Calling all Recipes!!!by Mary Clymer on September 15, 2020
Publish your family recipe in our CommUNITY Cookbook
My favorite cookbook didn’t come with any fancy photos. It wasn’t written by a famous chef. And the recipes don’t include any specialty items.
My favorite cookbook was put out by St. Luke's Episcopal Church in 1988. It’s a community cookbook filled with recipes gathered from the congregation.
The blue and white cover is set to the design of an old picnic tablecloth. The basic red binding holds this simple cookbook together.
Helpful cooking terms and measurements are placed in the front to help guide the uneducated cookers like me along.
The recipes have names like “Kay’s Spinach Salad” and “Pete’s Pancakes”. Fun little antidotes are added by the varying contributors. Things like, “Mix with love” or “don’t forget to add prayer” are sprinkled throughout.
I remember when my Grandma and my Aunts were working with the women’s church group to put this book together. Just a kid at the time. Being dragged from one boring meeting to another. Not being too interested in the grown-up stuff.
I remember going through it as I began to cook a little through high school and during return trips home for the holidays. There was always something I could find that was perfect. And it includes my Aunt Teresa’s famous no-bake cookies!
Fast forward to Christmas Day sometime in the early 2000s. Me, My sister, and all my cousins were given a copy. Something my Aunt had tucked away for us nearly 15years earlier.
At the time I remember being excited, but I had no idea how many times I would return to this community cookbook through the years. Even if it was just to admire the old Renton ads.
How Cookbooks help Community
Now, we all shelter in place, I find myself referring back to this community cookbook.
You probably find yourself at home cooking more too. After cycling through your trusty favorites you began to scour online for new exciting things to cook. Recipes that work with the ingredients you have at home.
You might have your own favorite community cookbook laying around that you pull off the shelf for some classic favorite recipes.
Community Cookbooks become something like a time capsule. They allow you to look back and see how our taste buds and family recipes have developed over the years.
They give you an insight into who the people involved in that community were. They bring back names that you haven’t heard or thought of in years. They become a collective of the time.
Local institutions have been using community cookbooks as fundraisers for decades.
A format that has grown less popular as our online world has made finding any recipe as easy as a push of a button.
But is something getting lost?
Are we losing our sense of community culture by moving online? If no more community cookbooks are created will a 100-year-old family recipe lose its roots?
Luckily the idea of the community cookbook has not gone away. The concept behind this form of community sharing is still a treasure people want to share.
This unique way of getting to know your neighbor is returning to Renton.
It’s your opportunity to be a part of the Renton Chambers first community cookbook.
We are looking for your household favorites. Straightforward recipes. Recipes you hope to pass along to the next generation. It doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, the more passed down through generations the better.
The recipes that appear at every family potluck. The dish you bring to every sports banquet. That dish that showcases who you are and where you came from.
Now is a great time to write down those recipes your grandkids love and put it on paper. Something they can make in 30 years for their own children.
I know you have a recipe that continually gets asked about. Why not preserve it in Renton’s Community Cookbook.
We all know how overwhelming it can be to hop on online to a sea of food choices. And we all know there is no shortage of places to find cooking inspiration.
But what about dishes that have been developed and simmering in kitchens across Renton for decades? Where online can you find those?
Compiling family recipes is a gift you are giving your family and community. It can also inspire conversation and fond memories.
We are happy to hear those too.
You are part of this great community. Filled with flavors from all over the world. You can help bring that worldly flavor into your neighbor's kitchen.
How to Get Involved
Right now you’re probably thinking of a couple of recipes. Those are the ones we want. Share them with your community. Spark conversation. Tell us the story of how your recipe developed into a family favorite. Share with us your grandmother's famous lasagna recipe before it’s lost in time.
We live in a time where connection is so valuable. Shelf-stable ingredients and common food storage items can help unite us. This could be a resource that helps us all stay in touch.
The Chamber hopes that this CommUNITY cookbook produces a meaningful impact. We all know the power of breaking bread together. Food brings people together. Let's share those stories from our own kitchens.
Don’t delay! You have until Monday, November 2nd at 5 pm to get those recipes in!
This gives the volunteers time to get everything together in time for a timeless holiday gift.
Feel free to pass along and encourage others to submit recipes as well.
A community cookbook is only as strong as its recipes.
I believe we have a rich history of recipes laying dormant all across Renton and I look forward to seeing what this cooking time capsule will produce.