuses on the sale of donated books which will go to endowed scholarships for nursing and healthcare at TJC and UT-T and for community health projects. Thousand of books will be available for purchase. This is held at SCMSA, 2004 Broussard St., Tyler.

August 4th (1-5pm) – Book Bash will be held at Harvey Hall Convention Center, 2000 W. Front St., Tyler. They are doubling the authors for 2018’s Book Bash! Tickets will be on sale until the day of the event. Come on out and find a new favorite author as well as meet the authors behind the stories. For more info go to Tickets are $12.

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Spring Programs at the Library

Spring Programs at the Library

The Tyler Public Library is located at 201 S. College Ave., Tyler. Most events are free. For more info call (903)593-7323 or go to


All storytimes will be in Taylor Auditorium. Storytimes will not meet the week of Spring Break, March 12th-16th.

  • Leeme un Cuento/Read to Me Storytime (children 3-6 years old), Mondays at 10:30am
  • Lap & Play Time (babies up to 18 months) features stories, songs, and playtime with developmental toys at 9:30am every Wednesday
  • Toddler Explore Storytime (children under age 3) is on Wednesdays at 10:30am
  • Read Aloud Crowd Storytime (children 3-6 years old), Thursdays at 10:30am

March 3rd (2-4pm) – LEGO® Block Party – Children ages 3 and up, bring your imagination for an afternoon of building and playing! LEGO® and Duplo Blocks are provided.

March 10th and 24th (2-4pm) – Makerspace – This continuing STEM education for children and teens will feature March 10th, Multiplication Bingo; and March 24th, Cardboard Challenge. This will be held in the Library Treehouse.

Spring Break: March 12th-March 16th (10:30am) – Spring Break Movie Matinees – Families are invited to watch a fun feature length films in the library’s auditorium. A different movie will be shown each day. Pillows, blankets, and carpet friendly snacks welcome.


Every Tuesday (4:30-5:30pm) – Teen Tuesdays – If you are in Middle School or High School you’re in! The Library will have games, activities, and fun just for teens. Earn volunteer hours completing special projects. Descriptions for weekly activities can be found at Events are:

  • March 6th: Silent Library Games
  • March 13th: Movie
  • March 20th: Whose Line? Improv Games
  • March 27th: “And Scene!” Reader’s Theater

March 3rd (11:30am-1:30pm) – Tips and Tricks for Dog Owners – Pick up tips and tricks for handling your dog from Certified American Kennel Club Evaluator, Judy Parson. No pets in the Library.

March 7th (12 noon) – Great Decisions is a foreign policy lecture series. Books are available for $22 at the circulation desk. The March topic and speaker is “China and American: The New Geopolitical Equation,” Dr. Robert Sterken.

March 9th (11:30am) – “Raised Bed Gardening on a Hillside” with Wayne Elliot will be presented as part of the Smith County Master Gardener Series. Free to attend.

March 15th (5pm) – Reel Talk – This event is like a book-club, but for movies! Free to attend.

March 23rd (3-5:30pm) – Meet Local Author Alma Ravenell and discuss her book “Our Baby.”

March 2nd and 16th (1-3pm) – Veteran’s Movie – Join this biweekly screening of movies presented especially for veterans. This free event is held the first and third Friday every month.

March 27th (10am) – Club Read – Join the Club Read group in discussing this month’s read, “Manhattan Beach” by Jennifer Egan.

Every Tuesday (10am-1pm) – Quilting Class – Learn the art of quilting at the Library. Fabric and quilt patterns will be provided. Participants are asked to provide their own sewing machines, if you have them, plus scissors, and neutral or white thread. For details and a complete list of supplies please contact the Library’s information desk.

Every Tuesday (5:30-6:30pm) – Evening Meditation – Learn the practice of Heartfulness Meditation with Gayathri Kambhampati.

Every Wednesday (5:30pm) – Gentle Yoga – This gentle yoga class will be taught by Meagan Vrba who is certified in yoga, CPR, and first aid.

Every Saturday (11am-12 noon) – Crochet Classes will be held in the 3rd floor Internet Center Workroom. These are free classes. Learn to crochet with Library staff and volunteers. All materials are provided. All experience levels are welcome.


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