‘Safer at Home in Waupaca’
Cookbook commemorates life during pandemic
By Angie Landsverk
The two organizations are preparing to accept preorders for the cookbook that shows what people cooked and baked during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Safer at Home in Waupaca” is expected to feature about 120 recipes.
“Most of the recipes have some sort of story, or are covid related,” said Nancy Root Miller.
She works at the library.
Miller, as well as Tracy Behrendt and Laura Jandacek, are working on the project.
Behrendt is the historical society’s director, and Jandacek is the library’s adult programming coordinator.
Working on the project with library staff has been rewarding, Behrendt said.
“The library is such a wonderful partner to us and in the community. It worked out so well that both of our organizations had been thinking about doing a cookbook at some point in the future,” she said.
Time capsule of pandemic
Behrendt said when the pandemic began earlier this year, the library had the idea to create more of a pandemic cookbook to preserve recipes and stories from this time.
“The cookbook will be a time capsule for our community, as it not only includes recipes but also stories and photographs from the last seven months of the pandemic,” she said.
They hope to have it available around Nov. 26.
Links to the presale order form are being posted on the the websites of the historical society and library, as well as on the Waupaca Farm Market’s website.
Jandacek said people may also pick up the form via the library’s curbside service.
The cost of the cookbook is $10.
Cash and checks payable to the Waupaca Historical Society are being accepted.
Order forms and payment may be dropped off at the library – in an envelope at any of the book drops or curbside – or through the drop to the right of the front door at the Holly History and Genealogy Center.
People may preorder the cookbook up until the time it is available.
The project was made possible by a number of sponsors.
They are Waupaca Rotary, Community First Credit Union, Waupaca Community Arts Board, Beiser Realty, Wisconsin Public Service Foundation, BankFirst, ThedaCare, Waupaca Foundry, Udoni and Salan Realty Group, RE/MAX Lyons Real Estate, Kwik Trip and the Waupaca Area Genealogical Society.
This helped offset the cost and keep the cost low for the public, Behrendt said.
“Their contributions also helped to make this a wonderful fundraiser for the historical society and library, two organizations that have felt the effects of the pandemic closures,” she said.
All proceeds benefit the two organizations.
Behrendt said they had a great response to the project.
Recipes from residents
They began collecting submissions on July 1.
“We received many recipes – from vegetables and entrees to sweets and breads. It was a great mix of recipes,” she said. “I am already looking forward to making a number of them at home.”
They are in the editing process right now.
Miller said there are recipes for soups, entrees, sides, bread and sweets.
“The last chapter is called ‘Everything Else,’” she said.
People of all ages submitted recipes, from children to those in their 90s.
Some included not only pictures of the food, but also photos of what people were doing during this time, Miller said.
One woman submitted a recipe for each of her three granddaughters who live in Texas.
Miller said each granddaughter picked a recipe.
“And then the two of them made them from scratch via Zoom,” she said.
Among the recipes is one from the late Bonni Miller, an integral part of Waupaca’s farm market.
“It was very important to have Bonni in there,” Miller said.
Miller said they received two recipes from two different people for a specific Chilean casserole.
There are also recipes for such things as Distance Dip and Hug Knots.
“The stories are fantastic,” she said.
There are stories about people not being able to find certain items in the grocery stores last spring.
“It’s just a great historical account,” Jandacek said.
She said working on the project is almost therapeutic.
“And everyone was so pleased that we were doing this and to be part of it,” Miller said.
Officer Outfitters is printing the cookbook.
Once it is printed, the original submissions are being moved to the Holly History and Genealogy Center, Behrendt said.
“We will scan them all in (those that were submitted on paper forms) so we have digital copies of all of the submissions. Any paper copies will be stored archivally together utilizing proper preservation techniques,” she told the Waupaca County Post.
With cooler temperatures here and the pandemic continuing, Behrendt said the cookbook will be a great item to have in the kitchen this winter.
“The recipes should certainly last someone all winter and into the next year,” she said. “The cookbook will be a wonderful keepsake for our community and a great gift for the holidays.”