Cooking from Cary

HOW will you remember the pandemic? For some, the memories will be terrible, even sadly tragic. For some traumatic. For everyone it’s been a life-changing experience.

And it has brought out the best in some people and some communities. Take Castle Cary, for instance.

In March 2020, as the coronavirus really hit and the country went into lockdown, a group called Cary Cares was formed. It grew out of an initial effort to help with people suffering from isolation, and needing help of all kinds, including shopping.

Within two weeks of being formed, there was a daily helpline, and more than 100 volunteers had registered. The scheme really took off, helping many in the community, with basic essentials or that little extra to make life under lockdown more bearable.

The initial funding came from the town’s Parish Church and an emergency grant from Somerset Community Foundation, and soon more money began to pour in. Help – practical and cash – came from so many sources, local businesses, the George Hotel, the Market Garden, friends far and near and many residents.

One lasting aspect of the amazing Cary Cares achievements in a cookbook, The Cooking Pot, packed with stories and recipes from food professionals, local people, and many businesses.

It’s a great collection, full of mouth-watering inspiration – Westcombe ricotta and spinach malfatti from Lucas Hollweg and Lucie Reader, the Thoroughly Wild Meat Co’s shoulder off lamb boulangere, Just Desserts’ Tiramisu … and so many more.

There is even a section with recipes and treats for your indispensable four-legged companions.

The Cooking Pot is beautifully designed and professionally presented; it is fully deserving its place on your cookbook shelves. And every pound raised goes to the Castle Cary Parish Charity which helped to finance the work of Cary Cares. You can buy the book at Cary’s wonderful Bailey Hill Bookshop.