Had a great phone conversation with one of my besties today and as the conversation always does, we got onto the topic of FOOD! We are unabashed foodies and as such, we are forever inspiring each other with our latest creations. Well, truth be told, she inspires me more than I inspire her because she has a hubby to cook for everyday. Me? I’ll make a pot of soup and eat it everyday for a week.
My buddy also has a rather large family, with 5 children. Each of her kids is married and there are grandchildren numbering in the double digits. As you can probably imagine, Christmas can be a bit expensive for her and her hubby. Especially when you consider she has to ship most of these gifts cross country or travel to deliver them in person.
enter, my brilliant idea
After her mouth watering description of the Greek salad she was making for supper, I asked her what she was giving the kids for Christmas this year. Yeah, you could have heard the crickets, what with this being July. When it looked like she was thinking too hard about the answer, I suggested she put together a cookbook!
I remember that a few years ago, she tasked herself with creating something crocheted for each of the grand babies. She allowed herself one month to finish each project and by gosh, it took her a year, but she did it and now they each have something their grandmother made specifically for them. To me, the idea of a cookbook is much easier. Not only does she have great food ideas, but she has also written and self published several other books. She has skills with a camera and a computer.
Winner/winner, chicken dinner
I could hear the wheels turning while I was yapping about how great it would be for the kiddos to have this to remember her by, as well as to have a go-to for a new meal idea when they are hungry. (more wheels turning) Then I reminded her that as she already has a website AND an Author Central Page on Amazon, she might actually sell a few copies.
burning rubber here
So, why would this have anything to do with YOU??? Because most of us eat, many of us create recipes without thinking. We are forever tweaking this great soup we had, changing up a salad our favorite restaurant makes or we are the family cake maker for all the important occasions. This means we are in recipe creation mode much of the time. If we are writing these down, even on scraps of paper that we then stick into a folder, we have RECIPES!
In our family, my mother collected recipes like a boss and she was forever hosting gatherings where she could serve up something yummy for the tummy. By the time she passed away, she had amassed a collection we have yet to explore fully and she has been gone 8 years. Even though she loved her new found gastronomical delights, us kids would rather eat those things she made for us when we young. Things like Mexi Hots or Scrapple. Let me tell you what, there might not be many out there who would know what either of these two dishes contain, let along taste like, but our mouths water at the very thought.
There aren’t nearly as many grand children in our family as in my friend’s, but as my brother now has a granddaughter, I have been toying with the idea of putting together a cookbook for her, as well as my nephews. Of course, I have nearly 30 first cousins (on my mother’s side alone) they might get a kick out of a book filled with food they remember my mother making. And you might want those recipes I mentioned earlier…
but don’t stop there
Cookbooks SELL! People love to read them, collect them and even use them. This means that cookbooks that are published and promoted, stand a pretty good chance of being purchased. They don’t even have to be about food someone would eat all the time. I have a book about oriental cooking that I have used twice in 35 years. A New York Times cookbook I have, has hundreds of recipes from that grand old newspaper and I have made four of them 10 times. And there is a recipe for Ricotta Gnocchi in The Moosewood Cookbook that I made ONCE in 1982. Yesterday, another author friend of mine, hand delivered HER latest book, a COOKBOOK!
I am probably going to be making several of her recipes so this is game on!
How do I know you can do this? Because I know that you can write out a recipe! List the ingredients, tell us how much of each to use and how to bring it all together. Make sure to let us know how to cook it (if it requires cooking) and you have a recipe written! Of course, you can look at other cookbooks to see how people spell out their recipes. That might be a good place for you to start. But my suggestion is that you look to your family recipe box. You might even have a family recipe book. I am blessed to have my mother’s mother’s hand written recipe book. And yes, I have been writing out her recipes to publish one day.
Let’s keep it simple. Choose a dozen recipes. Write them out and add a dozen pictures, you will have a book that could be published on Create Space. How do I know this? Because I know their minimum page count for a book is 24 pages and putting 12 recipes on 12 pages and 12 pictures on 12 pages…. Remember, there are also pages for a table of contents, an introduction, glossary of terms and thank you/acknowledgements too, so in reality you could go with 10 and 10 and still pull a book together.
The pictures can be of ingredients, your garden, or the finished products. Heck you can even do a step-by-step tutorial using several pictures. One day, I decided to take photos of the steps to make my recipe for Pureed Root Vegetable Soup because I was considering sharing it in a magazine. Now, I have all those photos that could accompany my recipe in a forth coming cookbook.
There are as many cookbook ideas out there as there are different ways to make a burger. You can choose what works best for you and create something really neat. Many non-profit organizations have used companies that take all their recipes and format a book for them to sell as fund raisers. Our church did that years ago and our book, Holy Chow! (yes, they let me name it) was and still is a huge hit. This can be an expensive project for an individual, but if you have a large family and everyone wants to contribute recipes as well as cash, you could go that route. Keep in mind that you will only receive so many copies for the initial price, have to go back to them to order more copies and it really isn’t YOUR BOOK.
Create Space will tell you that they offer no template for a cookbook, but it really isn’t necessary. Once again, if you know how to write out a recipe, you can take whatever size template of theirs you choose and create a cookbook. After all, a cookbook is, is a book filled with recipes!
I know you are all digesting this and I can only imagine the tasty ideas floating around your heads now. It will be terrific to see what you create. Need a hand with that? Contact me, this is what I do, I am for hire. innerchildart (at) yahoo (dot) com
All right, who asked if I’d work for food… funny, very funny