Phi Mu honors lost sisters with cookbook

Phi Mu honors lost sisters with cookbook

Members of Phi Mu sorority are preserving the memories of the sisters they lost this past year in a cookbook consisting of recipes from active and former members from the Alpha Zeta chapter.

“Love in our Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of Alpha Zeta,” was created to honor Ashton Alford, Nicole Francois and Ashley Harrison, the three Phi Mu sisters who passed away last year. Because Harrison lost her life in the April 27 tornado, proceeds from cookbook sales will go to the relief effort.

“This all began because we wanted to find a unique way to honor our sisters we lost last year and give back to the community after the devastation of the tornado,” said Kelly Petro, a senior and one of the main architects behind the book.

All the proceeds from the book will go to Project Team Up, an organization that helps rebuild homes destroyed by the storm. Petro began planning the cookbook after a phone call from a fellow Phi Mu sister, Sara Seaton, who dreamt up the idea a few weeks after the tornado.

“I decided to call Kelly and run the idea by her to see if the concept was even feasible,” Seaton said.  “I originally thought of compiling recipes from just the active members, but then Kelly suggested we open it up to the AZ [Alpha Zeta] alumni as well since we’ve always had such supportive alums.”

For Seaton, a senior, the cookbook was the next best thing to helping with the relief efforts since she and Petro were at home already and unable to help in Tuscaloosa.

“We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the lives of the sisters we lost last year – sharing the love our chapter has for each other through favorite recipes,” Seaton said.

The success of the cookbook has sparked a cause for celebration amongst the Phi Mu sisters. They began to sell the book on Amazon for $25 in December and have already sold 400 copies. With all the proceeds going directly to Project Team Up, the sisters of Phi Mu are excited and hope to raise even more funds to build an entire house for a family.

“At this point, I think we are all still in disbelief at how well the cookbooks are doing,” Petro said. “We are so happy to be able to give back to the community and honor our beautiful sisters.”

Several Phi Mu sisters from across the nation have purchased the book and are happy with what their Alpha Zeta sisters have accomplished.

In her online book review, one Phi Mu reader called the book “the best and most meaningful cookbook.” She went on to say that she is so proud to call herself a Phi Mu because of the caring acts from her Alabama sisters.

The cookbooks are still available for $25 at For more information, please visit the Facebook page, “Love in Our Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of Alpha Zeta.”

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