They came in carrying plates, casserole dishes and plastic containers holding an assortment of food — inspired by books they had read.
One brought in a chocolate cake, inspired by “The Help.”
Another brought a platter of corn dogs and a bottle of lemonade — an homage to “State Fair.”
A third had a plate of chocolate chip cookies, a tip of the hat to “Murder She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery.”
There were other items, too, including a casserole of bread pudding, a butterscotch cake, and a container of spring rolls.
As they arrived, members of the Cookbook Club at Zephyrhills Public Library began chatting, as if they’d just seen each other the day before — even though the club only meets once a month.
And, they wasted little time in getting themselves down to the business — and pleasure — of tasting each other’s offerings.
The club, formed slightly over a year ago, was the idea of Andi Figart, the library’s former director.
Club meetings are on the fourth Wednesday of the month, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., in the community meeting room at the library, 5347 Eighth St., in Zephyrhills. (Please note, the time sometimes changes, so it’s a good idea to call ahead).
Essentially, it’s a club made up of people who enjoy reading and cooking, or at the very least enjoy sampling different foods.
Each month, the club convenes and club members share food they have made, or have purchased, to reflect a particular theme they selected during the previous gathering.
In January, for instance, the theme was foods based on books that members have read.
For February, club members chose a “Red, White and Blue” theme, so they’ll bring foods reflecting those three colors.
Generally, around a half-dozen or so club members come to the meeting.
There are no culinary or literary credentials needed to belong to this club.
Club members said they welcome anyone who would like to join them.
Dave Domino, who acknowledges he’s not a cook, comes regularly, with a container of freshly cooked spring rolls.
He shared his recipe for the spring rolls once: “Go over to Best Thai. You put out your credit card and you bring them (spring rolls) back here.”
Domino said the sessions are a great way for the community to use the library. It also gives library patrons a chance to mingle with library staff, he said.
“Everybody’s nice,” added Diana Flack, a club regular, who was there with her husband, John.
Club members said they enjoy socializing and sharing their food.
“It’s fun,” Flack said. Plus, she picks up some good recipes.
“Somebody made a really awesome enchilada casserole, and I got that recipe and I made it last night, actually. I make it a couple of times a month,” she said.
Over the months, the club has had Italian, chocolate, Greek and vegan themes, to name a few.
“We’ll have to do Portuguese sometime,” Flack said. “I make a wicked Portuguese kale soup.
“A lot of my friends I went to school with were Portuguese.”
Allyson Schmitt, who has been a member for about six months, came up with the idea for January’s theme. She made a butterscotch cake, inspired by the Butterbeer in the Harry Potter series of books.
People share recipes they have from a variety of sources, said Debbie Lopez, senior circulation clerk at the library. Some bring in recipes from their personal cookbooks, or that they have found online. Some find recipes in cookbooks at the library, too, she said.
For more information about the club or other library activities, call (813) 780-0064.
Zephyrhills Public Library Cookbook Club
Where: The Zephyrhills Public Library, 5347 Eighth St., in Zephyrhills
When: Fourth Wednesday of the month, 12:30 p.m. (but, call ahead to make sure there hasn’t been a change in schedule)
Details: This group meets once a month to share their love of reading and eating. They bring dishes to share, based on a specific theme.
Cost: Attendance is free; participants are asked to bring a dish to share
Info: Call the Zephyrhills Public Library for more information, at (813) 780-0064
Published February 21, 2018