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Community suppers have long been popular events at
the Community Centers throughout the county.  Local residence get together for socials
gatherings, benefits or fundraisers, and to share their favorite dishes.  It’s only natural that cook books filled with
recipes from the community cooks developed from all these dinners.

In 1959 the Balsam Grove Community Development Club
used the proceeds from the sale of their cook book to aid in the completion of
The Albert Schweitzer Memorial Hospital. 
The hospital construction had begun in 1955 as a community project
inspired by Dr. Gaine Cannon to bring medical care to the area.  The cook book includes a wild game section
with recipes for venison, squirrel, or opossum.

Cook books from the communities of Connestee, Lake
Toxaway, Little River, Sapphire-Whitewater, Sherwood Forest and Williamson
Creek are also part of the North Carolina Room collection at the Transylvania
County Library.

Cover of Mathatasian Club cook book.

Over the years other groups have published cook
books as well.  The earliest local cook
book is a small collection of recipes compiled by the Mathatasian Club in 1939.

Sarah Tilson contributed the following recipe for
English Christmas Cookies.

2 cups brown sugar

2/3 cup butter

2/3 cup sour milk

3 eggs beaten separately

1 teaspoon each of soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves,
and nutmeg

Add 1 cup dates, 1 cup nuts, 3 cups flour

Drop small teaspoonful of batter in a greased pan
and bake.

Sarah Tilson was a long time high school math
teacher in Transylvania County.  After
retiring from the school system she worked for the Library.  Mrs. Tilson was responsible for starting the
Library’s Local History collection.

There are also cook books from the Brevard Fire Department Ladies
Brevard Music Center, Brevard Women’s Association, Center for Dialogue, Order of the Eastern
Star, Elks Lodge Ladies Auxiliary, Family Place,
Jaycettes, Land of Waterfalls
Senior Games, Little River Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary, Pisgah Forest
Elementary Parents & Educators, Sapphire Lakes Ladies Golf Association, and
Transylvania County Handcrafters’ Guild.

“Prize Recipes of Rosman” by the Ladies Auxiliaries

of the Rosman Rescue Squad &

Rosman Volunteer Fire Department.

While most of the recipes are typical fare, others are
traditionally Southern, such as Rosie Powell’s Ramps and Potatoes found in the Rosman
Rescue Squad & Fire Department Ladies Auxiliaries cook book.

6 large potatoes

2 doz. ramps

½ c. bacon dripping

1 tsp. salt

Clean and cut up ramps, using about half of
stem.  Cube potatoes.  Place in pan and cover with water.  Add salt and ½ of bacon drippings.  Bring to a boil and cook until tender.  Drain. 
Place remaining bacon drippings in skillet (iron) and heat to
sizzling.  Add potatoes and ramps and fry
to a light brown.  Serve with any kind of
meat and cornbread.

If you have cook books published by a Transylvania
County church or organization that you would like to donated to the Local
History Room collection please contact Marcy.

Photographs and information for this column are
provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County
Library.  Visit the NC Room during
regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see
additional photographs.  For more
information, comments or suggestions contact Marcy at
[email protected] or 828-884-3151 X242.

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(828) 884-3151

212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712