Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"Cookbooks for a Cause" a Big Success!

Mary Cannon (l) and Angela Salvo (r), both of Fairfield, browsing through cookbooks.

On Saturday, September 22, 2007, I held The First Annual "Cookbooks for a Cause"---a cookbook sale for charity. As a cooking instructor and owner of The Secret Ingredient Cooking School, it was important to me to give back to the community which has been so supportive of my business. Thanks to MANY people and their generosity, I received OVER 400 books for the sale. Friends brought them to play dates and parties where they knew I'd be, strangers left boxes full of books on my steps, sometimes with a note, sometimes anonymously. People from all corners of Fairfield, Connecticut and beyond were happy to donate wonderful cookbooks, many in brand-new condition, to support a very worthy cause. The charity I chose to be the recipient of this year's sale is Quota International of Fairfield County. Quota's local G.R.A.C.E Project helps local kids with special needs in the schools, particularly those on the autism spectrum.

The day of the sale was exciting, and the weather looked like it would cooperate. Since I held the sale in my driveway, "tag-sale-style", I had sent many prayers asking for clear skies. My husband and I set up the hundreds of books up on borrowed tables. Categories included "notable authors", "general cooking", "ethnic cooking", "healthy & vegetarian cooking", "baking", "kids", and "Brand New Books!"--- the latter of which were generously donated by Bigelow Tea. The first customer of the day purchased a collectible Better Homes and Garden's binder cookbook for $2.00, and we ended on a high note when the last customer of the day walked away with a large stack of new and like-new cookbooks for $79.00.

Victoria Eastus (l) of Fairfield purchasing cookbooks at the sale from me (r).

As I closed up my cash box, I felt a drop of rain. I quickly moved the remaining books into my garage right before the skies opened up, and went inside to count the proceeds. The sale made close to $600 in three hours. For the first year of an event, I was very pleased. Since I still had a number of terrific books left over, I decided to make them available for sale on my website and at my cooking classes, and add to the amount of money going to Quota as they are purchased.

Thanks to everyone who donated so many cookbooks, tables, tents, and assistance with the sale. Thanks also to the local media outlets which helped promote the sale (SuzySaid.com and The Fairfield Citizen-News). In its first year, the sale was a success, and I hope for it to be even bigger and better in the years to come.


mom said...

That's great! I'm so impressed that you took the initiative to do this. Also - we tried beer can chicken and liked it! I can attest that it truly IS hard to ruin, because we had an awful time getting our grill temp to be consistent -- it was as low as 300 and as high as 600! But, in the end, the bird was very juicy. Next time I'd go bolder falvor wise -- I think maybe some rosemary and sage under the breast skin? -- but I will DEFINITELY do this again. No pan to clean up!
Thanks for the tip!


Yes, putting herbs under the skin is always a great way to inhance flavor! I do it with my chickens, and also with my turkey on Thanksgiving! Try putting some seasoning in the beer can too--- any bold-flavored seasoning blend is fine. Enjoy!