That Crazy Cookbook Guy–It Takes A Community to Raise a Cookbook


I’m sharing three selections today, all community cookbooks purchased during this weekend’s hunting expedition.  I’m combining several because I spent a LOT of money over there, almost eight bucks.
I know, that doesn’t sound like a lot of money to spend on cookbooks, but don’t forget, this was twenty-five cent weekend!
A lot of people call these church cookbooks.  As it happens two of today’s listings are church cookbooks, but one is an older Junior League cookbook.  In fact, I like to call these types of cookbooks fundraisers.  They do tend to pull recipes from some sort of community, but they run the gamut and include almost any kind of organization one could imagine. My wife and I actually put together a fundraiser cookbook once for a non-profit dance group our daughter was associated with, so I have an intimate understanding of how tough it is to solicit the recipes, transcribe the recipes, to organize it so it makes sense.  The toughest job of all is copy-editing and proofreading.  Whew.  And that is not unique, I’ve seen dozens of fundraiser books from dance groups.
Shallowford Cooking is from the Shallowford Church of Christ in Elon NC, which is not that far from where I live.  It has no date (ONE OF MY PET PEEVES) and it really has no indication of where it is located either (ANOTHER PET PEEVE). I did a little research on this one and found the church location and the fact that it was apparently published in the 60’s sometime.   From what I’ve learned about dating these, I’d say from the look and feel of it, that is probably an accurate date, more likely later 60s.  The credits for the recipes are mixed with first names (Betty Smith) and a variety of personal titles (Mrs. Betty Smith or Mrs. John Smith).  I have found older books generally tend toward a more formal personal title (Miss Betty Smith or Mrs. John Smith).  As I said, these are mixed.
It also has some design functions that are consistent with older cookbooks.  It has original artwork on the front cover, something you see less and less over time.  I love original artwork.   Since it is from pre-word processor days, it was painstakingly typed and (I assume) locally printed.  All of that is a lot of work as well.
What is unusual about this book is that it has a star, Marie Koury, who even has her picture in the front of the first section … “Marie Koury’s Section” … usually church fundraisers might at best have a picture of the church itself, or they might  have either a picture of the pastor’s wife (also known as sucking up) or of some local cook of renown who recently passed away (the only way her heirs would give us that killer blackberry cobbler recipe of hers).
Marie was listed as the first of four editors but is the only one with her own section, which is almost half of the book.  I did a little research on her and found that she has some measure of local fame. Big fish in small pond I guess.  I also assume she has some Greek heritage because she has quite a few Greek recipes. I read on-line that as of about 2009 she was still around and was signing copies of volume 7 of this cookbook.  Kudos to you, Marie!
The second book has one of the longest titles I’ve ever seen.  Well, to be entirely accurate, it has no title.  That “Kissing Wears Out” thing in the picture is stock cover art from a packaged fund raising cookbook publisher – you see that one a lot.  This is from the Catholic Daughters of America, Court Our Lady of the Lakes No. 1456, in Parsippany NJ.
Whew, what a mouthful.  Although I was raised a Catholic, I haven’t heard of this group but the fact that this is from the 1456th chapter … well, that is a lot of Catholic daughters.  This was a copyright 1978, but looks absolutely pristine.  Remember what I was saying about personal titles above?  This one … is true to 1978:  names only.  Beyond these observations, it is a fairly typical fundraiser fare. Not a bad cookbook though.
The third book is Marigolds to Munch On.  This is a Junior League cookbook from Peoria Illinois.  I generally like Junior League cookbooks, but prefer older ones.  This fits that mold … it is from 1970.  The book has a very irritating design aspect .. it is evident on the cover and continues on every chapter title and recipe title throughout the book: they color in every letter that has a closed space.  That includes a,o,O A e ..on and on and on.  Maybe they had an obsessive/compulsive member on the cookbook committee?  . “Here’s a job for you, Harriet!”  That must have been a lot of work.
Once again, pretty typical fare for a Junior League, i.e., lots of recipes that have foreign sounding titles but don’t look particularly foreign.  Well, it was after all 1970.  The entire world was foreign to Peoria in 1970.
Now this one features formal personal titles, but I assume that was still a Junior League design standard at the time

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