Community Cookbooks

Community Cookbooks

Has your church, local charity, PTA, or Homeowners’ Association thought of writing a community cookbook? It’s a great fundraiser, brings people together as they talk about the recipes they’ve contributed, and expands the culinary repertoire of all who buy a copy.

A community cookbook can be printed at your local print shop, but to give it more class, style, and visual appeal, why not have it printed by a self-publishing company, with a snazzily designed color cover, a glued spine, and an overall professional look?

Community cookbooks have many levels of appeal. Their recipes were submitted by “real people,” not some cookbook author in a presumed New York skyscraper office with myriad assistants to help in testing out the recipes. And in most cases you will know many of the recipe contributors personally: They’re your neighbors, or your fellow church or charity or PTA members. If you’ve got a question about a recipe, you can ask them. Also, buying a copy of the cookbook supports a cause or organization you care about—and won’t break your budget.

If you DON’T know a recipe contributor but have a question about her or his recipe, you can seek the contributor out and ask them your question, and you might make a new friend. After all, you already have an interest in common. You both belong to the same church or organization or live in the same development.

Contributing one or more recipes to a community cookbook is a painless way to give to an organization you care about. It costs no money, just a little of your time to copy the recipe over and send it to whoever is heading up the cookbook project. And if you have the time, the person heading up the project could be you. When a church I used to belong to decided to create a community cookbook, I volunteered to edit it. Being the author of a number of cookbooks, I was a logical choice as the church cookbook’s editor, and the church was glad to have me volunteer.

So the next time your organization is considering possibilities for a fundraiser, don’t overlook publishing a community cookbook. You might even discover your new favorite recipe in its pages!