Georgia Magazine - October 2009 - (Page 36)

An ounce of invention Seven sisters, two cookbooks are worth a pound of cure BY LAURA BERRIOS I t reads like a fairy tale: Seven sisters turn their love of cooking and collecting recipes into a money-making venture and end up financing a kidney transplant for one of the siblings. If that sounds like a sweet dream, don’t wake these Hogansville natives just yet. Martha Hale, Becky Ott-Carden and Ellen Hubbard, all of Hogansville, Shirley Williamson of Newnan, Bobbie Williams of Statesboro, Joyce Harlin of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Willie Todd of Lexington, Ky., never intended to put together a book of family recipes for anyone other than their own children and grandchildren. But three years ago, at the urging of friends and a local newspaper reporter, they each chipped in $157 and self-published “Sisters Family Cookbook,” a spiral-bound book filled with simple, Southern recipes passed down from family and friends, and sprinkled with poems and stories. They were sure the minimum 300-book order would gather dust in a closet. Sharing their favorite family recipes, seven sisters, originally from Hogansville, created two cookbooks, which now help sibling Shirley Williamson with her kidney transplant expenses. Instead, the cookbooks “sold like hotcakes from the beginning,” says Becky. Last year, the sisters published a companion: “Sisters Family Cookbook Second Helping.” The set of two books costs $20, plus shipping, with proceeds going to help Shirley, who received a kidney from her husband’s great niece in March 2008. Since then more than 6,000 cookbooks have been ordered from the publisher, and friends and strangers alike have offered to peddle them. Advertising is still by word of mouth, and many of the cookbooks are sold from a car trunk or festival tent. At Shirley’s Newnan home, the telephone rings constantly with people placing orders. Sometimes she’ll get requests in the mail with an attached note: “We’re praying for you.” “It’s been overwhelming,” says Shirley. “I’m in awe of how long that cookbook has been selling. It has literally saved my life.” Saving Shirley’s life seems to have been the purpose for these How to order: A set of the two “Sisters” cookbooks are available for $23 (includes shipping). Or they can be ordered individually; “Sisters Family Cookbook” is $10 plus $3 shipping, and “Sisters Family Cookbook Second Helping” runs $12 plus $3 shipping. Make all checks payable to Shirley Williamson Kidney Fund, and mail to: Shirley Williamson, 501 Commonwealth Cir., Newnan, GA 30263. For more information, contact Shirley Williamson at (770) 683-1957, or Becky Ott-Carden at (706) 637-4143. Celebrating their mom’s 80th birthday in 2002 at Highland Baptist Church in Hogansville are, from left, sisters Ellen Hubbard, Bobbie Williams, Martha Hale, Becky Ott-Carden, Shirley Williamson, Joyce Harlin and Willie Todd. 36 GEORGIA MAGAZINE

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - October 2009

Georgia Magazine - October 2009
Picture This?
Festival Guide
Special Energy Report
Treasures in Tennessee
My Georgia
Georgia Gardens
Georgia Cooks
Cookbook of the Month

Georgia Magazine - October 2009