The Kitchens of Schoolcraft Release Date is Set

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Elizabeth Hamilton photographed the kitchen of Jan and John Bigley for the book that will be released Sunday, Nov. 16 at the Ladies Library building.

By Sue Moore

Harriett Swartz and her special photographer, Elizabeth Hamilton, have teamed up once again to publish a new book called the Kitchens of Schoolcraft, full color color book showcasing 50 kitchens. It’s a limited edition as only 250 are being printed by Portage Printing. Their first book, Porches of Schoolcraft, published two years ago is now out of print.

There will be a book signing on Sunday, November 16, 2 p.m. at the Ladies Library building in celebration of book’s publication. The cost of the book is to slated to be under $15.

The proceeds are going to the Schoolcraft Historical Society. Swartz and Hamilton had so much fun visiting each kitchen and even being feted by the cooks wherever they went, often tasting their special recipes featured in the book.

The decision to dedicate the book to Minniebelle Chapman Parker, was easy, Swartz said. Parker was known as the village’s best cook and her singing voice entertained people in the Presbyterian Church where she could be found in the choir or the kitchen at most any event. She cooked on a wood stove along with having a gas stove and a microwave oven. She died less than a year ago at the age of 97. She was a farm wife and cooked marvelous meals for her big family whenever she entertained them, according to Swartz.

The photography by Hamilton who has been documenting all phases of Schoolcraft life for many years with her unique skills, concentrates on the 50 beautiful kitchens. Some of the homes have new kitchens and others are historic with antiques as part of the décor.

Swartz said she isn’t much of a cook, but her French dressing recipe is featured along with a chicken casserole recipe from Jackie Chapin and maple syrup mousse made outside by Owen Hoyt. The recipe is his mother’s.

Swartz has served many offices in the Historical Society and the Ladies Library of Schoolcraft, thus her desire to give back to the community in this way. The Kitchens book has been over a year in the making with all the photos and recipes collected along the way, she said. Starting with the kitchens she knew from her years of living in Schoolcraft, Swartz decided that they should all be different in some way. She jokingly said she did not peek in windows.

“With the Porches book, we could all see Schoolcraft, but with the Kitchens we focused on the unseen heart of the home,” she said.

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