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Valerie Phillips: Best lunch in town is now in print

The best lunch in town isn't at a restaurant, according to a Sandy quilting group, aptly named "Gone to Pieces."

Instead, the members say the potluck feasts from their weekly quilting sessions, which they've been holding for 12 years, are "the best lunch in town."

They've shared recipes along with quilt patterns and fabric scraps. Now they've published their favorites in a cookbook called — you guessed it — "The Best Lunch in Town."

It's on sale Saturday at the group's semiannual public quilt display, which will be held at 2520 E. Walker Lane (5450 South), from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Proceeds from the $3 admission fee, as well as the $12 cookbook, will go to The Road Home charity.

The 135-page cookbook gives a brief history of the group, noting that some members have won local and national awards, are published in quilting magazines or own pattern businesses.

"But most of us are content to just be together and relax from our harried lives in the joy of our simple and beautiful creations," wrote Lorraine Day, who founded the group in 1992. "Nowhere on any Tuesday is there a better place to eat than our potluck table that has been cleared of rotary cutters and stacks of fabric, and replaced with healthy delicious offerings."

When the quilting pot lucks started, Yvonne Trapani began collecting the recipes and organized them in loose-leaf binders for each member.

"When you brought something to share, people would say, 'Oh, that's so good, will you give us the recipe?' " said Sue Utley, a quilter with the group. "So, we'd give them to Yvonne."

Other members, including Janet Peterson, author of "Remedies for the 'I Don't Cook' Syndrome," helped edit the collection into a cookbook. The recipes aren't necessarily original; they are simply a collection of the group's favorites. The book is liberally sprinkled with members' thoughts, such as this one from Julie Tullis:

"I love to quilt because at night when I sit down and quilt, it looks like I'm doing something, when I really am too tired to do anything else."

Those who can't make it to the quilt show can e-mail n7tzy@yahoo.com to order the book.

Here are two recipes from the book:


CARAMEL APPLE COFFEE CAKE

3 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cup oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups apples, peeled and chopped

1 cup nuts

Beat eggs until foamy; gradually add sugar. Blend in oil and vanilla. Combine flour, salt and soda; add to egg mixture. Stir in apples and nuts. Spray a 10-inch tube or bundt pan with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cake to a serving platter.

Topping:

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup milk

1 cup brown sugar

Pinch salt

Combine butter, milk, brown sugar and salt in saucepan; boil 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Cool slightly and pour over cake. — Nancy Simpson


ZUCCHINI SOUP

4 cups sliced, steamed and pureed zucchini

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup evaporated canned milk

1/2 cup cheese (Velveeta or cheddar)

1 teaspoon salt

Slice and steam the zucchini. Puree it to make 4 cups. Mix zucchini, mushroom soup, canned milk, cheese and salt together in a large saucepan and heat. Do not boil. Do not freeze. — Jan Martin


E-mail: vphillips@desnews.com