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County crew has good taste
Stafford government employees share recipes as a way to help the Rappahannock United Way

LEE WOOLF
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Date published: 9/22/2004

By LEE WOOLF

LET'S SEE, what kind of recipe would you expect to find in a cookbook prepared by county government employees

Start with two cups of vital statistics. Add water and stir in a cup of chopped building codes, a tablespoon of budget projections and a pinch of zoning appeals. Sprinkle with vehicle decals. Then cover with red tape and cook until the third Tuesday of next month. Serves seven supervisors.

Just kidding.

But I imagine many residents would assume that if you gave a group of government employees a bag of beans, they would rather count them than create a tasty bowl of chili.

And that assumption couldn't be further from the truth.

In fact, I've got proof that many county staff members are as comfortable in the kitchen as they are in a budget meeting, a boardroom or a building site.

The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Or, in this case, maybe the Jell-O Banana Pudding Cake. That's just one of the intriguing recipes in the latest edition of the "Stafford County Employees Cookbook."

The book features 225 recipes from about 75 current (or retired) government employees representing almost every county department. It can be purchased in the lobby of the Stafford County Administration Center and at the gift shop at Belmont, The Gari Melchers Estate and Memorial Gallery in Falmouth.

Satisfying taste buds is only a secondary goal of the project, however. The cookbook sells for $7.50, and net proceeds benefit the Rappahannock United Way.

"We did a first volume of recipes about seven years ago," said Sue Toeroek, who works in the Commissioner of Revenue's office and chaired the county's cookbook committee. "And it was so successful, we thought we would try it again. We're always looking for new projects to help the United Way."

The cookbook--and other projects, like the community yard sale on Saturday at the Administration Center--will help the county toward its United Way goal of raising $40,000.

Toeroek said the cookbook has been almost a year in the making and consumed about 200 off-duty hours.


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