Fun at Foster's blog

California Native Plants @ Foster

On Wednesday, June 3, E.P. Foster Library will host a presentation by David L. Magney of the California Native Plant Society.

This educational talk will focus on the plants of the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge. Come learn more about some of California's unique flora! There will also be time for some plant identification, so bring your unidentified plants.

This free event starts at 7 p.m. in the Topping Room. We hope to see you there!

Film Discussion Group @ Foster

On Monday, June 1, E.P. Foster Library will screen the next film in our first-Monday discussion series.

This month's film is a contemporary cult classic set in a 1960s East Coast city. In it, high school teens come to terms with changing pop culture, race relations, bigotry, and music and decide to take a stand… all with a tongue-in-cheek spirit.

This fun and free event will take place in the Topping Room; the doors open at 6 p.m. There will be time afterward for discussion and critique, so come by to share your thoughts!

David's Dish: Signature Sangria

But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria!: Adventures in Eating, Drinking, and Making Merry by Julia Reed is an interesting collection of stories and recipes, with many beverage recipes and some great  meal recipes to boot!

My relationship with sangria goes back many moons. My first meeting with this divine elixir was in Bishop, California, at a friend's house. A couple of us had just finished up an arduous journey in the Sierras and were ravenous and parched as well. From my first sip of this eye-pleasing and taste bud-pleasing beverage I knew I would have many more festive times indulging in this beverage.

Fast forward to the present: I saw the pitcher of the delicious ruby-red liquid on the book's cover and knew I had to check-out But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria!

I'll confess, I read mainly for inspiration and the minute I saw this book I wanted to make some serious sangria.

The book inspired me enough to blaze my own path and create my own signature recipe for making sangria. I prefer wine to vodka, so I chose a white Zinfandel. As for the fruit I used, I took the kitchen sink approach and sliced up what I had in the kitchen, plus fruit that had been given to me by neighbors. I let the whole concoction chill in the refrigerator and served it the next evening.

We enjoyed the sangria out on the patio, which in my opinion is the best place to indulge in this drink. While sipping the sangria the afternoon turn to evening and we observed some lively bats zipping around the darkening sky.

Skip the vodka and use wine!

David's Dish*****


Check out the book at Foster Library, or put it on hold—we will send it to you. If there are any cookbooks in Foster Library’s collection that you would like me to try out, please leave the title on our Facebook page and I’ll get cooking!

Volunteer Opportunity: Fourth of July Book Sale!

Interested in helping out your library over the summer? Want to be a part of something fun and exciting? E.P. Foster Library's TAG group is looking for volunteers to lend a hand with this year's Fourth of July Book Sale!

This event will take place in front of the library during the Fourth of July Street Fair. The sale is co-sponsored by TAG and the San Buenaventura Friends of the Library. For more information or to sign up to volunteer, contact Jane Middleton at (805) 901-2875, or by email at

Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan

With the next Star Wars film set to open in December of this year, it would seem only natural for me to review a comic set in the Star Wars universe. Therefore, I present to you the next chapter in the life of young Roan Novachez and his journey to become a Jedi. No, dear readers, that is not a typo (you were probably expecting Luke Skywalker, weren’t you?). Author and Star Wars fan Jeffrey Brown continues his Jedi Academy series with Return of the Padawan.

Roan Novachez returns to the Jedi Academy for his second year of training, facing tougher classes, a new cafeteria cook, and reconnecting with his friends. However, things don’t quite go as planned. He’s finally getting his chance to train as a pilot in the school’s flight simulator, but he ends up breaking it on his first try; his good friends, Pasha and Gaiana, seem to be ignoring him; and the school bullies are trying to lead him to the dark side. It’s a year of hurt feelings, embarrassing situations, and misunderstandings—so it’s pretty much what school is like for the rest of us.

Once again, Jeffrey Brown shows us the ups and downs of middle-school life, with all the angst that comes with it combined with Brown’s love of all things Star Wars. Anyone who’s ever suffered jealously, bullying, and horrible cafeteria food will certainly relate to Roan and his friends. Aside from the Jedi stuff, this could easily have been anyone’s story, and that’s what makes it so appealing (okay, that and the Star Wars stuff, I’ll admit it). Brown shows us that life isn’t any easier for a Jedi-in-training than it is for the rest of us.

