Those of you who follow this blog may remember my post of December 30, 2015 in which I made one of my New Year’s resolutions: to publish my new cookbook. At the time I thought I would self-publish a little book of recipes for hors d’oeurves and sweets. But my friends had bigger plans for me and Our Family Table: Recipes & Lessons from a Life Abroad is result!
For those of you who want to skip right to the book, you can see some excerpts and recipes on our website and follow the links to pre-order (shipping December 1). If you are of a more patient type, you can read on to find out a little about how this all came about.
My previous experience with online publishing had all been in the capacity of fund-raisers. Generally the books were spiral bound with few pictures and a hodge-podge of recipes badly formatted on the page. I knew I wanted something better than that but was unable to find it online. So I got together with Debbie Maugans, editor and publisher of Farmer & Chef South. Farmer & Chef South is a beautifully written and photographed book compiling recipes from restaurants ( and B&Bs) in Asheville. She was very excited by my ideas and before I knew it, I had an editor, a book designer, a publicist and a food photographer. So all I needed to do was to come up with enough recipes to fill a book!
Out went the original idea of “Cupcakes and Canapes”. I added in recipes for breakfast, main dishes and a chapter of sauces, jams, and pickles. But the book needed a theme. It needed a reason to be written and to be read. Debbie and my publicist, Susan Dosier (DK Communications Group) helped me figure out my “point of view” and my authority (this was hard as I am not always sure I have any authority). We dug into my background and looked at the foods I cook and came up with two things.
- My cooking and feelings about food come from a lifetime of cooking “off the grid”. My mother rarely used processed or convenience foods and my experiences living in Europe and Asia prior to global markets were similarly based in fresh local ingredients. Moving from Europe to Asia and back again I was forced to explore cuisines and foods, incorporating them into my cooking. This was solidified when I returned to the United States and bought the Carolina Bed & Breakfast, our Asheville Inn. Here I cook every day and the repetition of techniques coupled with changing seasons and my imagination has created my own style of cooking.
- I am, above all else, a home cook. I cook because I love to do it. I have no pretensions to being a “chef”. My training was in my mother’s kitchen, in my own kitchen and in the kitchens of friends. I have no fear of experimentation and I love to try out new recipes. And I want to share that passion. The benefits of home cooking are huge! You will be eating better, sharing good times in the kitchen and at the table and exploring a new world of flavor. So throughout Our Family Table I have included small tips and bits of knowledge which I picked up along the way. Nothing earth-shattering, just simple things which will hopefully be of some help to you.
So that’s it. I hope you will head on over to our website and find out more about the inside of the book. You can pre-order now and I will ship the books by December 1. After the books have arrived it will also be available on Amazon!