Deena C. Bouknight – Contributing Writer
Locally known and beloved is the “Cowee Sam” series of informational, educational, and entertaining children’s books. The books follow the adventures and rescue pursuits of a Great Pyrenees shepherd dog. Included in each of the books is at least one recipe. For that reason, as well as to promote family togetherness – and teach children kitchen/cooking skills – author Claire Suminski and artist/graphic designer Susan Swedlund collaborated on a new book, “Cowee Sam’s Family Fun Cookbook,” published by Red Press Company and released May 3.
“The main focus is to make memories with family and friends,” said Swedlund, “and to spend time together in the kitchen. We have some simple recipes. The key is for those families who are busy all day … and tired, to be able to cook a healthy meal together.”
The week before the book’s release, Suminski Family Books hosted a cooking class for children at Macon Appliance Mart, at which four different recipes from the book were prepared and tasted.
It took Suminski and Swedlund at least a year to complete the book, which involved choosing and organizing recipes for three sections: Some of the recipes already included in other published Suminski Family Books; illustrated step-by-step recipes; and farm-to-table recipes contributed by local farmers. Also in the book are tips regarding knife safety, food presentation, growing pizza herbs, and “designing” a soup.
“This is not your typical cookbook,” said Suminski. “It’s packed with information, not just recipes … and it’s full of whimsical illustrations like in the ‘Cowee Sam’ books.”
Suminski and Swedlund have already had a couple of book signings: one at Dalton’s and another at Books Unlimited on Main Street, Franklin. And just in time for Mother’s Day, as a special limited time offer, a Mother’s Day card is available with the “Cowee Sam’s Family Fun Cookbook.”
“Cowee Sam’s Family Fun Cookbook” and other Cowee Sam books are available in at least 15 store locations in five different towns in Western North Carolina and are also available on Amazon.
Suminski and Swedlund have worked together on other Cowee Sam projects, and they plan to team up on future projects – including at least two more cookbooks.