- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 1, 2004

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — A Frederick garden club took a page from the “Calendar Girls” to produce a cookbook containing nearly nude photos of eight members, ages 55 to 70.

“This is a tribute to the mature woman,” said Kathy Brekhus, who wears only a hat, sandals and a bouquet of strategically placed flowers on the book’s cover.

The women, members of the Green-walled Garden Club, said they got the idea from the 2003 film, “Calendar Girls,” which told the true story of a British women’s club that put out a nude calendar to raise money for charity.

The garden club will use proceeds from sales of the 400-page cookbook to fund city beautification projects, member Linda Robinson said.

Members told the Frederick News-Post they have sold 550 copies at $15 each, and they recently placed an order with the publisher, Cookbook Publishers Inc. of Lenexa, Kan., for 400 more.

“People just love it,” said Mrs. Robinson, who is barely covered in the “Hors d’oeuvres and Beverages” section.

A different photograph introduces each section of the book, which is titled “Garden Girls Go Gourmet.”

The photos were shot by the women’s husbands and friends at Mrs. Brekhus’ home. Discreetly placed flowers and vegetables help keep the saucy images clean.

“I don’t think it’s distasteful,” Mrs. Brekhus said.

Several of the women said it was their most enjoyable fund-raiser.

“It’s hard to tell you how much fun we had doing this,” Marianne Coss said.

“Everyone does a cookbook,” she said. “We needed a gimmick.”

Some of the recipes, such as “Bishop Whipple Pudding” and “Custard Pouring Sauce,” have old-time names that reflect the roots of the 48-member group.

Formed in 1958, it took its name from a line in John Greenleaf Whittier’s 1863 poem, “Barbara Fritchie.” The poem is set in Frederick, described by Whittier as “Green-walled by the hills of Maryland.”

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