In Print : "Good Cooking Good Eating" says it all
Good Cooking Good Eating from Daybreak Clubhouse, 86 pp., 2008, $10
Daybreak Clubhouse, which is part of Martha's Vineyard Community Services, provides a safe, respectful, and supportive environment for members working toward optimal mental health. It emphasizes employment opportunities, and the 35 active members and staff work together in all of the club's operations.
Having just celebrated its 30th anniversary in June, Daybreak has released a cookbook to raise money for its activities. Published in an attractive, easy-to-use loose-leaf binding, "Good Cooking Good Eating from Daybreak Clubhouse" includes 83 recipes culled from the Clubhouse's lunch menus and has illustrations by club members.
"The kitchen produces such fantastic meals that we thought they should be shared," says Executive Director Carolyn Eddy.
Oak Bluffs resident Sue Collinson supervises the cooking, which is done cooperatively by club members and staff. Lunch is offered to members five days a week at the Clubhouse, and it is open on holidays and one day of the weekend.
The emphasis is on healthy and tasty food from a variety of ethnic sources. The 10 recipe categories include soups, salads, pasta dishes, rice dishes, chicken and turkey, beef, potluck, brunch ideas, baking, and desserts.
Among the soups, cold cucumber and roasted tomato are helpful choices when summer gardens produce bumper crops. The Asian chicken salad features the tang of curry and ginger, balanced with seedless grapes and celery. A plus for many of the recipes is the option of substituting an ingredient like raisins in the Asian chicken salad instead of grapes.
In some cases, recipes don't quite fit into the categories listed in the Table of Contents. The disadvantage of folding Joyce's cranberry relish and Joyce's croutons in with salads is that the reader might overlook their use with recipes in other categories like turkey meatballs or asparagus with cheese sauce.
A particular Clubhouse favorite is the gobbler burger, which turns Thanksgiving menu favorites like stuffing, turkey, and cranberry sauce into one delectable item. Another favorite, Daybreak baked potatoes, transforms a simple baked potato into a smorgasbord of possibilities that can suit a variety of taste buds by suggesting toppings like sour cream, cheddar cheese, broccoli, bacon, tomatoes, and scallions.
The Daybreak Clubhouse serves leftovers on Fridays in order to use up what hasn't been eaten. It would have been an asset to include an "Imaginative Ideas for Leftovers" category to help readers extend the variety of their options.
One of the more intriguing ethnic recipes offered is Jag (an abbreviation for Jagacida), which is a Portuguese or Cape Verdean variation on beans and rice that calls for chorizo sausage and frozen vegetables. Two recipes for shepherd's pie give that old standby a new look. Caraway seeds, green cabbage, and cider vinegar spice up hearty beef stew.
Particularly enticing in the dessert section are Indian pudding and peanut butter frosting. Sections on meal planning and shopping, helpful conversions, and a list of cooking terms make this cookbook a helpful introduction to cooking for the novice.
The Daybreak Clubhouse is now in its fourth year at the Woodland shopping area off State Road in Vineyard Haven. Working alongside staff, members helped design and build the facility. The organization is undergoing accreditation so that it can achieve international clubhouse status.
The cookbook is available at the Vineyard Haven Thrift Store, Community Services, and by calling the Clubhouse at 508-696-7563. CD-Rom versions can also be purchased.
Brooks Robards reviews art, films, books, and theater for The Times.