Call out for Jones Library fundraising cookbook recipes

Last modified: Monday, July 08, 2013

AMHERST — A Fumi salad made for a wedding banquet was such a hit that it now appears regularly at family gatherings.

A popular dessert, known as ginger triangles, originated in Scotland.

These and other stories behind favorite recipes will be included as part of a fundraising cookbook being put together by the Friends of the Jones Library.

“We’re anticipating people will give us their best recipes,” said Lucy McMurrer, a member of the cookbook committee.

McMurrer, along with fellow Friends board members Christine Stevens and Nancy Gregg and University of Massachusetts librarian Rachel Lewellen are meeting monthly to produce what will be known as “The Well-Read Cook.”

McMurrer said the intent is to have fun with the project. She suggests that the Department of Public Works, which oversees the former landfill, could submit a recipe for dump cake, or the Fire Department could offer up a five-alarm chili.

“We are hoping for some tongue-in-cheek recipes,” McMurrer said.

The committee is asking anybody connected to the town — residents, library patrons, municipal employees, restaurateurs, farmers — to submit instructions for a favorite dish.

“We need to get a minimum of 300,” McMurrer said. “And each person can give us as many as they want.”

The cookbook idea began, McMurrer said, when she was approached by Jones’ circulation librarian Amy Anaya.

While cookbooks are a staple of churches and community organizations, few reflect the entire Amherst community. “We’d like to think it’s a wider net we’re casting,” Stevens said.

Not all submissions will be included and choices may come down to whether the offerings are top heavy in some of the eight categories, which include main dishes, breads and rolls, soups and salads and desserts.

Lewellen said the anecdotes people provide with their recipes will make using the cookbook more interesting.

“That adds a story to a recipe. We hope there will be lots of pieces. That will be fun,” she said. “I’m hopeful the whole cookbook will be little pieces of the lives and times of Amherst farms and restaurants and residents now and maybe someday people will re-read the cookbook and smile at how things were way back when,” McMurrer said.

Interspersed among the recipes will be factoids about the library, notable people from Amherst and possibly literary references to food.

The committee is working with Morris Press Cook Books of Kearney, Neb.

“They are useful because they can work novices like us through this,” McMurrer said. “We needed to have someone with the know how.”

As fits an institution featuring books, the committee has created bookmarks. Stevens crafted the design that boldly states “We Want Your Recipes! and features photographs of a dessert and a meal.

Submission forms are on the Jones Library website. People can also send emails to and the committee is accepting recipes in writing at the Jones and branch libraries, Munson and North Amherst.

To further encourage submission, McMurrer said there will be a drawing for a dessert prepared and delivered directly to the winner’s home.

The hope is to have the book, which will sell for about $15, to be complete by November.


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