Roman Life Editor
KWilder@RN-T.com / 290-5262
It took a lot of typing, a lot of organizing, a lot of cooking and a lot of (probably more enjoyable) tasting, but the Darlington Parents Association now has something quite unusual to show for it.
The first Darlington cookbook, “Through These Gates…A Taste of Darlington,” has been selling like, forgive the pun, hotcakes at local stores and putting Darlington on the culinary map at the same time.
“It has been very successful so far,” said Susan Hortman, president of the parents association. “We’ve had a lot of positive response during the tastings we sponsored and the sales are wonderful. We couldn’t be more pleased.”
The book is a bit more than just a cookbook, containing not only recipes, but little tidbits and facts about Darlington, Rome and helpful hints about cooking. Darlington students and faculty have put an artistic spin on the book as well, from the cover painted by Robert Davis, an alumni and art teacher at Darlington, to each of the chapter markers and sidebars drawn by students and featuring various sites at the school’s campus.
“We wanted to do something that would represent the school and would make an interesting fundraiser for the association,” explained Hortman. “Ellen Keene was the president of the parent association at the time we began and she sort of brainstormed and realized that a cookbook would be a wonderful way to draw everyone in.”
“The Lovett School in Atlanta’s cookbook is now in its third printing,” added Karen Bennett, treasurer of the Darlington Parents Association. “We realized our school would lend itself to such a project as well. We have so many different cultures represented at our school and it was a great way to bring the resident families, the in-town families and the faculty together.”
The group put out a request for recipes and received hundreds and had to create tasting and cooking committees to make the recipes so we could pick the best.
“It was a lot of work, but we accomplished it relatively quickly,” said Bennett. “The publisher we used said it usually takes about a year and a half or so to do something like this. We started in August, 2000 and finished that Christmas. Then the book was printed in April, 2001 and we’ve had it available since.”
The success of the book goes across the board, selling at local stores, the Darlington bookstore and on the Darlington School web site. At the upcoming Darlington production of “The King and I,” a dinner called “The King’s Table” will feature recipes from the book.
Even the cafeteria has gotten into the deal.
“Our cafeteria manager uses the book occasionally to make dinner for the boarding students at the school,” said Hortman. “It is quite interesting. He has to go with what he can use, but it does offer a little something different.”
Hortman uses the book herself for the benefit of the students.
“I host some of the boarding students every Thursday for dinner,” she said. “I often pull the book down to look for something a little different to make. Something that young people will enjoy, but that they can’t get by eating out.
“The book is a terrific resource,” she added