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Manteca author debuts new book at Bookfest
Kerry Harris gets ready to cook in her kitchen. - photo by MONICA CANE

Newly published author, Kerry Harris from Manteca has just released her first cookbook filled with easy to prepare, exceptionally delicious home-made recipes titled, “Something for Everyone by Kerry Harris The Devoted Cook”.

 This is fantastic news for Harris’ many fans that first fell in love with her cooking in 2004 when she opened Main Street Cafe & Coffee Co.

It was the customer’s continual compliments about the dishes she served at the cafe along with their endless pleading for her to share her kitchen secrets that helped Harris understand just how significant her recipes are.

“I realized through the comments from my customers, that my early experiences in the kitchen with my mom and grandmother were so very valuable,” she said.

It was a family affair, as Harris recalls spending family time in the kitchen making home-made syrups, chocolate sauces, desserts and other foods. Good food and good fellowship was the foundation to Harris’ cafe and now again with her cookbook.

 Harris waited until she sold the cafe in 2009 before considering the idea of actually creating a cookbook that would include cherished family recipes, cafe dishes as well as recipes given to her by dear friends over the years.

During the initial creative process, Harris admits she was challenged.

“I just wasn’t sure how to put so many varied recipes into one cookbook.”

There were so many recipes to sort through such as a family favorite, Taglorini, the cafe’s signature Mini Cheesecake recipe, along with recipes geared toward health which Harris developed an even greater interest in after meeting her husband Marty.

“Marty had been on a processed sugar free diet for years and so I decided to explore becoming sugar free myself,” she said. “I began reading a lot of books on health. We began to pay attention to how we felt after we ate and that’s when we noticed how gluten was causing us to feel tired and sluggish.”

With this new information Harris began to experiment with natural sugar and gluten free products in some of her original recipes and found them to be equal as delicious. Again, it was the positive response from others about the healthier dishes she prepared, that let her know she needed to include these alternative recipes in her cook book as well.

Eventually Harris took her cookbook concerns to prayer and in time received the answer she needed.  “Something for Everyone” has four sections (“Recipes From Gram & Other Family Favorites, A Cafe Is Born, I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends, The Road Less Traveled: Our Journey To Health”) with each section having 18 perfectly delightful, easy to make recipes.

“Something for Everyone by Kerry Harris The Devoted Cook” will officially debut at Manteca’s first annual Great Valley Bookfest on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Bass Pro shopping complex at  the 120 Bypass and Union Road. The free event promoting literacy will have over 30 authors, “how to” information for aspiring authors along with varies vendors and activities such as the cooking demonstration Harris will be performing at 2 p.m.

 “Something for Everyone” is only the beginning as Harris plans to hold cooking workshops, have an interactive blog as well as offer fundraising opportunities for schools, groups and organizations.

 Harris hopes her book will inspire people to not only make wonderful recipes but to slow down a bit from the hectic pace of everyday life and get back to the tradition of cooking to as an enriching family affair.