Jeff Green | Sep 03, 2009
Back to HomeFeature Article - September 3, 2009 A cookbook with history for a causeby Julie Druker
Nancy Lansdell with the first cook book she wrote as a grade 5 student at Harrowsmith Public School
History and cooking often make good bedfellows and Verona resident Nancy Lansdell has plans to meld the two into a community cookbook for a community cause.
The idea came to Lansdell, who is on the fundraising committee for the Find A Doc campaign, when she and the Verona Community Association were brain storming for ideas of how to raise money for the campaign.
“Find A Doc” was launched on April 1, and includes a $1000 reward to be paid in gold to the first person who provides the name of a physician who signs a 5-year contract to practice in Verona. (Visit www.veronacommunity.on.ca for more details.)
Lansdell, who has always loved to cook (she has 200 plus cookbooks in her kitchen), thought a community cookbook would be great way to raise money - not just a straight-ahead cookbook but one that includes heirloom recipes plus a bit of local history.
“I thought what a neat way to raise money and also a way to record some of our local history… if we don’t start writing some of these local stories down for future generations, they will be lost.”
For Nancy, cooking has always been closely tied to history, specifically her family history. She has fond memories assisting her grandmother Maggie May Campsall, aka Gramma Ime, in the kitchen as a youngster and was so inspired that she wrote her first cookbook as a grade 5 student at Harrowsmith Public School.
When I spoke to Nancy at home in her kitchen, she recalled how her second cookbook came about. “After my grandmother passed away I went to her house and copied out her recipes, made them into a book, and gave it out as a Christmas gift to my siblings.”
The Find A Doc cookbook project will be Nancy’s third cookbook and she is hoping to receive a wide array of recipes and local stories from contributors. She intends to include in the book anecdotes such as how Howes Lake in Verona was changed from its original name of Long Lake, how Verona got its name and perhaps the tale of the never-found gold robbed from a train that passed between Parham and Verona.
The cookbook will also include some historic photographs like the old dance hall in Verona that was once located across from Rivendell Golf Course.
Nancy hopes to start collecting recipes, tales and photos throughout the fall and winter and to have the keepsake cookbook printed and spiral bound by February 2009 so it is ready in time for next year’s tourist season.
Anyone interested in making a contribution to the cookbook and becoming a part of local history can find a recipe form in Verona at Jitterbugs, Local Family Farms and at the Verona Lions’ canteen at the Verona Farmers’ Market. Forms can also be downloaded from the VCA’s website at www.veronacommunity.on.ca. Don’t forget to include your historic anecdotes on the back side of the form.