Library Director’S Talent Goes Beyond Books

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Terry Morris, director of the Payson Public Library, created and donated all the gift baskets recently auctioned at the Taste of Rim Country fund-raiser.

Terry Morris’ talents aren’t limited to her work as director of the Payson Public Library.

“I’ve dabbled in a little bit of everything,” she said.

Morris has worked as a caterer and still shares her love of cooking. She teaches classes once a quarter at the library for adults and on occasion to children as well. The next class is on Italian cooking and will take place in May.

Plans are being developed for future classes in Cooking for Two and Greek foods.

Her collection of cookbooks is so vast, patrons of the library benefit from frequent donations of the tomes to the Library Friends of Payson Bookstore. In fact, through March there is a special on cookbooks in the store, most donated by Morris. Prices range from $1 to $8. The special is being held in conjunction with the recent Taste of Rim Country.

The fund-raiser, which featured professional and aspiring chefs of the area sharing appetizers and desserts, was held March 6. As part of the event, there was a silent auction and about 90 percent of the items were fabulous gift baskets — all designed, built and donated by Morris through her TAM Originals business.

“I’ve been making baskets for years,” she said.

Library patrons get to see Morris’ work with gift baskets she makes for regular raffles. Her favorites are those she creates for the Christmas holidays. She will make one for children and another for adults. Morris has also made the baskets for the fund-raisers of other groups.

“I’m always on the hunt,” she said. Morris has people scouting for basket goodies — and baskets — all the time as well.

But the marathon basket-making project for the Taste of Rim Country silent auction came about because her children “guilted” her into cleaning out her garage. In fact, she found so much she could create gift baskets with, she is making a number of them for a fund-raiser her son Caleb is working on for engineering scholarships.

“I had two piles as I went along. One for the library. One for Caleb,” she said.

Morris said building baskets is easy, just start with a theme and go from there. A key item will usually dictate the color scheme and you coordinate with that as well.

At the Taste of Rim silent auction her Italian- and Doggie-themed baskets drew better bids than anticipated.

“All the items sold and did well,” she said. All of the baskets Morris created included cookbooks, even the Doggie Basket — it was called The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook and she made its Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Dog Biscuits to go with it as well.

“It was a lot of fun to put together, but I’m glad they’re done,” she said.

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