Cookbook shares Fairie Festival magic
Ten percent of the funds raised for the book will be donated to Spoutwood Farm, the nonprofit community-supported agriculture operation that hosts the festival.
JoAnne Diodato is a woman of science with an engineering degree. She’s also a believer in fairies.
Science and magic come together in the kitchen with Diodato’s new collection of recipes and stories, “The Official Faerie Cookbook.”
The Hanover High School grad has a long history with the fairy community. A harpist, she performs at festivals up and down the East Coast, including the popular May Day Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm near Glen Rock.
“I’ve been doing fairy festivals for 22 years,” she says. “There’s always good music, and there’s always really great food from all over the world. So that was the inspiration for putting things together in a fairy cookbook.”
Recipes: The cookbook, currently available for pre-order via the crowdfunding site GoFundMe, features more than 100 recipes for a variety of meals. Collected over the years from festivals, family and friends, the recipes have become her own through additions and modifications.
“When I get a recipe, I have to tweak it,” she says, explaining the irresistible urge to experiment. “Fairies’ feasts are legendary. There are literally stories about people going to fairy feasts and the food is wonderful, and you have to be careful, because if the fairies like you and you eat their food, they won’t let you leave.”
Despite the promise of delicious fairy-inspired dishes, you’re probably safe eating meals from “The Official Faerie Cookbook” — and so are the vegetarians, vegans, carb-avoiders and gluten-free folks in your life. Diodato included a wide range of recipes with variations for specific diets and tips for those who can’t easily access farm-fresh produce. Simplicity and inclusion were her goals.
“I won’t cook anything that’s not easy,” she says. “I just flat-out refuse. So the most complicated thing in the entire book is one cookie recipe.”
Stories, too: Beyond the recipes, readers will get a primer on fairy culture. Diodato, Hanover’s poet laureate, has plenty of experience with telling lyrical tales.
“I have included some fairy tales and a poem or two,” she says. “It’s kind of a gathering of inspiration of different fairy things. For people who don’t know a lot about the fae, it explains what fire fairies are and what they do, what wood fairies are and what they do” and so on.
The artwork is by local artist Jared Eiler.
“He’s doing the cover art and some very adorable drawings in the book right with the recipes,” Diodato says.
Giving back: Her commitment to keeping the cookbook local goes beyond the artwork and the printing — at Hanover-based Sheridan Press — and into supporting the community that makes the annual Fairie Festival possible. Ten percent of the funds raised for the book will be donated to Spoutwood Farm, the nonprofit community-supported agriculture operation that hosts the festival.
“Spoutwood and I go back 22 years, and they’re sort of my second family there,” she says. “The owners, Rob and Lucy Wood, are such fantastic loving people. They give so much to the community; I wanted to give back to them.”
The cookbook can be ordered by donation through GoFundMe, www.gofundme.com/faeriecookbook, until March 1. Diodato also will have copies available for purchase at this year’s Fairie Festival at Spoutwood, which runs April 29 through May 1. The festival is celebrating 25 years this spring.
“There’s an atmosphere there that you don’t feel anyplace else,” Diodato says. “There’s just all this love and acceptance. Everybody’s so respectful of you there.”
If you go, plan to make merry and bring back the secrets of the fairy feasts for your own kitchen.
— Reach Mel Barber at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to get a copy of the cookbook
JoAnne Diodato, known in fairy circles as Fabularia, is the author of “The Official Faerie Cookbook.” The book features more than 100 recipes along with faerie artwork and stories.
Diodato hopes to raise $2,420 by March 1 to cover publishing costs, with 10 percent going to Spoutwood Farm, home of the May Day Fairie Festival.
Backers on the GoFundMe site can choose rewards for donations between $5 and $1,000.
A donation of $35 will get the donor a signed softcover copy of the cookbook as well as a few extras. Hardcover cookbooks are available for an additional $15. The books are expected to ship out to buyers in June.
To reserve your copy, visit www.gofundme.com/faeriecookbook.
For those going to the May Day Fairie Festival, Diodato will have copies available for purchase there. Festival details are available at spoutwood.org.
Those with questions about the cookbook, including the opportunity for corporate sponsorships, may contact Diodato directly by email at email@example.com.