When the Women’s Association of Duck Woods Country Club held their virtual board meeting on a warm June day, they discussed an ambitious fund-raiser that would have to be completed before the Christmas gift buying season.
Publishing a cookbook of 201 recipes from 48 home cooks and professional chefs is a lofty goal in any year, but that same project under pandemic restrictions in five months is even more daunting.
Today, they have proven it can be done. On a cold December morning, WADWCC culminated their cookbook campaign around the club’s firepit donating over $4,400 to two local charities: Food for Thought and the Beach Food Pantry.
“For most of us, food equals love, whether you are the cook or the one indulging in a special dish,” said Elisabeth Silverthorne, Executive Director of the Beach Food Pantry. “What these ladies did with this project was to share that feeling with their immediate friends and family.”
“But, in addition, by bringing in the charities piece, they created a ripple effect that went even further out into the community and demonstrated their love and concern for all. It’s just beautiful,” Silverthorne said.
In five short months, the club received and reviewed hundreds of recipes. They cooked, taste-tested, edited, photographed, published, and then sold and distributed all 400 of the first print run of Tasty Treasures, Feeding Family & Friends & the Outer Banks Community.
Inside are the best recipes from locals who know how to entertain and feed a crowd. Also included are recipes from favorite local restaurants such as Blue Water and Blue Moon Beach Grill, Saltbox Cafe, Steamers and the Duck Woods Country Club.
“We wanted recipes that were tried and true family favorites. We knew we had a lot of great cooks in the group. We also asked for the back stories to add the personal touch,” said Carol Riggin, president of WADWCC. “We tailored the book around Outer Banks Living.”
To prove her point, there is a chapter title that every Outer Banks homeowner will immediately recognize, “Company’s Coming,” comically illustrated by a photo of a typical summer Saturday traffic jam exiting the Wright Memorial Bridge.
Riggin says that pre-pandemic monthly luncheon meetings for the 180-member club included raffles, donation baskets, and canned food drives and each year represented hundreds of dollars and bags of food for their favorite local charities.
“Without those meetings, we had to figure out how to keep our members together and still be safe and support our charities,” Riggin said.
Their initial goal was to raise $2,000 and split it between the two charities, but thanks to a cookbook sell-out and extra donations, $4,453 was raised.
Food for Thought president Bobbie Murray and board member, Margaret Lawler were also on hand to receive the check in December. With schools being closed, Food for Thought has faced new challenges both packing and distributing their signature weekend meal bags to the growing number of county students who rely on those supplies.
“We are committed to helping out even during Christmas break and this donation from WADWCC’s cookbook will go towards that effort,” Lawler said.
Outer Bankers who know the difference between Dukes and Hellmann’s mayonnaise will be happy to recognize their own kitchen in this collection of recipes. Golf Balls, OBX Caviar, or Tidewater Shrimp are nods to the southern hospitality and golf course origins of the women’s group.
Dee Lewis, the cookbook committee chair says that family favorites like her breakfast casserole are what make this compilation a true treasure.
“I’ve been making that for several decades on Christmas mornings,” Lewis said.
Lewis had assembled two cookbooks for her own family members to use, but Tasty Treasures was a much larger task. The cookbook committee used Zoom meetings and email to collaborate while remaining socially distant. The cookbook was then published through Lulu.com, an online self-publishing company.
“They will continue taking online orders and our club is still going to donate the profits from future cookbook sales to Food for Thought and Beach Food Pantry,” Lewis said.
To get a copy for the same $15 price that was offered this fall, go to lulu.com and search on the title Tasty Treasures.
Food for Thought is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that provides healthy non-perishable breakfasts and lunches for more than 400 students who meet specific criteria in Dare County during school year weekends. Now in its 13th year, the Outer Banks Food for Thought has been recognized by a number of prominent organizations throughout the region, state and community.
The Beach Food Pantry is a benevolent non-profit organization whose mission is to reach out and provide nutritional assistance to Dare County residents in collaboration with our community. Through generosity of their donors, BFP offers hope to the estimated 1 in 11 people in Dare County who are food insecure – 18.9% of whom are children. There are three main programs which provide assistance: Food Assistance which provides two-weeks of free groceries up to four times a year; Summer Food For Kids which provides food for children during the summer: and Thanksgiving Meal Bag which ensures that every family is able to share a festive Thanksgiving meal.