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Longboat Key Garden Club plans member cookbook

Longboat Key Garden Club officers Susan Loprete, Sharon Meir, Susan Mason, Melanie Dale, Lyn Haycock and Susan Phillips at the 2023 club's Arbor Day Picnic & Annual Meeting.
Longboat Key Garden Club officers Susan Loprete, Sharon Meir, Susan Mason, Melanie Dale, Lyn Haycock and Susan Phillips at the 2023 club's Arbor Day Picnic & Annual Meeting.
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The Longboat Key Garden Club will be spilling all its secrets, but they won't be about plants or gardening. Instead, they will be sharing their best tips and tricks in the kitchen.

Coming this fall, the club will be releasing a cookbook with a compilation of the members’ favorite recipes. 

The Garden Club announced the project to the public at its annual Arbor Day Picnic on April 25. The idea has been in the works for two and a half years. It was originally proposed to the club in 2022 as the latest fundraising project. Members hope that this book will be a "legacy" keepsake of the Garden Club and its impact on the Key and the area.

President Melanie Dale and member Kimberly Roberts are leading a team on the project. Dale said they recently collected all the member recipes that will be included and are not accepting any more. The committee will take the summer to prepare the book for the publishers. 

The cookbook is a fun spin on how they usually approach fundraising. Dale took on the project because she thought the idea was unique. She hopes it will bring members together by sharing their favorite recipes with their friends and bring different people to their cause.

Tina Anderson hosting a cooking class for the Longboat Key Garden Club.
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“I love to cook, so that is the reason that I took it on,” said Dale. “As president, I want us to start reaching in different directions when it comes to reaching people here and speaking the word on what the Garden Club does.”

The Garden Club has chosen Morris Press Cookbooks to print the books. Morris Press Cookbooks is the nation’s largest cookbook publisher and has been used by different fundraising organizations across the country. 

With their efforts in environmental education and impact, Dale said that the book is focused on recipes that incorporate natural and plant themes to create awareness for the club’s mission. 

Dale shared that the book will also be a memento for members to look back on Garden Club memories and to share with their loved ones. She said it reminds her of the cookbooks that her mom passed down to her. Dale hopes that it will turn into a special tradition for the members. 

The book will be available for purchase in the fall, with Garden Club members getting priority first. Dale will be partnering with local businesses to sell them around the Key as well. Sales on the cookbook will be launched in time for the holiday season to be the perfect gift for residents and Longboat lovers. 

The club is hoping to raise several thousand dollars from the book in the coming years. The proceeds will be going to its scholarship program and other club initiatives such as its beautification projects around the island. 

Garden Club member Susan Phillips said, “I’m looking forward to trying recipes from our members and sharing some of my own favorites too.”



Petra Rivera

Petra Rivera is the Longboat community reporter. She holds a bachelor’s degree of journalism with an emphasis on reporting and writing from the University of Missouri. Previously, she was a food and drink writer for Vox magazine as well as a reporter for the Columbia Missourian.

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