The Rock Island Public Library has created a Quad City Quarantine Cookbook to document how the community has spent time in their home kitchens during the Covid-19 shutdown.
Reference Librarian Rachel Ippolito first cooked up the special library project this spring, and invited participation from other libraries in the Quad City Adult Programming Librarians Facebook group. The cookbook features 70 submissions from Illinois and Iowa patrons of the Rock Island, Colona, Cordova, East Moline, Silvis, Bettendorf, Davenport, and LeClaire libraries.
Ippolito got the idea in March, when everything shut down.
“I saw that Evanston Public Library posted that they were doing a quarantine cookbook, collecting recipes from their patrons and their community – recording what people are baking during this time, because people couldn’t go to restaurants. They didn’t want to do takeout; they were starting to cook more from home and bake."
“I thought, well, we can do that too, and can open it to the Quad-Cities, ‘cause in all, we’re just one big giant community.”
She meets once a month with other libraries in the area, and got them to spread the word, asking for recipe submissions from May through July. A team at the Rock Island library helped Ippolito compile, edit, and format the recipes into the cookbook, which was done by early October.To create the 96-page digital cookbook, Rock Island turned to the Inkie.org suite of resources available to anyone in Illinois at no charge.
“One of our main goals was to kind of advertise – we want to know what our community is cooking and baking right now, in the time of Covid-19. We asked our patrons to submit whatever recipes they thought were great for the pandemic cookbook.”
A lot of the recipes are easy to make and don’t require a lot of ingredients.
“We have a lot of comfort food options. The biggest section that we have is desserts and entrees. So definitely something to cook your day away, especially now that it’s getting cold out, and then just enjoy it with your family. A lot of the recipes that were submitted are indeed family recipes. We allowed our community to submit a little blurb if they wanted to, at the beginning of the recipe, kind of describing where it came from, what it means to their family and how delicious it is.”
Though the cookbook doesn’t include photos inside, the main cover photo is a pizza casserole dish, submitted by Angela Campbell, director of the Rock Island library. Ippolito made it and said it’s delicious. She personally submitted her mother’s recipe, for a deviled egg salad, which is popular in her family.
“It’s quite a variety of recipes that were submitted. We have a lot of appetizer dishes and side dishes as well, and you can modify it however you’d like. A lot of the recipes are for family sizes, nothing too big for a huge gathering.”
The cook book is available for checkout, download, or purchase. You can find it at www.rockislandlibrary.org, under the books, music, and movies tab, click on Quarantine Cookbook. You can read it or download a PDF for free. Additional free formats for Android, Apple, and Kindle devices are also available by email upon request. The library has also uploaded the eBook formats to BiblioBoard Library of Illinois for eventual availability via the Indie Illinois collection.
For a physical spiral-bound copy, they are available for $5 each at the downtown and Southwest library locations, including curbside pickup or mobile library. To check availability before visiting, call the Library’s Reference Desk at 309-732- 7341.For more information about the cookbook, visit www.rockislandlibrary.org, or email RiLibRef@Rigov.org.