Nearly 23 years ago Sara Vestal was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. She worried that her time may be cut short with her two daughters, 19 and 15 years old at the time, and she wanted to leave them with something to remember her by, a cookbook.
“It was supposed to be filled with the things they love for me to cook for them…maybe when they got to be a young bride or mother, they could use it,” Vestal said.
Through this scary moment in life came a cookbook, titled “Favorites from Our Table: From My Kitchen to Yours.” It was a project of love for Vestal. All these years later she is finally seeing the project completed and can share recipes that have stood out in her life with her daughters.
She’s not only sharing the book with her family and friends but Vestal has also donated 300 copies to the Yadkinville Business Women. The club started in May 1973 with 33 members. Vestal joined the group in 1975 and was honored as “Business Woman of the Year” in 1991. Over 39 years later and the club now has 18 members.
“I have been involved with the group for so long, and I wanted to do something for them,” Vestal said. “I was only going to order 200 copies but the group encouraged me to sell them. I ordered 500 and told them that I would be happy to donate the book and allow them to see it for charity and they voted to do it.”
The book features 292 recipes that Vestal compiled from her own personal recipe collection as well as recipes from her mother, mother –in-law, extended family members and friends.
“Over the years, I have made lots of things I love,” said Vestal. “My husband, Charles is a good cook, we shared food at friends’ homes, some we ate at family gatherings and if there was anything I ate that I loved, I would ask for the recipe.”
The cookbook includes helpful items throughout. The inside covers include a common substitution chart, roasting chart, pasta cooking times, food storage guidelines, slow cooker tips and measurement equivalents. The book also includes a removable cookbook stand.
“My daughter encouraged me to include those,” Vestal said. “She told me that she hates having to go online to look all of that up and that I should include it somewhere easy to find in the cookbook.”
The book includes eight sections: appetizers and beverages, soups and salads, vegetables and side dishes, main dishes, breads and rolls, desserts, cookies and candy and a special section titled this and that.
“There are a few recipes in this book that also include items which are semi-homemade or store bought to make it quick and easy for a new cook but taste likes the real work went into it,” Vestal said.
Vestal said her favorite recipes in the book are her mother-in-law’s persimmon pudding recipe and another titled Blanche’s Banana Pudding.
Anyone interested in purchasing one of the cookbooks can contact a Kim Matthews at 961-2998 or call Sara Vestal at 336-679-8147. The cookbooks will also be available for purchase at the 36th Annual Harvest Festival in Yadkinville on Sept. 15. The books will be at the Willow House booth.
Books are $20 a piece and all proceeds will be donated to charities through the Yadkinville Business Women’s Club.
Yadkinville Women’s Club President Kim Matthews extends an invitation to all business women to join the club at any of their meetings. For the time and place of the next meeting Matthews can be reached at 961-2998. Vestal is also available to answer questions about membership by calling 679-8147.
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.