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A taste of Arlington

Co-authors, from right, Sylvia Miller, Linda Detchemendy, Janet Kalaf and Geri Schub — all members of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Arlington — recently published a cookbook. - Adam Rudnick
Co-authors, from right, Sylvia Miller, Linda Detchemendy, Janet Kalaf and Geri Schub — all members of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Arlington — recently published a cookbook.
— image credit: Adam Rudnick

Women’s group compiles new cookbook

ARLINGTON — From African yam and peanut soup to zucchini relish, a new cookbook compiled by a group of local women is aimed to please all appetites.

The cookbook, titled “Bless Us Oh Lord,” was compiled by the women’s group at Immaculate Conception Parish in Arlington.

“We wanted to get recipes from people in the parish and from people who have had somebody pass away,” said Geri Schub, one of the book’s authors.

Some of those recipes come from long-time members of the church, while other come from across the world.

Immaculate Conception has a sister parish in Bungoma, Kenya, and some recipes included in the cook book came from a group of the Arlington church who visited the country.

“People just started sending in their recipes,” said Janet Kalaf, chair of the women’s group and co-author of the book. “It wasn’t just women — we had men, children, our priest, his mother. We even got some recipes from our other sister parish in Darrington.”

By the time the group had submitted their book to press, it contained more than 600 recipes — about twice as many as the group’s last book, which was published in 2002. Only about six recipes are in both books.

This year’s book is not just larger. The cook book also contains symbols for recipes, designating them as appropriate for diabetics or vegetarians.

Those symbols also reveal more about each recipe beyond its ingredients. Symbols show whether the dish freezes well, can be made in a slow cooker or if it is for pets.

But not all the recipes are serious.

One of Schub’s recipes is “Elephant Stew,” which calls for one elephant, seasoned brown gravy and two rabbits.

“Add rabbits, if desired, but most people do not like to find hare in their stew,” the recipes states.

“Most of our recipes are normal, but there are a few that are like that,” Schub said. “It’s one of those personal touches that makes it fun to read.”

Women’s group members received about 800 copies of the book in March to sell. Proceeds from the recipe collection are donated back into the community. The group’s 23 active members organize a number of fundraisers and food, school supplies and clothes drives.

“We really believe that our organization is to serve our God and serve our community,” Kalaf said.

The book is for sale at Immaculate Conception. Cost is $17.50 until April 25 and $20 after. The church can be reached at 360-435-8565.

“We’ve been really please with the book,” Schub said. “We’ve got lots of compliments so far.”

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