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[May 2021] Centenary's Favorites (Cookbooks)

By Lori Matsuno

So, do you remember your first edition of the Centenary Favorites Cookbook? You know the one with the burgundy cover and all the classic illustrations by Mr. K.? Well, if your copy looked anything like mine, it was all dog-eared and stained after years of use! I was thrilled when they decided to print a new edition with a nice, clean plastic 3 ring binder that could be wiped clean. I cherish my second edition of Centenary Favorites, but after more than 20 years, it is no longer clean and white. It is a testament to how many great recipes are in that cookbook. But that edition has been out of print for over 20 years!

Pastor Sunnie told me that even up through her last weeks at Centenary, there were still people who inquired about purchasing that good old Centenary Favorites cookbook. She enlisted Sookee to figure out a way that we could somehow revive the Centenary Favorites Cookbook. Sookee began the tedious task of digitizing every page of the last edition of the cookbook. Once the pages are scanned into her computer, each and every page must be reformatted and proofed to match the original. That is where the cookbook committee and I have stepped in to help. We take Sookee’s file and reformat the pages so it looks uniform and has the same ingredients and directions as the original. This digitized file is then submitted to Amazon and put up for sale on There is a data cap that limits us so it was decided to split the original cookbook up into 4 smaller editions and sell each edition for $9.99 each. Keeping the price under $10 allows Centenary to keep 60% of what is sold on So remember that every digital edition of the Centenary Favorites cookbook that you purchase or give as a digital gift raises money for our church. Two of the four Centenary Favorites Digital Series have been published already. The first was the Japanese New Year’s Feast Edition that has been available since 12/20/20 and the Asian Recipes Edition was published on 3/29/21. You can go to and search for Centenary Favorites. Both editions will pop up for purchase. Your order comes with Amazon Kindle which you can download for free on your computer, your smartphone or your tablet. Now, you can take your Centenary Favorites with you to the market or a friend’s kitchen or your own kitchen to make those delicious dishes from your childhood!

The next edition of the digital series is set to coincide with the 125th Anniversary in October, 2021. It will be the Dessert Edition and will contain all those classic dessert recipes from the last Centenary Favorites cookbook that you loved as a kid like Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Harvey Wallbanger Cake, Pumpkin Squares, Fresh Apple Cake, etc. Now to make the Dessert Edition extra special, we want to add some new dessert recipes from you, the current congregation of Centenary! We want you to dig up those cookie, cake, pie, Jell-O, etc. recipes and send them to me at Include a little back story of where the recipes came from or who you make the recipes for or why the recipes are special to you. Hit up your friends and have them send them to me, too! Funny story…One of our Centenary members got a recipe from a friend for a Fresh Apple Cake that she submitted to me to add to the new recipes. Well, it turns out that the very same recipe actually came from the original Centenary Favorites Cookbook and she sent it to me thinking it was her friend’s creation! Now everybody is going to want to try Fresh Apple Cake! The final edition will be out last and will include all the rest of the recipes from the Centenary Favorites including some great appetizers, entrees and vegetable dishes. Hoping we can get it published by Christmas.

Did you know that the Rainbow Circle took on the enormous task of compiling the original set of recipes back in 1986? They actually went into the kitchens of the Isseis to document and preserve the recipes that were mostly committed to memory and not written down. What an accomplishment and this cookbook is a part of that legacy. As more and more of our Nisei members are passing away, it is a blessing that we have preserved all those great potluck, holiday, special occasion recipes in these digital cookbooks. Am I trying to lay a guilt-trip on you? Yeah, maybe a little.

Please help us make this new cookbook project a success! We can use as many new dessert recipes as we can get. And we can always use more volunteers to help prep and reformat the files. Please share this link to boost sales of the first two editions available now!

Lori Matsuno

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