Considering a Cookbook -- Anyone Else?

Sunday morning, while my sister and I were preparing for our mother’s 80th birthday party, I thought that I could easily collect several dozen recipes and ideas – including a veggie pinwheel we invented that morning – for party trays and make a Party Tray cookbook.

You see, my mother once ran a hotel’s Banquet and Catering department, my sister is known for her Game Day parties and works as a baker, my daughter-in-law did some catering before her health deteriorated and I don’t blink at the prospect of feeding 15 people on 2 hours’ notice, have a housekeeping column in a local newspaper, and work in a deli. I can do food for entertaining without having to think twice.

Of course all the information about querying agents, etc. that I’ve been accumulating for The Wyndham Papers is useless for a cookbook.

Any others around here with food-related writing on their minds?

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Tossing title possibilities off the top of my head: Practical Party Trays Family Favorite Party Trays (edited)

50 (40?) Fresh Party Trays (edited)

Or, a little more broadly, Easy Entertainment: Buffets, Platters, and Party Trays .

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Awesome idea! We need more party food cookbooks. Titles: Party Palette? Or Party Palate?

I did a family cookbook (called Stewed Monkey Heads and other family favorites), filled with family anecdotes and recipes stretching back 8 generations. The hardest part was translating the oldest recipes and formatting everyone’s unique style of recipe writing into one cohesive format.

I’m considering a follow-up, but this one will just be the foods I fed my children as they grew up. Formatting will be easier. I’m calling it Shrunken Head Pies and more family favorites.

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I’ve been pondering the idea for some time now. I’d like to gather my moms recipes, many of which span 3 generations, and place them in a book. I need to do it soon with her failing eye sight. It would be a good gift for the family.

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Of the titles listed, I like this one, since it allows you to expand on your concept. (just my two cents)

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My children all adore having the family cookbook - as do my siblings and cousins, nephews and nieces, and their kids. Be sure to include family history anecdotes. They don’t have to be about the recipe, but if they are, that’s extra good.

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Good Idea, I like it. Sadly, I’m just about the only one that cooks like her. Everyone past me knows fast food…hoping a book like this may get them cooking.

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Even if it doesn’t, preserving the anecdotes (and if you have familypics to scan into it) would make it something to cherish - and maybe the grandkids will be inspired to cook from it?

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I used a recipe website to put a lot of family recipes online for my kids. It’s great to have all the standards handy and available rather than scribbled on cards and scraps of paper or, worse, just inside my head.

Your mom would probably love to see a book of her recipes and to know that they won’t be lost.

My idea is an actual, published, buy-it-in-the-bookstore cookbook.

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I’m unsure because, not knowing anything about the cookbook publication industry, I have no idea whether a cookbook sells better if tightly-targeted or more general.

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After some discussion I’m leaning toward the broader category but I’ll start with the trays and see how far that topic goes before I commit.

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Now I’m curious: got a link?

@Raksab

Sure. https://www.food.com/user/384041?filter=recipes

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I’m considering typing up all of my vaguely comprehensive cookbook that I threw together 13 years ago, into a Scrivener file and printing it out. Maybe. But that’s a ton of work.

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I’m hoping I can come up with some kind of useful template to make it easier so that I don’t have to hand-format every recipe.

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I also have several that are handwritten in precious family handwriting (printing… whatever). It’d be a tragedy to lose those…

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I’ve tried to make sure that all my late Mother-in-law’s cookie recipes have been recopied in both electronic and hardcopy versions.

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I’ve written some legacy recipes on my homepage. Together with some of my own ideas. My daughter was suspected to be allergic to egg as a child. I had to test how to make pancakes and such without. My searches for “pancakes without egg” brought only recipes that were also gluten-free, milk-free and taste-free… Seems to be typical: there are recipes trying to be for “all diets”, very obviously developed by people who do not need to eat them themselves, and so the poor one (usually child) having the diet has to eat something that tastes like cardboard while others are having delicacies…

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That’s a sad situation.

I’m on low carb right now and have discovered that there are some things that the substitute is worse than just not eating the food at all.

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Things have gotten much better for people with allergies in the past decade or so. There’s a way to use ground flax seeds as a substitute for eggs, there’s all different kinds of flours that have various uses that aren’t wheat, and obviously there’s substitutions for milk (though not all of them are equal). My mom has had to learn to improvise. She has celiac.