Luncheon in the Library

Each May, Mrs. Parker recognizes all the parent volunteers for their time, energy, and dedication in helping maintain the library at Rolling Hills Country Day School by hosting a fabulous luncheon in their honor.

Library Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

Mrs. Clifford works her usual amazing magic by setting out such a charming buffet on top of the lower bookshelves. The menu consisted of Mrs. Parker’s curried chicken salad, mixed baby greens with Parmesan, sunflower seeds and vinaigrette, rolls served in an adorable picket fence corral, the perennial favorite deviled eggs, cream puffs, chocolate eclairs, flower-shaped sugar cookies, fresh strawberries and lemonade.

The buffet was decorated like a precious garden with flowers and seed packets and books (of course).

Mrs. Parker has been the beloved librarian at Rolling Hills Country Day School since 1983. Her daughter, Leslie, started attending the school in 1982. A year later Mrs. Parker came on board and has been here ever since. And Leslie has gone on to graduate from Georgetown and receive her MBA from UCLA.

Mrs. Parker’s specialty: Curried Chicken Salad. She makes it exactly from the recipe found in Gourmet June 2002 issue. There is a synergy in this combination of ingredients. Everyone loves it, year after year. Chicken, curry, yogurt, lime, honey, ginger, red onion, mango, red grapes, cashews…intrigued? Go here for the complete recipe. You’ll be glad you did!

Library Before and After

I love before and after photos. In the summer of 2005 it was my pleasure to update the library at Rolling Hills Country Day School.

It is amazing what color can do to enhance a space. The remodel consisted of a new paint palette, new computers, bookshelves, lighting, carpet and rug, furniture, and other design elements. I worked with Mrs. Parker to make sure we met the needs of the students while preserving some of the historical features in the library. We retained the old card catalog (no longer in use) and installed special shelving for Mrs. Parker’s antique books.

Those big red leather chairs continue to be a magnet for the children. Sometimes we’ll find three of them sitting in one chair, reading one of the books that Mrs. Parker has painstakingly chosen for the library. It is an awesome space, warm and inviting, enhanced by Mrs. Parker’s enchanting personality and love of children and books.

Alas, there were no Legumes at the Library Luncheon, but don’t let that stop you from submitting your fabulous legume-centric dish to the global event taking place the entire month of May. My Legume Love Affair, go here for details!

And remember, as a special treat to one of the lucky participants in My Legume Love Affair, there is a GIVEAWAY. A book, how apropos! A World of Dumplings – Filled Dumplings, Pockets, and Little Pies from Around the Globe by Brian Yarvin.

Do join us, won’t you?

19 thoughts on “Luncheon in the Library”

  1. What a beautiful spread! And the library looks like such a wonderful, welcoming space. You got me with the deviled eggs!

  2. Please tell Mrs. Parker that I am in awe of her accomplishments as a librarian and of her incredibly enticing luncheon spread!

    I am so glad this library kept the card catalogue! I was saddened every time I used another discarded library card at the Library of Congress to jot down my notes (the cards were put there for us as scrap paper, imagine). Are you familiar with Nicholson Baker’s lament, first an article in the New Yorker Magazine, then in bookform, in defense of the library card catalog? Even at the LOC it is not unheard of to find insufficient data or wrong information in the electronic card catalog.

  3. What a beautiful library and luncheon, the setting was perfect with the books and flowers.
    I am intrigued by the chicken salad though!

  4. Such a great post LL. As a foodie I’d like to say it’s all about the food but really, it’s the whole thing – a great human interest story, fabulous food, a Library makeover or Extreme Makeover – Library Edition if you like and somehow I think you might just be some of the glue that keeps it together.

  5. Oh – I so love how this buffet was set up – so many pretty touches and all nicely arranged. Love the food, especially the daisy flower cookies, which go so perfectly with the theme.

  6. Thank you so much for providing the link to the chicken salad recipe!
    I tried to look it up in my Gourmet collection, but couldn’t locate the issue right away (the magazines are on the highest shelf in my library, and 14 ft of height, and the wooden ladder is a bit rickety).

    My very first chicken salad from Gourmet was made with bacon and avocado, sometime in the 80s. I have forgotten which issue it was in and tried to find the recipe online, alas with success. You do not happen to know that recipe?

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

  7. Search was MOT successful, sorry.

    The thin air and the rickety ladder were not good for my brain, or so it seems. 😉

  8. That is a beautiful space, and I can just imagine the kids squeezing into one of the seats to read together 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  9. The library makeover looks like a huge success.

    I LOVE that picket fence bread basket. What a nice luncheon, for one of the best schools in town.

  10. What a great story Lori, beautiful as always. Now I have to check out the Legume thing (dumpling hussy here).


  11. Hello,

    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes YUM YUM.
    We would like to add it to the

    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.

    Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
    and benefit from their exposure on

    To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use or just go to and click on "Add your site"

    Best regards,


  12. Another visually splendid event & I'm sure a tasty celebration for everyone. I love the transformed library. Very impressive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.