Last year I self-published the cookbook, Together: Recipes to Bring Family and Friends to the Table. I was excited to create this book because each of the recipes made their way into my kitchen thanks to the sharing of family and friends over the years. I love cookbooks of all kinds so why not write one! Also, while I very much enjoy baking and cooking, I want to make it very clear that I have no special training as a chef or baker. However, while I was in 8th grade, I did have to take the required class, Home Economics, for one semester. If you have a copy of my cookbook you will find a cookie recipe that my sister made while she took the same class four years prior to me. Seriously, sharing that this was one of my middle school class requirements dates me, but I will share it was a required class for ALL students. Looking back it was a good opportunity to learn about healthy ways to shop and cook. We even “learned” how to sew! I still laugh about the sewing portion of the class with my friend! Somehow the pattern never produced the shorts pictured on the front of the McCall’s pattern envelope. The other semester was spent in Industrial Arts! I guess those were the early days of ‘makers labs’ now found in many schools.
Anyway, I would really love to mark this crazy time of the Covid-19 pandemic by creating a second cookbook, Together Again! For me, March 13, 2020 began a new time for our family. We had to shift our thinking and change our plans for how we lived out most of our days. With Eleanora home from school working at the kitchen counter completing assignments given online by her teachers, and Matt setting up office in our dining room and canceling all work travel, we were spending more time together than we had in quite a long time. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were now something we looked forward to not only because we were hungry, but because we could all be together for each meal. During the last six months, we have tried many new recipes and tried to make a very uncertain time somewhat enjoyable. Luckily during this time we have been healthy and are very fortunate to have our friends and family remain healthy as well. My hope is that you too were able to have some enjoyable moments and possibly enjoy a meal or special dessert or drink that you, a family member or friend made for you. While we have had the opportunity to enjoy take out from favorite restaurants in the city during this time and even dine outside this summer at some of our regular lunch or dinner spots, we have done a lot more cooking (and washing of dishes) at home.
If you have been cooking at home, I’m looking to you to see if you are interested in participating in the creation of Together Again, a cookbook that will celebrate good food as well as tell a bit of what people have been doing during this pandemic. Several holidays, milestones and birthdays were celebrated during this time. These events were most likely celebrated in a much different way than in previous years or as initially planned. My hope is to create this book that can be used by many to bake a sweet dessert, a savory appetizer or a delicious entree to be shared with others when we finally can all be together again after this pandemic is over!
If there is a special family recipe you made during this pandemic I would love to hear from you! Would you be willing to share the recipe and the story of how/why it is special? If you take a peek at my cookbook Together, you will see that I included a short introduction of the recipe, the recipe itself and a photo of the food. At this point, I plan to present the recipes in a similar format. While I mentioned earlier, I love cookbooks and many times find great recipes in them to try out in my own kitchen. With that said, if you have discovered a favorite recipe in a cookbook/magazine/website, please reference that in your response to me. I would like to give credit to the author/chef of that cookbook/recipe. I also find myself starting with a recipe and sometimes changing it by omitting items or better yet, adding one or two of my favorite ingredients to make a recipe suited to my taste.
I am in the planning phase of this project and do not have a publisher. Together Again will most likely be my second self-published book. I am researching various self-publishing sites, ebook options and reaching out to local publishers that may be able to assist with this project. With that said, I look forward to the work ahead to produce a cookbook that holds special memories and can do that with or without a publisher.
I have two fun things to include in this next cookbook! First, the Murer family ZOOM Cake Baking Contest will be featured in the book with the recipes each participant made and shared over the Zoom call. Additionally, my dad’s 80th birthday celebration this past July in Tennessee will be highlighted with a few favorite family recipes we enjoyed that weekend. Do you have a delicious family recipe that you were able to make during this time? If so, I would love to have your story and recipe as part of Together Again.
I look forward to hearing from you! Send your recipe story, recipe and picture to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 20, 2020. Also, if you know of a publisher who may be interested in this project, let me know.
You can check out my cookbook Together: Recipes to Bring Family and Friends to the Table here!