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Senior advisory committee cooking up tasty book idea

Whenever he paid a visit to his mother, Clyde Zunk said that one of the first things he did was reach for the cookie jar.

The now-72-year-old Oak Harbor resident said he's trying to dig up his mother's sugar cookie recipe - which she inherited from her mother - to submit to the activities committee of the Ottawa County Senior Advisory Board.

"My mother was very good at cookies and fudge," said Mr. Zunk, who is the vice chairman of the year-old committee.

The six seniors who sit on the committee along with other individuals who are involved in it have been working since spring to gather recipes from Ottawa County senior citizens. They'll be included in the first Ottawa County Seniors' Cookbook, Oldies But Goodies, said Dianne Mortensen, a senior recreational therapist for Ottawa County Senior Resources.

So far, the committee has about 100 recipes from seniors who may not cook as often as they used to but still have their favorite recipes - many that have been handed down from generation to generation.

In addition to the usual fare, like entrees, casseroles, and desserts, the cookbook will include recipes low in calories, low in sugar, or low in carbohydrates.

The book will also be peppered with cooking and household tips, quotes about the best advice your mother or father ever gave you, and poetry.

"We're trying to give it a little more spice," Ms. Mortensen said.

She suggested putting together a cookbook after seeing the success her relatives had with a family cookbook.

"It sounded like fun," she said. "And I realized how popular it was and how much people loved it. So much that happens in our lives revolves around food. The seniors thought it was a great idea, and I wanted the county to come together."

Ms. Mortensen said she expects that the cookbooks will cost less than $10 each. The goal is to get them ready to sell around Mother's Day in May.

Proceeds from the cookbook sale will be equally divided to benefit the six Ottawa County senior centers, which are:

•Genoa Senior Center, 514 Main St.

•Elmore Golden Oldies, 19225 West Witty Rd.

•Oak Harbor Harbor Lights, 8180 West State Rt. 163.

•Port Clinton Senior Center, 320 East Third St.

•Danbury Senior Center, 8470 East Harbor Road in Lakeside-Marblehead.

•Put-In-Bay Senior Center, 195 Concord Ave.

The money will help pay for senior activities, such as crafts, entertainment, and day trips, Mr. Zunk said.

Recipes can be submitted to any local senior center, or mailed to Dianne Mortensen, senior recreational therapist, 8180 West State Rt. 163, Oak Harbor, Ohio 43449.

Residents should make sure to include the recipe title, ingredients, and directions as well as the name of the person submitting the recipe and the senior center to which he or she belongs.

Comments on the recipe, such as "family favorite," or "potluck recipe," are also welcome.

"I think it's a very good idea," Mr. Zunk said.

"I'm really gung-ho for it. I think it will go over real good out here."

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