For the first time in 15 years, the South Coastal Library and its Friends group are giving patrons the chance to enter into their kitchens — or at least share in their recipes — with a newly published cookbook.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” said Priscilla Scott, circulation supervisor and volunteer coordinator for the library. “It’s just been a delightful thing to work on.”
“Food & Art” is a 256-page cookbook, containing more than 450 recipes contributed by artists, volunteers and library staff, covering every stage of a meal, from the appetizers to dessert.
“I think it was interesting reading the different takes on the same recipe. They were the same ingredients — but to see how someone would put it together differently from someone else,” said volunteer Maureen Killmer.
“Priscilla invited us to share some of our favorite recipes,” said volunteer Mary Van Scoyoc. “So we typed, we edited, we talked, we laughed and we put it all together. It was fun.”
Marcia Bonifas, who also volunteers at the library, said she tested out recipes on her neighbors before submitting them.
“Not all of them made it,” she said with a laugh.
The cookbook includes such dishes as Ina’s Praline French Toast Casserole, Party Paella Salad, Cold Avocado Soup, Grilled Flank Steak with Mango Salsa, Pasta with Basil and Brie, Summer Fruit Trifle and Chocolate Rocky Road Picnic Cake.
And not only does the cookbook have tried-and-true recipes, it also includes artwork contributed by local artists Jan Crooker, Aubre Duncan, Tara Funk Grim, Laura Hickman, Richard Matthews, Jeanne Mueller, Damon Pla, Dale Sheldon and Cheryl Wisbrock.
“I like the idea of doing the art. because it shows the local community in another venue,” Scott said. “I think it’s a keepsake, in that inside the cookbook are not only recipes by people in the community but there are different pieces of art by local artists.”
Scott said that some of the artwork was created specifically for the cookbook and she is excited for people to see the colorful contributions.
“We had a resounding, ‘Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!’ The artists were delighted and appreciative they were asked to participate, because there are a lot of fine artists in this community,” she said of the contributors. “I went with the artists whose art I was familiar with. I was looking for something that was representative of southern coastal Delaware. I was looking for color and I was looking, in some cases, for whimsical. I just wanted to have a variety of pieces of art.”
Scott said she cannot wait to try out some of the recipes, which at times during the process made her mouth water.
“There are some wonderful recipes in there, and when I would start to read one, I’d say to whoever was near to me, ‘Oh, listen to this one,’” she said with a laugh.
The Friends of the South Coastal Library had previously published a cookbook in 1998 to raise funds for the library. “Food & Art,” like its predecessor, will cost $15 and will help the Friends monetarily support library programs.
Scott said the cookbook would make an excellent gift or keepsake, and she hopes the community will embrace it.
“It was a wonderful project to be involved with, with wonderful people,” she said.
“Food and Art” will be on sale from July 18 through July 25 at the library, on July 18, 22, 23 and 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on July 19 from 1 to 5 p.m., on July 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on July 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Van Scoyoc said she hopes the community enjoys the cookbook as much as they did putting it together.
“It was a local experience, friends and neighbors, artists and recipes coming together to make a gift to the community.”
The South Coastal Library is located at 43 Kent Avenue in Bethany Beach. For more information, call (302) 539-5231 or visit www.southcoastal.lib.de.us.