What started out as a craving for sugar cookies from a former junior high student turned into a cookbook with recipes from the Mexico School District cafeteria lunch ladies.

Former Mexico resident Emiley den Hartog, was hungry for the sugar cookies she ate while in junior high. "We used to buy them for 25 cents on top of the meal cost," she said. She added that on days she didn't want to go to school, the cookies got her through the day.

So the search began for the recipe. "I got on the Memories of Mexico Facebook page and asked if anyone had the recipe," den Hartog said.

People began responding and were asking about other recipes such as the infamous Turkey Turnovers. One thing led to another and someone mentioned a cookbook should be compiled with the recipes in honor of the lunch ladies. "They worked hard to prepare lunches for us," den Hartog said.

So with this in mind, den Hartog took on the challenge, knowing if there was any chance of making it work was to have it by Christmas. She gives lots of credit to Betsy Cline and Brenda Thoenen for their help.

She found a company that prints cookbooks for fundraisers. She did pay for the books out of her own pocket. After the money is reimbursed to her, the proceeds will go to charities.

Sells have been going well. The first order was 500 books and as of Friday 420 have been sold. "We have about 80 left," den Hartog said.

When the 500 books are sold den Hartog will order another 100. "I would like to keep it an ongoing thing at least until June."

Five tentative charities are being considered for the money: the School Backpack program; Mexico Senior Center; Angel Wings Clothing Closet; a separate fund for kids lunches; and the Mexico Animal Shelter.

Anyone who would like to suggest a charity is encouraged to do so. The former Mexico student said she thought five is a manageable number. Once it is decided on what charities the proceeds will be given to, the charities will be voted on with the money divided between the charities. Anyone who bought a book can vote or anyone can go on Memories of Mexico and vote, said den Hartog. "Everybody has a say," she said. She also wants to donate the money to local charities.

As for the sugar cookie recipe, den Hartog has it memorized.

The cookbooks can be purchased at Cora's Antiques and Collectibles for $10.