If you liked his previous books set in the Star Wars universe, then you’re sure to like this one, too.


Heather, the Graphic Novel Goddess

Ghosts of Ventura County @ Foster

On Sunday, May 17, E.P. Foster Library will host a talk by noted historian and ghost hunter Richard Senate.

In The Ghosts of Ventura County, Mr. Senate will share the knowledge and experience he has gained dealing with spirits and similar phenomena during his career. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, this talk is sure to be a lot of fun!

This free event begins at 2 p.m. in the Topping Room. Stop by for a bit of local history and folklore!

California Native Plants for Your Garden

As California enters its fourth year of extreme drought, many are contemplating replacing their lawns with drought-resistant native plants. Your Resident Photographer believes strongly that your gardens will look just as beautiful as any botanical garden if you decide to choose native plants.

Over the years I’ve taken photographs of an abundance of colorful native flora. Native plants have developed to thrive in drought conditions and will certainly cut your use of water during these very dry years. In addition, plants like California Buckwheat, Golden Yarrow, Desert Bluebells, California Fuchsia, Ceanothus, and many more will attract a multitude of butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds to your garden.

If you are thinking about using native plants in your garden and aren’t sure where to start, E.P. Foster Library has books on California native plants, and our eLibrary has a variety of eBooks on native plants as well.

Resident Photographer Aleta A. Rodriguez

Korean Calligraphy Exhibition @ Foster

From May 4 to May 10, E.P. Foster Library will host a special exhibition of Korean Calligraphy by Una Gil Deok Nam.

Gil Deok Nam is a well-known calligrapher and resides in the city of Gwangju, Jeon-Nam, South Korea. Her artistry has been well received by audiences not only in Korea but Japan and China as well. At present she is teaching calligraphy courses in Gwangju.

You can view this exhibit on the first floor of the library. Stop by to witness this showcase of the beauty of Korean culture and calligraphy in general.

David's Dish: Secret Baked Portobello

Shroom: Mind-bendingly Good Recipes for Cultivated and Wild Mushrooms by Becky Selengut was a mind-opening book for me as far as mushrooms are concerned. The first thoughts I have when someone mentions mushrooms either involve a lousy tin of squishy mushrooms or a Beatrix Potter illustration of a fly agaric (Amanita muscaria), neither of which is very appealing—one is just yucky, and the other is toxic. But I delved into the book deeper and was fascinated by the different mushrooms available. Also, the photography in the book is quite exceptional.

Portobello was the cry from most of the foodies I work with, so I began looking for what I deemed the best portobello recipe in the book in order to prepare that dish. The sad thing is I didn’t find a baked portobello recipe—which is what interested me—in the cookbook, but this would not stop me for I was truly inspired by this book to create a delicious mushroom dish.

I was tempted to make the savory mushroom bread pudding, but was spared by a crumbled-up piece of paper left on my desk. Scrawled on the paper was a baked portobello recipe. Such luck! Things like this happen to me quite frequently, who knows why. The recipe looked great; on the back side of the paper it read “keep this recipe a secret.” I can’t divulge much, but the recipe is fantastic. Some of the ingredients are cheese, garlic, and onions, but there are two secret ingredients that can’t be revealed. Needless to say, this dish was one of my best ever! If you have an interest in using mushrooms in your dishes, this is the cookbook for you.


*****David’s Dish

Check out the book at Foster Library, or put it on hold—we will send it to you. If there are any cookbooks in Foster Library’s collection that you would like me to try out, please leave the title on our Facebook page and I’ll get cooking!

The Lazy Loser @ Foster

Join us on Friday, May 1, for a special talk at E.P. Foster Library. Marie Bean, author of Lazy Loser, will speak on topics relating to health and fitness.

Marie Bean busts all the myths surrounding diets and exercise and will talk about how you can eat the foods you like, move the way you like, and never have to diet again.

This free event begins at 11 a.m. in the Topping Room. Stop by to learn more about losing weight the "lazy" way. We hope to see you there!

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