Life and Writing a Cooking eBook: an Update
A pan of my favorite peanut butter cookies
One thing about being a newbie at the cooking ebook game: you’ve no idea how much work is involved until you do it. It’s been a real learn-as-you-go project, and the past two weeks have been consumed by it, since I was determined to have the best ebook that I could do ready and launched by September 21st.
I am glad to say it’s on schedule 😀
The past two days have been a frenzy of cooking a great many of the recipes in order to double check that I wrote them out correctly. One result is a surfeit of food in the fridge, even after giving half of it to my son and his wife. A loaf of bread just photographed few minutes ago “demanded” that I cut a slice, so I’m sitting here with a cuppa cinnamon herb tea and bread with butter and honey. It’s a combination which causes more than one kind of rumination….
Back in my first decade out of college when I was doing a fair bit of writing, I thought I had a novel or two in me as well as the poems, plays, articles, and short stories I’d already written. If you told me thirty years ago that I’d stop writing for publication for twenty years and that my first “book” would be a cookbook, I’d have died laughing. The ebook concept would have been inexplicable, and then I would have dreaded whatever was coming up in my life that was going to take me off of writing for twenty years. But it happened, and I adapted, and now I am writing again, in ways my inner young academic snob could never have conceived. I’m probably having more fun with it, too (noshing on one of the PB cookies from the photo above).
But anyway (swallowing more herb tea), adaptability lets us all exercise our penchant for words, communicating, cooking, fixing things, making things, and supporting things do the most good at any given moment in time. Change happens by the day, not just by the decade, and more so now than at any other time in the past. It is more important than ever before to know your own best and heartfelt skills (rummaging in the fridge) so when you adapt to the changing needs of the world, you can still be true to yourself (Hoppin’ John! Can’t resist–nuke for 2 minutes). I was once a writer, very self-serious writer, then I no longer wrote even though I was still a writer deep down inside. Now I write about very different sorts of things (microwave dings) and have absolutely no externally-defined image to retain (where’s the Tabasco?) or to limit what I choose to express.
Sometimes I regret that I’d gotten so sidetracked long ago, but the path that I was on then would not necessarily have led to a better life than I have now–in fact, I can easily imagine how much worse it could have been. There’s an advertisement on television which claims that seconds count in terms of how your life will pan out, and you can tip the odds in your favor if you buy their product. I hate that commercial and everything it implies about our notions of self-worth, as if dreams can be left totally unrealized by a single trivial item.
I’ve written a bit in my cookbook about marketing’s impact on our relationship to food and cooking. It’s definitely not something I could have written about thirty years ago, when I was just starting out in life and listening to all the wrong people and messages. Maybe a cooking ebook isn’t what I had in mind back then, but the Minimalist Cooking philosophy I’ve developed would have been. And I would have loved the idea that I was embracing new technology when I was so old. So take it from me–late really is better than never (entering Fasting Day into Google Calendar).
And my ebook is coming out on time!