Lovers of the Prendergast Library and of good eating can support both with the purchase of a cookbook this holiday season.
''Good Cooks, Good Books,'' now available for purchase at the Prendergast Library in Jamestown, is a collection of more than 200 recipes submitted by area residents. Renate Bob, president of the Friends of Prendergast Library, said that the book is designed to emphasize the heritage of Jamestown - both in the recipes and in the supplementary text and pictures.
''There are many recipes in there from the heritage of Jamestown - Swedish, Italian, Greek recipes,'' she said. ''We have a little of the history of the library, the history of the Friends of the Library, and we have a little of the history of Jamestown in here.''
Friends of Prendergast Library look over the ‘‘Good Cooks, Good Books’’ cookbook before sampling some of its recipes during the group’s annual meeting recently. The book, a fundraiser to support the library, is now available for purchase at the Prendergast Library for $10.
Recipes in the book are broken into categories including appetizers and beverages, soups and salads, vegetables and side dishes, main dishes, breads and rolls, desserts, cookies and candy, and ''this and that.'' The dividers between the cookbook's sections feature vintage photographs of the Prendergast Library's interior and exterior.
Two hundred of the books were printed, and Mrs. Bob said about 100 remain for purchase. The books are available for $10 at the Prendergast Library, 509 Cherry St. in Jamestown.
''They make wonderful Christmas presents, I think,'' she said. ''It's a little bit more than a cookbook. It's about this community.''
The Friends of the Prendergast Library was formed in 2006 by a steering committee consisting of Dennis Bechmann, Cheryl Frederes, Helen Peterson and Carol Schick. The goals of FOPL are to engage in advocacy campaigns on behalf of the library, provide supplemental financial assistance to the library for special library materials and activities, and help with various library projects. The FOPL Cookbook Committee consisted of Elizabeth Blanco, Alfredo Bizarro, Judy Koch, Jeanette Ostrom, Martha Paulson, Tina Scott, Tillie Solomonson, Dolores Thompson and Mary Ann Zimmer.
Mrs. Bob - whose husband, Murray, served as director of the library from 1967 until his death in 2003 - said that the committee worked tirelessly to compile the cookbook.
''It was a major project, putting it together,'' she said. ''It was a lot of work - some people asked us, 'Do you really want to do this?'''
The goal of the FOPL through the cookbook was not just to raise funds, she added, but to build community awareness about the library, which said she said one of the most important gathering points in any community. While ''Good Cooks, Good Books'' is the first major fundraiser project the FOPL has undertaken, Mrs. Bob said the group has supported the Prendergast Library in many ways since it was founded.
''Last year, we gave them a check to use in any way they wanted - they can always use money. We also support the staff by giving them a staff-appreciation luncheon. We help out when they have the Big Read with cookies and serving and greeting people,'' she said. ''We help the library in various ways, through awareness and education. That's our goal.''
The group will be assisting the library during two eReader open-house events in the coming weeks: Tuesday, Dec. 6, from noon to 2 p.m., and Thursday, Dec. 8, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. During the events, the cookbooks will be for sale, as will tickets for a chance to win one of two Kindle eReaders. The devices were donated to the library by the FOPL and a drawing for them will be held at a later date.
For more information about the Friends of Prendergast Library, visit www.prendergastlibrary.org/friends or call 484-7135, ext. 225.