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New cookbook reveals ‘Pioneer Secrets’

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TURIN — For 17 years, Frances T. Gaylord has received recipe requests from former patrons of Pioneer Lodge. It was there that her home-cooked meals launched what was once solely a bed and breakfast into a popular dining destination.

“People wanted me to write a cookbook. I had always had the idea I would write one,” Mrs. Gaylord said. “I knew what I wanted to do, just didn’t know how to.”

In January, after years of talking about it, the cookbook began to take shape with the help of her grandchildren, Megan J. and Dean P. Gaylord.

“It’s been her dream forever,” Ms. Gaylord said. She recalled a rainy day in January when they were just sitting around.

“I was thinking we needed to find something adventurous to do,” she said. Her brother, Dean, said it was at that moment they decided, “Let’s get it done.”

“I didn’t have a choice,” Mrs. Gaylord said, noting that her grandchildren were going to make it happen.

The compilation of the book, ‘Pioneer Secrets,’ was smooth. Mrs. Gaylord said she had no difficulty in deciding which recipes to include, though some existed only in her head. She relayed those recipes to her grandchildren, who did all of the typing.

The only difficult part, according to the Gaylords, was finding the correct wording for the narrative section of the book.

Color photos were taken of certain food items and used to adorn the dividers in the finished project, a hardcover, binder-style 128-page book containing 234 recipes.

The contents cover all categories, from breakfasts, soups, salads, main dishes, vegetables and side dishes to breads and desserts. Mrs. Gaylord described the collection as “Country food, wholesome with no preservatives,” noting, “there’s nothing gourmet in there.”

She said her cooking style comes from being raised on a farm, but she admitted a lot of research and additional learning when operating the lodge. Instead of taking a novel to bed, “I took cookbooks,” she said.

The Pioneer Lodge became a dining hot spot in the 1980s. About 20 years ago, her daughter-in-law took over operations, closing the location three years ago. That has not stopped people from requesting recipes.

The first run has almost sold out, with only 60 copies still available. With the speed they’ve been selling, it’s likely the Gaylords will be ordering more soon.

“We sold five before they were even printed,” Mrs. Gaylord said.

The book sells for $20 and is available at the Turin Village Library or by calling Mrs. Gaylord at 348-5240.

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