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Friday, May 27, 2011

How Do I Hollow Out an Onion?

“I borrowed the Williams-Sonoma book, Main Dishes from the library. It has a recipe for roasted onions stuffed with Italian sausage, egg, and fresh bread crumbs that looks very good. The instructions call for hollowing out the onions, stuffing them, placing them in a baking dish filled with ½ inches of water, and baking at 350 degrees for about an hour. But how do you hollow them and leave the ½ inch thick shell required?” The patron showed the Newton Falls Public Library staff the photograph and directions for this very tasty looking dish on page 63.

While having many combined years of cooking experience, our staff wasn’t really sure how one went about hollowing an onion. The book in which the patron found the recipe offers “colorful recipes for health & well-being” but no instructions for creating an onion shell. The search continued by examining the Larousse Gastronomique: the new American edition of the world's greatest culinary encyclopedia. In the listing for onions on page 744, there are recipes, including stuffed onions. These instructions explain when preparing this dish, you need to peel the medium sized onion without splitting the outer layer. Remove about ¼ of the onion by cutting it horizontally at the stalk. Blanch the remaining ¾ in salted water for about ten minutes, drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Finally scoop out the inside; leaving at least a thickness of 2 layers all around, and the onion is ready for filling.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Is There a Reason Why There is a Specific Finger for Engagement and Wedding Rings?

“Is there a reason why there is a specific finger for engagement and wedding rings?” asked the patron, who assured us that he had no immediate plans. The Newton Falls Public Library staff is aware of the custom of wearing these rings on the next to last finger of the left hand, but never considered the reason behind it.

Knowing that the library has an extensive collection of materials for wedding planning, the staff began with a book having the definitive title of The official know-it-all's wedding planner: your absolute, quintessential, all you wanted to know, complete guide by Edith Gilbert. The book lived up to its title with the information in Appendix A: Wedding Customs. This chapter covered both The Evolution of Wedding Customs and Wedding Customs. According to Gilbert’s book, giving a ring dates back to the Old Testament when it was a sign that an important or sacred agreement had been sealed. Later, the ancient Greeks gave betrothal rings.

The section on wedding rings states that the wearing of them evolved from engagement rings and the earliest record of wedding ring symbolism was in an Egyptian hieroglyphic, a circle representing eternity. Use by Christians can be traced back to 860 AD. “The custom of wearing it on the third finger of the left hand grew from the belief that this finger connected directly to the heart via the vena amoris, or ‘vein of love.’ (p. 263)” Though we most often see the ring worn on this finger, throughout history wedding rings have been worn on both hands, such as the Elizabethans’ practice of wearing on the thumb and the Jewish tradition of placing it on the first finger of the left hand.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My XM Radio Isn't Working

“My XM radio isn’t working; it seems to turn on and then the screen goes black. I don’t have a manual. Can you help me?” While the Newton Falls Public Library staff cannot actually repair out patron’s car satellite radio, we can assist in looking for some sort of troubleshooting guide or manual.

The patron’s radio was a Delphi model SA10316. We began the online search using the make, model, and “troubleshooting.” A two page quick start guide was found at, but it lacked any information needed to solve the problems.

The next link we examined was the Express RC User Guide, a seventy-six page booklet for our patron’s radio. The table of contents included troubleshooting information which our patron examined. He wasn’t sure it would solve his problem, but he wanted to have a copy of the manual to keep. Rather than print all the pages, he chose to download them to a flash drive which permitted him to see the complete manual on his computer.

There are online discussion groups dealing with repair issues. The website dealt with the question “How do I reset a Delphi XM radio with a model #SA10316?” It was answered by Jon L. in this manner, “On the back of the Delphi XM radio unit there is a small button that can be pressed using a straightened paper clip. ChaCha! “

Our patron now had some options to try before he sought professional technical assistance.