LAKE PLACID - Those looking to spice up their culinary repertoire can try some time-tested recipes while helping a local nonprofit.
The Literacy Volunteers of Essex and Franklin Counties has just released their latest cookbook, entitled Country Cookin', the latest fundraiser for the all-volunteer language-assistance organization.
"Everyone that has seen it has been impressed with the recipes," said Literacy Volunteers board member Cheryl Schiller, who served as chairperson for organizing the cookbook.
"We had one about four years ago, and it sold out very quickly," said Chuck Gibson, director for Literacy Volunteers. With recent cuts in state funding, the organization decided to give the fundraising idea another try.
Country Cookin' includes 233 new recipes submitted by more than 90 tutors, students, donors, and supporters of Literacy Volunteers, many of whom hail from the North Country.
The cookbook covers a wide variety of time-tested recipes, including soups, salads, main dishes, breads, vegetables, hors d'oeurves, and plenty of desserts.
"What I like about the recipes is people picked out an old family favorite or comfort food that they know people can make and it will come out right," Schiller said.
"With the economy doing so badly I think many people are trying to save a few dollars by eating at home, and not going out to restaurants as often," said Schiller. "A cookbook offers some new recipes for those who like to experiment with new and interesting meals."
Not only is the book practical, but its recipes hold special meaning as part of Literacy Volunteers' mission.
"It's one of the basics in our tutoring program," Schiller explained, "To be able to read a recipe and follow directions is a very important skill for people."
Several meal ideas submitted by former Literacy Volunteers students attest to the organization's commitment toward promoting literacy among adults with limited language skills, many of whom learn English as a second language.
"They're the most enjoyable to read because they're done so well," said Schiller. "You would have never known that they were a student."
More than 450 copies of the book have been printed and are available for $10.50 each at Literacy Volunteers' Saranac Lake, Malone, and Mineville offices. Copies can also be delivered by mail with an added fee of $3 per book. Call 546-3008 for more information.