HUMBOLDT — What started as a homeschool lesson during isolation due to the pandemic turned into a published community cookbook.
The Official Quarantine Cookbook has over 325 recipes that can be made using basic ingredients, with meals that are designed to be cheap, and can be stretched far.
Dawna Doell, the head creator of the cookbook, said the project was a “happy accident.”
When schools began shutting down due to the pandemic, Doell decided to teach her children some skills in the kitchen despite her own lack of enjoyment around cooking.
“They were begrudging about it, so I said, ‘You know what, let’s put it on Facebook so you can share recipes with aunties and uncles and all of that kind of stuff,’” Doell said.
“My end goal was to have my kids make supper so I don’t have to.”
She created a group, now known as “The Official Quarantine Cookbook.” Doell then shared the link with her friends, so that they could post their favourite recipes for her to teach her children with.
Her friends shared the link with their friends, and they shared a link with their friends, and before long the group had 1,000 members.
“I was absolutely floored because this was basically my kids’ homework assignment,” Doell said.
As of May 7, the group has over 25,000 members.
Doell said her mom Rose Reynaud, who lives in Humboldt, found herself overhearing two local residents talking about it.
“She goes, ‘Oh, are you talking about the official quarantine cookbook?’ and the lady said, ‘Yes, it’s so amazing, have you been on it?’… She goes, ‘Actually that’s my daughter,’” Doell said.
“That lady just couldn’t believe it came out of something local.”
After success with the group as a recipe sharing network, a member pointed out to Doell that they have enough recipes to make a cookbook.
“At 1,000 people it was super manageable and super easy. We had enough recipes to make a little cookbook,” Doell said. “This is basically a worldwide community cookbook.”
Recipes were submitted from Bermuda, the Virgin Islands, Australia, Europe, the U.S. and multiple Canadian provinces.
The books recipes were chosen through volunteers, as was the website, which was designed by Loriann Wuchner, a woman from St. Gregor.
All the funds earned above the cost of production are being donated to Wounded Warriors Canada, and the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Doell said her children are “floored” at the success of the project.
“Kids view the internet and that kind of stuff very differently from somebody my age. My kids are all excited because they’re all about how many likes the page has and how many shares the page has. That doesn’t really mean much to me, because however much there is there is.”
As for their homework assignment, Doell said her original goal of the group was a success.
“They’ll go on there every once in a while and I’ll say, ‘okay, we’re going to make chicken or whatever, tell me what you can do,’ and they’ll come up with it.”
Those wishing to purchase the book can find it at theofficialquarantinecookbook.ca. Orders will be accepted until May 25. However many have been made by May 25 will be printed, and are expected to arrive by July.
Doell said that as of May 5, the number of orders is at more than 2,000.