• This Is Rutherford

This is the Family Cookbook Club

By Jennifer Ersalesi



The Rutherford Public Library staff enjoys introducing new programs throughout the year for adults and children. For the past few months, Mrs. Jane Tarantino and Mrs. Jennifer Capoano have been hosting Cookbook Clubs at the Library. There are two cookbook clubs, a Family Cookbook Club and an Adult Cookbook Club. This is Rutherford spoke with Mrs. Jane Tarantino about the Family Cookbook Club.


TIR: Where did you get the idea for a Family Cookbook Club?

JT: I got the idea for the Family Cookbook Club when I heard about Mahwah Library having an Adult Cookbook Club. I attended one of their meetings with two other Rutherford Library staff and I immediately knew I wanted to do a similar program in Rutherford, but for families.


TIR: When does the Family Cookbook Club meet?

JT: The Family Cookbook Club meets once a month on the first Tuesday evening of every month at 6:30pm. We have decided to continue to meet over the summer. The next meeting will be May 7, followed by June 4, July 2 and so on.


TIR: There are many programs at Rutherford Public Library that involve children and their families, but this is a new idea. Why do you think a club such as this one is a valuable choice for families in our community?

JT: I think this program is a wonderful opportunity for families to reconnect and what better than food to bring them together? The children love choosing the recipe for the next meeting and enjoy sharing the fun they had in preparing the dish. The program is open to children ages 8-11(one child) and one parent/ guardian.


TIR: How do you choose the cookbooks that are used?

JT: I choose the cookbooks simply by ordering many different titles from libraries in the BCCLS Consortium. I spend a great deal of time looking at them and making sure there are recipes that will appeal to the children. Ease of preparation is a big consideration, knowing that all of the families that attend have many other activities in their lives that are pulling them in many directions. From each chosen cookbook, a family selects a recipe that appeals to them and they make it ahead of time to bring to the meeting.


TIR: Have there been any particular “culinary masterpieces” that you have seen and tried so far?

JT: Honestly, all of the dishes presented have been delicious. I personally am partial to anything with pasta and of course that is always a favorite for the children as well.

Dishes made by participants

TIR: What do you hope people take away from these experiences?

JT: I not only hope, but I feel comfortable saying, that I think the club participants are having a really good experience with this program. I am able to see the pride in the children's faces when they arrive with their completed dishes. I hope that all involved are enjoying the quality time spent in the kitchen together and that lasting memories are being created.