by Laurie Ann Burton
Recipe collection was quite an experience. We tried to convey the basic theme of the book in three little words – fresh, local, coastal. We looked primarily for recipes that hit the trifecta, all three of the criteria, or at least one or two. We collected recipes from Provisional members, Active members and Sustainers…which means we collected recipes from a group of people with ages that ranged from mid-20s to mid-90s. We found out with that broad range of ages, comes a very eclectic set of thoughts, beliefs and tastes of what fit the criteria and what was considered a recipe.
We quickly came to realize that our younger members don’t cook much and when they do, tend to use jars of cheese (such as Old English) and cans of soup. Since Campbell’s pretty much cornered the canned soup recipe market, we excluded all of those immediately. Ditto for the jarred and processed items as they weren’t really very “fresh.” In hindsight, I remember my 20s being a haze of eating out, eating takeout or eating at mom and dad’s, so I understand that lack of depth in one’s recipe box. As for the rest of the members, it is clear that we look to the Food Network for a lot of recipes. We collected many, many recipes that were attributed to Giada, Rachel, Ina, Emeril and Sandra Lee, just to name a few – these were also disallowed. If you want a Food Network recipe, I think it is pretty obvious where to find it! We also got several recipes that were a little to “old fashioned” for our current tastes – think aspics and Jell-O salads.
As we continued to cull the recipes collected through testing and tasting, we reached out to members for recipes we thought might fit our theme and needs and developed recipes to fill holes (i.e. we need more chicken recipes!) These three different avenues – general collection, reaching out for specific recipes and developing needed recipes has led to an outstanding collection of recipes that include fresh, local ingredients with a coastal flair. Many of the recipes in Capture the Coast are great for family or group get-togethers, so grab your friends and family and plan to Capture the Coast!