Cooking with 'Hometown Favorites'
Books raise money for local center
CHARLESTON - The first batch went like hotcakes, so those interested in a collection of "down home" Missouri Bootheel recipes should place their order now.
"We started out with around 550 cookbooks," said Denise Daughhetee of Citizen's Bank. "They're all gone - they were all gone within a three-week span."
The idea for "Hometown Favorites" got its start from the small talk typical of any workplace, according to Daughhetee. "We compare recipes, share thoughts on what we were going to have for dinner," she said. With all the exchanging of recipes, the idea for gathering them all into a book soon took hold.
"The bank is not out to make money on cookbooks," Daughhetee said, "so we turned it into a community project."
They soon decided the Kenny Rogers Children's Center would make a great recipient for money raised by the book, Daughhetee said. "We knew it had to go to a worthwhile cause so we picked them."
"We were thrilled when we got the call," said Michelle Fayette, executive director for the Center, "and now that the cookbooks are actually here, we can't keep enough in the Center - they are going, going, gone! We have truly been overwhelmed with the response."
To find a publisher for their collection, Daughhetee looked through her cookbook collection, finally selecting Morris Press of Kearney, Neb. "They had more what we were looking for," said Daughhetee.
The spiral bound cookbook contains 420 recipes including appetizers, main dishes, desserts and many others. Cooking tips are included in the back pages as well along with an equivalency chart, measurements and substitutions, a calorie-counter and even instructions on how to fold napkins for a special event.
The recipes featured in the book are for the most part "down home country cooking - like your momma used to cook," according to Daughhetee, typically passed down from mothers and grandmothers "just the way we've always done it. Mostly traditional, family everyday recipes - I think that's why people like the book."
Recipes submitted by Daughhetee, for example, include "my momma's spaghetti, Granny's brownies," she said.
And these are not recipes that take a master chef. "It's things you wouldn't be scared to try," said Daughhetee. "They are down to earth, not fancy. Most of the ingredients for these recipes are things you probably have on hand."
Reports so far from those who have bought the book and tried some recipes are all good, Daughhetee said. "I personally have tried recipes submitted by Barbara Dark and Elsie Gross since the book has been published."
"I tried apple dumplings, because it has Mountain Dew in it and I was curious as how it would turn out - I'd never seen a desert with Mountain Dew in it," said Debbie Hayden, clinical coordinator at the Center. "And I tried a broccoli cheese casserole. They were both great."
The cookbook's cost is only $10. "It's a reasonably-priced book for what the content is," Daughhetee said, "and all proceeds, every penny that is given to us for the book, goes to the Center. We have already turned over $5,000."
The bank covered the entire cost of production, considering it a donation. "There's a short history of the bank in the front and also a dedication page to the Kenny Rogers Children's Center," Daughhetee said.
Demand for the cookbook exceeded all expectations, according to Daughhetee. "I had a phone call from Oregon - her husband used to live in this area. She called and placed an order for six books."
"We are looking into reordering soon," Daughhetee added, estimating it would take no longer than three months to get the next batch in. "If somebody would like to be on the list, I would love for them to call me so we can reserve one for them. We only want to order what is needed because we are going to put out a second edition next year with totally new recipes."
For more information or to reserve a copy of "Hometown Favorites," call Daughhetee at Citizen's Bank, (573) 683-3373, or contact the Kenny Rogers Children's Center at 472-0397.