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Pan Handlers

Library services expand into cake-pan lending

I choo-choo-choose cake.
I choo-choo-choose cake.
Imagine the following scenario: You need a cake shaped like Elmo or Hello Kitty in less time than it takes to whisk an egg white. Do you repair to the nearest store and separate from your well-earned cash for a cake pan you will probably never use again?

Not anymore! If you live in Albuquerque or Bernalillo County, you can now check out a cake pan from the library.

“We knew that other libraries were doing this,” says Linda Morgan Davis, Assistant Director, Collections and Community. “Libraries are looking at new types of services [that will allow them] to be part of the community and help their communities to grow and prosper.”

Luke, I am your cake.
Luke, I am your cake.
So say goodbye to the character pans you’d buy for a birthday and then allow to “sit dormant in the kitchen cabinet.” Choose from about 30 shapes—from a guitar to a soccer ball to Ultimate Spider-Man—and check out a pan for up to three weeks at a time. Just be prepared to pay a fine of $2 if the cake pan is returned dirty.

What is it about cake pans that conjure up saintly visions of the stereotypical 1950s mother, her flour-dusted apron and a giant mixing bowl filled with the four basic elements—flour, sugar, butter and eggs? “Baking trends come and go, but cakes are timeless,” opines the blurb for Martha Stewart’s Cakes, one of five cake-oriented cookbooks featured on the library’s website.

These cookbooks are also available as ebooks, which allows you to keep an ingredient list handy when you're out shopping. Also be aware that you can download magazines (including many on cooking) for free. With the Zinio program, you can select from 85 titles, and once you download them, they’re yours. (It sure beats having piles of periodicals at home.)

If you’d like to donate your own cake pans to the library, make sure that they are Wilton brand character pans, metal (not silicone), in excellent condition and accompanied by a paper insert that shows decorating suggestions.

Lastly, whether your cake looks like a Christmas tree, a choo-choo train, a butterfly or any other whimsical shape, feel free to send a picture of your sweet, frosted masterpiece to library@cabq.gov and they’ll post it on Facebook.

 
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