WORT 89.9 FM
"It started out last January as your garden-variety fundraising cookbook," meant to celebrate "the WORT community," says project coordinator and station volunteer Nancy Mae.
But through the course of the year, the WORT community cookbook, eventually dubbed This Is What Democracy Cooks Like ($25), gained a more pointed identity. Mae says that people protesting anything "need to come together and gather strength. One way we do that is through sharing meals. We have to make sure that we refresh and reinvigorate ourselves."
Although Mae says they eventually got more recipes than expected, "it was like pulling teeth" to collect them. "It took a lot of cajoling."
Mae, formerly a WORT development director, did this on strictly a volunteer basis, as did graphic designer Robin Good, whom Mae credits with doing "10 times the work I did."
The recipes are all over the map. Mae says she was most surprised by the recipe for "Ozarks Smoked Carp," which is for "200 four-ounce servings," though there's also slow-cooked lamb shanks for one. Recipes also run from middle American standards like orange Jell-O salad to the Moosewood-influenced classics of east Madison, like wheatberry salad and lentil loaf. A couple are more like performance art. Most fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.
All 14 of the state Democratic senators contributed recipes, including Tim Cullen's "Slammin' Salmon Loaf." Local restaurants and food carts represent. Also herein: the best replica so far of a recipe for the fabled Guerrilla Cookie, a 1970s Mad City staple.
The first printing of 500 copies of the fat, 312-page, spiral-bound book sold out in two weeks. A second printing of 1,000 is expected to be ready in mid-January; copies can be pre-ordered online via wort-fm.org, where a downloadable "gift intention card" can also be found...if you had been meaning to pick up a copy for some last-minute stocking stuffing.
Here is one of its recipes.
WORT Spinach Balls
- 2 packages frozen spinach, cooked and well drained
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 cups dried bread cubes
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- garlic (a lot) chopped and sauteéd in an excessive amount of butter, salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients. Make small balls. Bake on greased cookie sheet for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.