The last attempt of Art Sandy Springs Society to continue its mission to raise funds for local non-profits, came out as a cookbook featuring the town’s history.
Taste Sandy Springs: A Cookbook brings together the city’s history and recipes from many of the 300 contributors.
“I don’t know anything like this book about Sandy Springs,” said Joan Plunkett, one of the contributors and co-editor of the cookbook. “And then to have all these girls make really quick recipes, because life is busy now, so a lot of these recipes can be made really quickly. And they’re light.”
The Sandy Springs Society is fundraising at Tossed Out Treasures and Elegant Elf Marketplace. Tossed Out Treasures is entering its 31st yearstr in 2023, in which they sell high-end, gently used items donated by members and the community. Elegant Elf Marketplace, a stylish two-day souvenir market held in October, was established in 2011.
The nearly 300-page cookbook creates another opportunity for members to raise funds for the community. It will be available for sale at several local businesses, including Sandy Springs Boutique Winery at 203 Hildebrand Drive, whose owners have donated space to ship and store the cookbooks.
“We really wanted to bring this community back home and just share food around the table,” Jokerst said. “I mean sharing stories around the table because there’s so much division and stupidity going on in the world that we wanted to do something that was shared by a whole tapestry of culture and tastes and ages and everything. And these are the recipes.”
It’s not a Southern cookbook, she said, but a quick roundup of information from around the world, provided by many of the society’s 300 members and other community residents.
Co-editor Pam Betz said Plunkett had been a good friend for a long time. A few years ago, when Gail Jokerst was president of the society, she was trying to come up with fundraising ideas that hadn’t been done before when she came up with it. That’s when she turned to Betz and Plunkett to pull it all together. They both said yes.
“I love working with her, but it can also involve all of our members because it’s not just about recipes. It’s the stories, it’s the heritage of the people, their lives and … it was a different twist on the cookbook and could be a great opportunity for us to raise additional funds for the community,” Betz said.
Plunkett said members wrote short notes about their recipes and where they came from, showing the history of the recipes. Ten local restaurants requested personal recipes, which were also included. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), which has been generous with the Sandy Springs Society, has also provided some helpful recipes.
“We have prescriptions from the mayor, city manager, fire chief and many public figures in the community,” Plunkett said.
One prescription was from a three-year-old. Others were from relatives of people from the 1800s. Some of them required editors to get out magnifying glasses to read them, and they still had to call people back to get the information they needed.
As you read the stories, you realize that society is filled with people from different backgrounds. But they share “a love of food and family around the table, and the stories that connect us, and that food is so important to friends and family,” Betz said. “And almost every recipe has something to do with how significant it is that they got that recipe from their grandmother or their mother.”
Illustrations can be seen throughout the cookbook. Instead of pictures of food, it’s pictures that add color to it.
“And these are our artists from the Sandy Springs Society. They’re just great artists and we’ve put them in different sections,” Plunkett said.
Plunkett and fellow editor Pam Betz also used color to separate the different sections, with colored bars marking each page of each section, such as From the Garden, Sweet Harvest, From the Sea, and For the Soul.
“So you can just open the book, take your finger and go to that area and then choose your recipes,” Plunkett said.
Two drawings of children who were CHOA patients were also included.
Betz and Plunkett had to retype each recipe to get them into the correct format for the printer. The cookbook was compiled and edited for more than a year.
“It was a gift of love and a labor of love to put together, but it took us a while,” Betz said.
She said the cookbook was special to her and Plunkett because they were able to do it for the community and the community — and that involved more philanthropy.
Members and other cookbook buyers were able to get a discount on City Springs Theater Company tickets as part of a cross-promotion at Sandy Springs Boutique Winery, box office manager Arielle Geller said.
With two shows left in the season — “Monty Python’s Spamalot” March 10-16, 2023 and “Cats” May 5-21 — people who pick up their cookbooks have been offered a 10 percent discount, she said.