Small Town Church Cookbook Gets Internationally Known


In the small neighborhood of Herkimer, a group of passionate people for art, faith and food set a dream to share with the world–in the form of a cookbook.  Today over 15 thousand copies have been sold–Eyewitness News reporter Nicole Todd joins us now with more on this filling story.

It’s 700 pages filled with 4 generations of recipes.  Its reviews call it the “cookbook bible”.  The Recipes, Bless the Heart and Home Cookbook had gone international and continues to leave you full but always wanting more.

“The whole book was put together like a patchwork quilt,” said Mary Jane Chlus, Cookbook Committee Chairwoman.

It was a dream, that’s now a reality for the small group of dedicated and hungry cooks from Sts. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Herkimer.  After years of planning and taste testing, the 2,000 recipe cookbook is in the home of over 15 thousand foodies.

“Knowing the culminating activity of almost every social activity is the meal, we just wanted to share our wonderful recipes.”

Whether a beginner or a master chef, the goal was to make this the only book you would need in your kitchen.  With 25 sections of options to cook or bake, all you have to do is get the ingredients and get hungry.

“So if you had apples, you would look in the fruit section and there would be a whole section of apple recipes so this was true for fruits from apples to strawberries to asparagus to zucchini.”

While the book was created by a few members of the Russian heritage, dozens of ethnically diverse foods can be found between the pages.  But to get a better understanding of the traditions of Sts. Peter and Paul Church, they sprinkled throughout.

“And at Easter time we bless baskets of food and those are the foods that are served at our Easter dinner and the meaning and symbolism of those foods. But throughout the whole cookbook there’s scriptural messages, quotes, cooking hints and all of that was done by our artist, Anne Anthony, a lifetime member of our church who has since passed on.”

On the lighter side of the menu options, you’ll find some humor engraved forever for future generations.

“We would cut and paste and put all of this together and all of us that were working on this cookbook never noticed that there was a 5 legged cow in one section and also there is a wonderful recipe for preserving your husband so everyone should read that one too.”

For more info on where you can pick up the book–

-you can call the church at 315-866-3272 or stop by and pick one up at 305 Main Rd. Herkimer, NY 13350
-Go to TJ’s Fruits and Vegetables in Herkimer
-Go to Little Falls Community Co-Op   or
-Go to Prospect Falls Winery

The cookbooks are 20 in person or $25 is being mailed.

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