Trumbull recipe book helps residents share meals and memories
Forget eating like a king, Trumbull residents can eat like a small town elected official this holiday season.
The Trumbull Senior Center Commission’s “Friends and Neighbors’ Recipe Book” is now available for sale at the Center and Town Hall. The books feature 175 recipes from town residents and officials, plus dozens of watercolor illustrations by Trumbull seniors. Due to a mixup with the printer, the $7 books available now are black and white. Color versions, which will cost $10, should arrive in early January.
Isaac said the idea for the book was to share family favorites — the kind that had been handed down through generations.
“One of our contributors summed up the ‘why’ we created this recipe book,” she wrote on the book’s title page. “It’s easy to tell which recipes are often used. The pages are yellow, spotted from liquids and frayed at the edges, They also hold memories beyond food: Holidays, families and friends gathered to feast and celebrate together; or everyday food for families and friends.”
The book includes appetizers, cocktails, soups and salads, main and side dishes, breads, desserts and more in its 100-plus pages. Many of the recipes also include personal titles and stories, like Grandma Connie’s Manicotti by Senior Center intern Katie Vodola.
“My grandma showed me how to make this recipe when I was very young, and my family makes it every year on Christmas (to remember) her by,” she wrote.
Senior Center Commission Member Marcy Kelly shared a traditional Tuesday night family recipe, Mrs. Dinap’s Casserole.
“When Tom Kelly and I were dating, my mom would invite him for dinner every Tuesday,” Marcy Kelly wrote. “This recipe was one of his favorites.”
Linda Ciocci spread the memory of her grandmother with a recipe for Grandma’s Sweet Rolls.
“My mom’s mom made these rolls for the holidays and my mom (Norma Pace) passed it on to me, as I will to my daughter,” she wrote.
Health Director Luci Bango shared her family memories and breakfast tradition with her grandmother’s French crepe recipe.
“My grandmother, who was French, always made these for my family — especially my brother and me,” she wrote. “This recipe was handed down to my mother, who continued making them for a weekend breakfast treat.”
If you can’t be home for the holidays, bring home with you with Trumbull Recreation Manager Jill Hiriak’s specialty, Alice’s Christmas Cookies.
“These cookies are a Christmas tradition for my family,” she wrote. “No matter where I am during the holidays, these cookies make me feel like I’m home.”
Some recipes are for variations on well-known dishes, like Police Officer Kelly Brown’s cornbread, or Town Clerk Mary Markham’s linguine and clam sauce. Others are for dishes obscure enough that the author felt compelled to explain what they were, exactly.
Tori Benoit, the Senior Center’s wellness nurse, submitted her family recipe for beolush. The word translates as “white” and the dish is a Byram Slovak equivalent of a white pizza.
“When I describe it, I say ‘a baked mashed potato cheddar cheese bread,’” she said.
Among elected officials, Markham and Board of Finance member and former First Selectman Paul Timpanelli gave some insight into how they relax after a tough day campaigning. Timpanelli submitted his favorite recipe for a Gold Rush cocktail and Markham went with a peachy white sangria.
Board of Finance Chairman Elaine Hammers saved herself some explanations with a carrot cake recipe.
“It was shared with me by a colleague 45 years ago, and every time I make it someone asks me for the recipe,” she wrote.
Some of the recipes are quite simple, like Delores Bonitatebus’ Cheerio Cookies, with three ingredients, and Heather Grew’s Death By Chocolate Truffle, with four. Others are more complicated, like Kathleen McGannon’s Rice and Vegetable Salad submission, which weighs in at 19 ingredients.
Ultimately, even with all the recipes in the book, Isaac said the goal is to share old family favorites, and add a few new ones.
“We hope you enjoy making these special recipes in this book as well as find some new family favorites,” she wrote.