The latest effort by the Sandy Springs Society to continue its fundraising mission for local nonprofit organizations comes in the form of a cookbook loaded with the city’s history.
“Savor Sandy Springs: A Cookbook,” combines city history and recipes from many of its 300 members.
“I don’t know of anything that tells about Sandy Springs like this book,” Joan Plunkett, one of the members and co-editor of the cookbook, said. “And then to have all these girls do the recipes that are really quick, as life is busy now, so many of these recipes can be done very quickly. And they’re easy.”
The Sandy Springs Society’s big fundraisers are Tossed Out Treasures and the Elegant Elf Marketplace. Tossed Out Treasures enters its 31st year in 2023, in which they sell gently used upscale items donated by members and the community. The Elegant Elf Marketplace, a stylish two-day gift market held in October, was established in 2011.
The nearly 300-page cookbook creates another opportunity for the members to raise funds for the community. It will be available for sale at several local businesses, including at Sandy Springs Boutique Winery at 203 Hildebrand Drive, whose owners donated space for the delivery and storage of the cookbooks.
“We really wanted to kind of bring this community home and just share a meal over the table,” Jokerst said. “I mean, share stories over the table, because there’s so much division and nonsense going on in the world, that we wanted to do something that was shared across a tapestry of culture and tastes and ages and everything histories. And that’s what these recipes are.”
It’s not a Southern cookbook, she said but is a quick burst from all over the world, submitted by many of the society’s 300 members and other community residents.
Co-editor Pam Betz said Plunkett has been a good friend for a long time. A few years ago, when Gail Jokerst was president of the society, she was trying to put together ideas for a fundraiser that they hadn’t done before when she came up with this idea. That’s when she approached Betz and Plunkett to put it together. They both said yes.
“I love working with her, but also, it could involve all of our members because it’s not just recipes. It’s stories, it’s people’s heritage, their life and … it was a different twist on a cookbook and might be a great opportunity for us to raise some additional funds for the community,” Betz said.
Plunkett said they had members write short notes about their recipes and where they came from, showing the history of the recipes. Ten local restaurants were asked for personal recipes that also were included. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), which has been generous with the Sandy Springs Society, also provided some healthy recipes.
“We have recipes from the mayor, the city manager, the fire chief, a lot of public people in the community,” Plunkett said.
One recipe was from a three-year-old. Others were from people’s relatives from the 1800s. Some of them required the editors to pull out magnifiers to read them and they still had to call people back to get the right information.
Reading the stories is enlightening that the society is filled with people of varied backgrounds. But they share “the love for food and family around the table, and the stories that connect us, and that foods are so important to friends and family,” Betz said. “And just about every one of the recipes has to do with how it’s so meaningful that they either received this recipe from their grandmother or mother.”
Artwork is seen throughout the cookbook. Instead of photos of food, they are paintings to add color to it.
“And it’s our artists from the Sandy Springs Society. They’re just wonderful artists and we put them in the different sections,” Plunkett said.
Plunkett and fellow editor Pam Betz used color to separate the different sections also, with stripes of color denoting every page of each section, such as From the Garden, Sweet Harvest, From the Sea and For the Soul.
“So you can just open up the book and take your finger and go to that area and then pick your recipes,” Plunkett said.
Two drawings from children who were patients at CHOA also were included.
Betz and Plunkett had to retype every recipe to get them into the correct format for the printer. They spent more than a year putting together the cookbook and editing it.
“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 is special to her and Plunkett as they were able to do it for the society, and the community – and it involves more philanthropy.
Members and other cookbook buyers were able to get a discount on City Springs Theatre Company tickets in a cross-promotion at Sandy Springs Boutique Winery, Box Office Manager Arielle Geller said.
With two shows left on the season – “Monty Python’s Spamalot” on March 10-16, 2023, and “Cats” on May 5-21 – a 10 percent discount was offered to people picking up their cookbooks, she said.