Herrick family

Denise Herrick, her daughters Annie Boyd and Jenny Herrick, and her daughters-in-law, Shelby Herrick and Molly Herrick, blog about family recipes.

GREENFIELD, Iowa — What started with a conversation and a dream has become a reality for the five women who form The Gingham Apron.

Denise Herrick and her daughters, Annie Boyd and Jenny Herrick, and her daughters-in-law, Shelby Herrick and Molly Herrick, spent many months putting together their book, “The Gathering Table.” The book not only includes dozens of recipes, but also words of inspiration.

Denise farms near Greenfield in Adair County, Iowa. Jenny, Molly and Shelby also live on their own farms, while Annie and her family live in California.

The conversation started with Shelby talking about various recipes and how they were part of the family’s heritage.

“That really evolved into what became the book,” Annie says.

The book covers a year of various family gatherings, and features complete menus and devotional readings. Each chapter tells the story of actual events the family has hosted.

“We would meet together once a month and cook these recipes,” Annie says. “We cooked one meal a month for a year. For example, one chapter is about the meals we take out for harvest in the fall. Another chapter looks at processing sweet corn in the summer. All the meals are very thematic.”

The book includes recipes from the Herrick family, as well as recipes from Shelby and Molly’s families.

“We have something from all our families,” Shelby says.

The women wanted the book to be more than a cookbook, however. They wanted to share their faith and its importance in their lives.

“We definitely wanted that part of our lives to be featured in the book,” Annie says.

She says data from The Gingham Apron’s website — www.theginghamapron.com — indicates people are cooking more from home.

“We see a lot of interest in baking bread, for example,” Annie says. “The timing for the book couldn’t be better.”

The book was released for sale Oct. 6 and is available through the website or other online book sources. Annie says it’s still hard to believe the dream has become a reality.

“It feels kind of surreal that we have the opportunity to do this,” she says. “The mailman dropped off two boxes of books a couple of weeks ago, and my kids loved seeing them. It’s really very special to all of us, and we hope people like it.”


Jeff DeYoung is livestock editor for Iowa Farmer Today, Missouri Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.