Cookbooks are one of the most popular genres of books today because of their helpful kitchen tips and meal ideas. College students and beginners in cooking are among those that invest in great cookbooks, but it can be difficult to find a cookbook that has a story of its own.
“There is A Season: An Intentional Approach to Sustenance” is no ordinary cookbook, but the story of its birth and everything the book entails makes it stand out among other recipe books. The launch for the second edition of the book will be held at 6 p.m. at the Healing Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 7.
CEO of RTA Consulting Rita Mathew edited the book, and fourth year University of Georgia student Emma Traynor incorporated her own artwork.
Mathew got her vision for the book after joining the UGA Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program. This program is meant to bring science to the community through environmental lectures and projects, and this gave Mathew the idea to turn a fundraising project into a cookbook.
The cookbook reflects on what the Master Gardeners program is about. Included inside are recipes, articles, photos and quotes that emphasize environmental stewardship, the integration of daily habits of buying and knowing about crops, gardening and learning to grow food. The book is meant to foster health and community connections.
Mathew emphasizes the importance of patterns throughout the book. These patterns can be healthy habits, crop routines or even aesthetic patterns. Seasons are also described as patterns, and the cookbook shows recipes for meals that can be made in each season.
“We decided to look at the bigger picture of patterns, and instead of having a cookbook with appetizers, entrees [or]desserts, what we came up with was seasonal living,” Mathew said. “So we have the book arranged in terms of seasons. We show what would be the best optimal thing to do in spring, summer, fall and winter.”
Traynor was immediately excited about the project because of her background in art, and she thought it was a great way to interact with the Athens community. Traynor and Mathew collaborated and edited drafts of Traynor’s artwork, and throughout the cookbook we see Traynor’s work reflects the recipes.
“This was a project that I wasn’t expecting to be so involved in, but it was a great opportunity and a great experience,” Traynor said. “Rita is an awesome lady doing awesome things. There were so many coincidences about the project that made it feel like it was meant to happen.”
There will be four speakers at the book launch discussing their contributions to the book and their connections to Mathew. The publication of this second edition will support Athens Land Trust, an organization that promotes conservation and development in Athens. The event will highlight the book’s relationship with the organization, and UGA students get a $5 discount on the book.