By Sue Botos
Over the past 40 years, the Rocky River Senior Center has been cooking up a lot. So it’s only fitting, according to senior services Director Carol Calladine, that a collection of local culinary delights will celebrate this milestone.
Calladine has announced completion of “Hometown Favorites,” a cookbook featuring recipes by notable Riverites, including Mayor Pam Bobst.
“It was a labor of love by the seniors council for a year and a half,” Calladine recently told West Life.
Declining to use the word “abilities,” Calladine commented that the 248 recipes cover “all ambition levels,” from gourmet to easy three-step meals. She added that, along with a little encouragement, favorite recipes were collected from 170 contributors, including Bobst, all City Council members and representatives from each city department.
Other members of the community, including Rocky River Public Library Director Nick Cronin, who said that he submitted his mother’s chicken casserole recipe, and marketing Director Kitty Sommers, contributed recipes for everything from appetizers to desserts. Many residents who are regular attendees at senior center events also contributed. “The most unusual recipe is for homemade ketchup,” said Calladine of the entry provided by Dr. Marvin Shie, an almost daily visitor to the center.
Even some of the city’s culinary professionals were persuaded to include a few of their specialties. For example, George Hwang from Pearl of the Orient in Beachcliff Market Square provided the steps to making the restaurant’s popular Chicken Cashew. While Great Scott Bakery’s Scott Totten didn’t give out any of his confections’ secrets, his mother submitted her pizza recipe.
“We had a lot of fun putting this together,” Calladine said. She described the book as being in a three-ring binder format with images of Rocky River landmarks such as the clock tower and Elmwood Cabin depicted on the divider pages. The cover is a watercolor painting by local artist Bob Moyer, which depicts the “Old River” arch in Downtown River. Other writing aside from recipes will also be featured, such as a poem by former Goldwood Primary School teacher Betsy Roth.
The book will sell for $16 plus tax and be available at the senior center and locations throughout the city.
Calladine said the compilation is in recognition of the senior center’s 40th anniversary. Originally known as the “Department of Aging,” Calladine said the senior center began in the basement of City Hall. It eventually outgrew those quarters as well as the antiquated name, to occupy the present 20,000-square-foot stucco and frame building behind City Hall. The center operates as a municipal office, providing support services, volunteer opportunities, social and recreational activities and fitness classes to residents 60 and older.
Housed in the building are an atrium/lounge, dining room, classroom, gift shop, 298-seat auditorium, arts and crafts facilities, a health clinic and a computer lab. An outdoor garden and patio are also the site of some events.
There is also a licensed social worker available as well as a transport service on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., for trips to medical appointments, local shopping and errands.