Thursday, February 22, 2024

Chafford Hundred Community Cook Book launched

By Rosie Sparrow

NEARLY a year since the venture started and on Saturday 6th October the final product was revealed. The event that was meant to start at 2pm at the Chafford Nature Park was forced to start early due to high demand. In addition to buying the cook book you could also buy samples of the cakes from the recipe collection (after trying Renee’s Chocolate Cake I can’t wait to have a go myself); various homemade jams and raffle tickets.

With the sun shining, more and more families were making their way to the visitors centre and getting introduced to some of the delights the cook book has to offer. Everything was receiving a very positive reaction, especially as this is the first thing the community has created (and all for the Essex Wildlife Trust, who will decide what project to invest in soon).

Speaking to the author herself, Ann Hart Billingham, she was incredibly happy with the response and support she’s had from the community, as a lot of people have helped make this book possible. After seeing the success of the Chafford Hundred Community Cook Book and enjoying the whole process of creating it (gathering the recipes; choosing a layout; proof reading and publishing etc), Ann has developed a taste for it and will definitely take on another project. I was pleased I managed to quickly speak to her as so many people would come up to congratulate her and ask her questions about her book (it was great to see how interested everyone was in what the community had created).

The samples that were there were a good insight into what you could make with the cook book. The book itself is delightful with several different sections to help piece together the perfect meal. I love the touch of having a kids section with easy recipes and fun food related activities. In addition to food for humans there are also pieces in there for bird feed. In addition to Renee’s Chocolate Cake there are many other recipes that caught my eye from Mum’s Mince Dinner and Traditional Irish Boxty to Moroccan Inspired Cous Cous and Sour Cream and Cheese Scones.

There is something in it for all the family. If you were unable to make the book launch, you will still be able to purchase it from the Chafford Gorge’s Nature Park and when it obtains an ISBN you can even buy it in stores. It was a fantastic reception to a fantastic book which Ann and the community should be proud of.


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