Nearly a year and a half ago, Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the east coast, devastating many parts of the New Jersey shore. Results of the storm can still be found and the rebuilding continues as Summer 2014 begins. In an effort of help residents who lost everything, New Jersey mother-and-daughter team Cheryl Larkin and Kate Kurelja have self published Savoring the Shore, a cookbook whose proceeds go directly to those affected by Sandy.
On a rainy afternoon last month, I met with Larkin and Kurelja to learn more about their cookbook and the story behind its creation. Their story is a personal one: they have a shore house that was spared by Sandy but many of their neighbors were not so lucky. Kurelja described some of the devastation and talked about how, for many homeowners, only “fragments of houses remain that will never be fixed because the houses were owned for generations and the families can’t afford to fix them.” In addition, some schools don’t have the money to replace toys and art supplies so the kids go without. Larkin and Kurelja mentioned many sad stories of New Jersey residents who might never recover from Sandy—and this is why Savoring the Shore was created: to help the people and schools that still need assistance.
So what makes this fundraising cookbook so special? Larkin and Kurelja are home cooks and “foodies,” but not recipe developers, so they reached out to the media, celebrity chefs, bloggers and home cooks to see if they would like to contribute a recipe or story and they were “overwhelmed by the response,” says Kurelja. So many people generously donated recipes for the cookbook in an effort to help rebuild the shore. Filled with 150+ fun and delicious recipes from all-star chefs, restaurant owners, home cooks, and the 2013 Miss America, Mallory Hagan, Savoring the Shore is totally user friendly. “Every recipe has a story and it’s been a wonderful journey” says Larkin.
Larkin and Kurelja truly believe that “Nothing could be more appropriate than a cookbook to celebrate and raise money for Sandy recovery: food equals togetherness.” The cookbook is traditionally categorized into sections including appetizers, brunch, breads, salads and sides, main dishes and sweets. From personal recipes like Kate’s Jersey Style Breakfast Sandwich to salivating cocktail recipes like white sangria by Chef Marilyn Schlossbach to broccoli casserole by Mallory Hagan (Miss America 2013), this is one fabulous cookbook!
In addition, Savoring the Shore is fun and relaxed in a way that’s reminiscent of days spent at the Jersey shore while also making you feel as though you’ve been invited to a fabulous dinner party.
Larkin’s favorite recipe is Nancy’s Fish to Shore by Lucia Harvilchuck and Kurelja’s favorite recipe is grilled whole salmon with grilled vegetables and tomato vinaigrette by Chef David Burke. Both recipes are sea-to-table fresh, easy to make and simply delicious. I truly love this cookbook and how it’s a celebration of the shore, filled with love, stories and togetherness—and the proceeds benefit the ongoing recovery and rebuilding efforts for the Garden State.
To order a copy or to learn more, visit Savoring the Shore online.
Jennifer Miller: I am a mom on a mission: to help others foster a love of eating and preparing wonderful food. I am a passionate home cook, wine enthusiast, meal-planning specialist and budding food blogger, with a love of eating, drinking, food photography and serving fresh farm to table meals. As a mother of three, I am committed to raising “foodie” children who enjoy farmer’s markets, restaurants and artisan food shops. In addition, I share healthy, in-season recipes and tips on my web site http://mealdiva.com and on Facebook as MealDiva. I am very excited to be contributing to Jersey Bites from Hunterdon County!