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We’re Off to See the Wizard!

By Gini Rainey

I don’t know if it’s the weather we are having today or the fact “The Wizard of Oz” will be opening this Wednesday at Pollard Theater Center, but I am definitely in an Oz kind of mood today.  Apparently there are tornadoes dancing all around us this afternoon, so my husband has been glued to the weather channel.  Me? I’m looking out the window and seeing it happen in real time!  Not that a little storm (ha!) will keep me from going to the orchestra rehearsal scheduled for later this afternoon, but it sure would be nice if there would be a bit of a break in the weather while we dash from our cars to the relative safety of the theater center.  That being said, today’s column will help serve as a reminder to my husband that I will not be around the house at dinner time for the next week.

Today I have in front of me this little “The Wizard of Oz Cookbook” that was published in 1993 by Turner Entertainment Co. and is part of series of movie-themed books, Hollywood Hotplates, that includes “The Casablanca Cookbook,” “A Christmas Carol Cookbook,” “The Gone With the Wind Cookbook,” and “The I Love Lucy Cookbook.” Not very big in size, this book is amazingly full of great photos, quotes, and trivia that those of us who love this classic movie will remember and love.  Featuring some great sounding recipes, with titles tied to the movie and its characters, this book is a fun trip down memory lane.

Always a stretch of the imagination (I would love to be in on some of these brain-storming, recipe naming sessions), it’s interesting to see where the authors go with the recipe titles.  Hunk’s Straw Potatoes (remember Hunk was in Kansas, but was the scarecrow in Oz), Miss Gulch’s Sour Cherry Kuchen (who else would they name this after than that old sour puss?), Professor Marvel’s Frozen Kansas Kappuccino, Glinda’s Magic Wand Star Cookies (complete with a star template), Wicked Witch Waffles (let’s hear it for alliteration!), and Yellow Brickle Road Brownies.  The last section of this book is definitely the one geared for the adults out there.  Titled “Cocktails at the Witch’s Castle,” you will find some might tasty recipes for libations of which I’m pretty sure Dorothy didn’t partake.  You’ve got your “Flying Monkey,” with a dark rum base; “Rusty Tin Man,” with scotch and Campari; “Champagne Crystal Ball,” with you guessed it, champagne, along with many others.

Well, here’s one recipe for something that’s fairly impressive and easy to make, as well as will be right at home alongside a bowl of soup or on an appetizer platter.  It’s for Parmesan Poppy Wafers (WITCH:  Poppies…poppies…poppies will put them to sleep…sleep…now they’ll sleep…).  First preheat your oven to 400°.  Then with 8 ounces of puff pastry dough – you can make your own if you’re ambitious or pick up a package of Pepperidge Farm’s – roll out half on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick.  Sprinkle evenly with 1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1/8 cup of poppy seeds.  Continue to roll the dough until it’s about 1/16 inch thick, carefully pressing the cheese and poppy seeds into the dough.  Then cut into 2 inch squares, 0r if you’re feeling fancy, fold the dough in half and cut into ½ inch wide strips and gently twist.  Repeat with the remaining half of the pastry.  Place on ungreased baking sheets and freeze for 10 minutes or longer.  Remove from the freezer and bake at 400° for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Do not overbake.  If you make these, you might discover your family or guests think you are some kind of wizard yourself in the kitchen!

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


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!


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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