South Charlotte

Cookbook honors 50 years

The Guild of Discovery Place and Charlotte Nature Museum released a new cookbook in April, "Recipes & Reminiscences: Celebrating 50 Years."

Eight women from the Guild, including Sheryl Gerrard and Patricia Guin, served on the committee that brought the book to fruition.

Proceeds from sales go to a scholarship fund providing museum visits, summer camp experiences and outreach to children who would otherwise be unable to participate.

This isn't the first time the Guild has produced a cookbook. Previous ones were published in 1974 and 1992.

The 2011 cookbook was Gerrard's idea. She chaired the cookbook committee, collecting and editing recipes.

The current cookbook coincides with the Guild's 50th anniversary - it was founded in 1961. Commemoration of the group's history and service was "part of the impetus for the cookbook," said Gerrard, 49.

The Guild has 50 associate and active members, who pay dues and volunteer. Members serve Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum and Discovery Place Kids.

"We would love some more Guild members," said Guin, 46, who heads membership for the Guild's board. Referring to the friendships formed, "It's a family," she said. At present, Guild members are women ranging in age from their 30s to 93.

But men would be welcome.

Charlotte Nature Museum, on Sterling Road adjacent to Freedom Park, predates Discovery Place and the more recent Discovery Place Kids. Guin says longtime Charlotteans may remember their health classes going to the nature museum.

Publisher Morris Press Cookbooks facilitated work on the book, allowing much of it to be done online.

Gerrard enjoyed working with local photographer Edison Searles, who specializes in photo restoration. He expertly handled old photographs and vintage paper fliers for inclusion in the book.

"I was really adamant that the cover have some color to it," said Gerrard. Andy Crews, graphics coordinator for Discovery Place, researched colors and fonts historically accurate to the group's 1960s origins.

Recipes were contributed by current and former members of the museums, staffers, friends and Guild members. Comments and stories supplement the recipes.

They say people who grew up in Charlotte around the 1970s will like recalling popular fundraisers from the organization's past, such as the celebrated haunted houses the group did at Halloween in unoccupied Myers Park homes.

Recipes are diverse. "There's a little of everything," said Gerrard.

The cookbook is available for $12 in the gift shops of Discovery Place and Charlotte Nature Museum and through Visit Charlotte.