As though there weren’t enough opportunities for Hillsboro residents to get together and work on projects, recently a few of them took the time to compile a community cookbook in which the number of recipes exceeds the town’s population.
Residents Andrea MacDuffee, Laney Oxman and Bonnie Miskovich have been working for the past two months to compile 126 recipes from about 50 in- and out-of-town residents in a community cookbook that features drinks, appetizers, soups, salads, side dishes, breads, breakfasts, entrees and desserts. According to MacDuffee, 300 initial copies of the cookbook are being printed and sold for $18 preorders until Sunday, June 10. Starting July 1, the cookbook will go on sale for $20, with all proceeds benefitting events in the town of 115 residents.
“It’s kind of the heritage of Hillsboro and also the heritage and legacy of people who live in Hillsboro from their own traditions,” said Councilwoman Amy Marasco, who contributed five recipes she learned from her mother. “I thought it was a very creative way to bring the community together.”
Included in the cookbook are more than just family recipes from the best chefs in the gap, but also recipes from centuries ago that reflect Hillsboro’s history and a few that the word “exotic” can’t even describe.
Perhaps the most old-school recipe in the book is an Old Brunswick Stew, which calls for rabbit, squirrel and chicken or another similar meat. Of course, there are also many more recipes for everyday dishes like Bermudan fish chowder, petite sausage quiche, potato skins and smoked salmon.
“There’s a little bit of everything,” MacDuffee said. “There’s some obscure fun recipes, but then there’s some simple, down-home cooking.”
As for drinks, one of the most eye-catching is called Sage Bitters. Made with bourbon and lemon peel, the drink can be “used to treat just about everything,” according to the 19th century cookbook it was found in.
Also included is Councilwoman Claudia Forbes’ recipe for a Georgia Peach Julep, which was the most popular drink at the town’s inaugural Gardens in the Gap event in April.
“People loved that,” Marasco said. “That was the best seller.”
MacDuffee said the idea for the cookbook initially arose around Christmas time when several residents who were busy planning town events mentioned that it would be a fun idea to get to know each other better by swapping recipes. Because town residents come from all around the nation and further afield in France and Czechia, MacDuffee said community engagement is huge. “We are a very tightly-knit community,” she said.
Another motivator behind the project’s inception was to take the burden off of residents when it comes to town functions—since many events, like the annual Easter Egg Hunt and Memorial Day ceremony, are paid for with individual contributions and not town funds.
“We thought that would be a good way to raise money for our civic events that we do for the town,” MacDuffee said. “Ultimately, we are really trying to raise money to support the family events.”
The goal is to now raise $5,000 from cookbook sales. To preorder a copy, email MacDuffee at email@example.com make a check out to the Town of Hillsboro for $18. Beginning in July, copies can be purchased for $20 at oldstoneschool.org.
Marasco said that because preorders are already soaring, a second edition might have to be printed by that point.