People give me and send me a lot of information about food. Websites, links to blogs, recipes, magazine articles and especially cookbooks. Everybody has a cookbook…well everyone except me…but just about everybody else has a cookbook.
I recently I received a cookbook as a gift from Micki Connolly, mother of a good friend. She was part of a group who organized a cookbook for her Florida retirement community comprised of family recipes from resident snowbirds from around the world. It’s a fascinating treasure trove of regional specialties from folks like our parents and grandparents. I leafed through and found things like Super Bowl Chili from Edna Scipione of Wickliffe, Ohio and Scallops a la Crabtree from Dan Crabtree hailing from Lancaster, England. It goes on and on.
The chapter I am most anxious to dive into is the dessert section. Desserts that harken back to before the age of the Hostess Cupcake are the glue that have kept family gatherings fun and memorable for generations. I feel honored to have copies of Heinz and Hella Wartski’s French Sable Cookie recipe, Celeste deCapua’s Mexican Wedding Cookies and Peggy Tuffo’s Penuche Nut Fudge.
The book is from the Winterpark Community in Naples, Florida and is titled Hometown Classics. The real charm of it is that the proceeds they raise from the cookbook go toward things like fixing up the community pool, the shuffleboard courts and the clubhouse. Hometown Classics represents a small group’s big effort to preserve their prized recipes and make their community a better place. They did a wonderful job. The great test of a cookbook is if it can arouse our curiosity enough to make the recipes…and I can’t wait to try some.