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#752669 - 03/21/12 06:49 PM Re: Texas to the Bone / My family cookbook [Re: Sandy / Cocktails Editor]
Lestie - ContainerGardens Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Parakeet

Registered: 03/25/11
Posts: 1028
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Hey Sandy,

Thank you for your generous information and encouragement thereby given so readily. There is so much that I could say but because there is so much I don't know where to start. Anyway, not even the beginning (ala Julie Andrews in Sound of Music) will help so will mull over it all for a while then come to you with some of the questions racing for first place in my mind.

Ah ha, this/these ones came first - How did you start with the recipe bit? Did you write emails/letters to all just asking for their favourites, did they send them eagerly and easily? Did you have to cull too many, have you had a problem explaining to some why 'their' recipe was not chosen?

I want to add A. N. Other section in my book for non-food stuff like health recipes, furniture polish, Granny says tips and so on. I have a 'cookbook' more like scrap book of my Granny's (Mom's side) so there wil be a good place to start.

I am sure you mentioned this elsewhere, but how long did the project take you to compile and then to get into print? Of course these cannot be used as definites for me, but I am interested in your project. It sounds like a smart move to have a running full partner too for that extra pair of eyes and hands.

Thanks for a lot of food for thought!
Cheers
_________________________
Lestie Mulholland - Container Gardening Editor

Container Gardening Site

Container Gardening Forum

"Things GARDENING are great ... they are my daily smiles on toast!" - Jennifer St John-Rose, formerly black thumb recently turned green.

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#752677 - 03/21/12 07:46 PM Re: Texas to the Bone / My family cookbook [Re: Sandy / Cocktails Editor]
Sandy / Cocktails Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Gecko

Registered: 07/14/10
Posts: 566
Loc: Texas, USA

I am so glad you are encouraged to do your own family cookbook, Lestie. I think you will be greatly rewarded by any effort you put into it.

How it got started? My uncle's funeral. A group of us cousins were having lunch after the funeral talking about the fun we used to have when we were kids at family reunions and how people of my uncle's generation were going fast now and that they were the ones who organized the reunions and kept them alive. That we should take up that responsibility ourselves or our children would miss out on the wonderful family fun we were missing so.

To add to the feel of family, the church community center in which we were eating lunch sits on the same plot of land where my grandparents' house once stood. We were eating lunch that day in exactly the same spot we'd had so much fun at those earliest family reunions. Memories were alive and strong there. This story is in the intro to my cookbook.

My (second) cousin, Sue, said she wished there was a family cookbook of all the recipes for the foods all our mothers used to bring to the reunion. I told her I'd planned to write cookbooks anyway but was stuck without a theme to tie my recipe collection together. Since my background in culinary and computers (what a mix!), I told her I'd get it typed up and published if she'd help me collect the recipes.

That day, we collected addresses, emails, and phone numbers from everyone there. A day or two later, we sent an email, letter, or telephone call to everyone, asking for their participation and to extend the invitation to their close family members who were not at the funeral. It asked them to send recipes, family stories, photos, whatever. There was a deadline - everything to me by the end of August.

By the end of August, I didn't have much to work with so I started writing filler and extended the deadline another month, begging more people to get involved. Momentum was beginning to build. Some donated recipes eagerly, others (like my own sisters!!) had to be prodded. Other family members who are known to be exceptionally good cooks contributed nothing, saying all their recipes were in their heads and they didn't know how to write them down.

By the end of September, the genealogy aspect was taking on a face of its own so I joined Ancestry.com for a month to do further research - fill in gaps, find correct spellings, dates, etc. One month got me very interested in the history I was finding at Ancestry.com so I extended my membership another month. I spent these two months typing recipes, researching my family history, and trying to not neglect too much of my real work.

During this time, I discovered a cousin I didn't know. She wanted to send recipes, too, so I asked her to get them to me by the end of the year. She did that and I spent the month of January finishing the typing job. Sue and I had hoped to publish in time to give cookbooks as Christmas gifts but that didn't happen. We decided to work on a publish date of March, so there'd be plenty of time to notify everybody of its publication with time to order copies before our next family reunion in May.

I'd asked for title and cover ideas or artwork but that didn't come my way. One night I was looking through iStock.com for cover ideas. I found a sign on a bar at the beach that said 'Texas to the Bone' and that thought stuck, for several reasons. A few nights later, I was back at that website looking for cover photo ideas when I found the Texas longhorn and ribs eaten to the bone. Once I mentally connected the two as a before / after, front / back combo, nothing else compared. I used them, incorporating the colors of the Texas flag (red, white, blue), and I haven't gotten any complaints yet.

The book was published in February. Some relatives only learned of the project once it was published and were not happy they weren't included. Sue thought there were too many dessert recipes and not enough healthy veggie dishes so I asked everyone again to submit more recipes for a revised version. I asked for side dishes and no more sweets, please.

I got a few more side and salad recipes and more than 100 new recipes for desserts. I reworked the book and included everything from everybody. I didn't cull anything because I didn't think I was in a position to do so. My thoughts were that if this is what a family member wants to contribute to our family cookbook, this is what should be in it.

The newer, bigger, sweeter cookbook was published in March 2010. It's the version on sale today. Once the manuscript was submitted to Lulu, publication / availability for sales was accomplished within a matter of moments.

I did not cull anybody's recipes or stories but I did streamline the format for consistent style throughout the book. There are a few exceptions because I really preferred the way the person submitted it and thought my edits would diminish its value. I took liberties to provide more thorough cooking instructions where instructions were short. I have a niece who had recently expressed frustration with her limited ability to cook so I kept her in mind and wrote the book 'to her,' with her face and voice in my head as I did so, thinking as I edited each recipe "would she be able to understand this?" I wrote each recipe in a way I thought she could accomplish it without question.

Doing that didn't cause many problems but one relative no longer wants to speak to me because of the way I altered her recipe. It was a recipe for pickles and it makes about 6 jars of pickles. She did not include canning instructions so I put canning instructions in the recipe. She let me know later they are refrigerator pickles so no canning was necessary and I ruined her cookbook. The recipe I got from her did not mention this so, thinking most people don't have room in the refrigerator to store 6 jars of pickles for weeks / months at a time, I added the canning instructions so shelf storage would be safe. Wrong!!

The cousin I'd discovered on Ancestry.com? She lives in Virginia, a very long way from Texas. Ever since the cookbook was published, she comes to the family reunion here in Texas with her father (my dad's cousin), her husband, and her children. She's already made travel plans to be here this year, their third year in a row!! I am SO very happy this project brought her into my life. We visit regularly on Facebook and it's so much fun keeping up with her and her 3-generation family.

My co-author / cousin, Sue, will tell you I did all the work but that's not true. She isn't as comfortable with a computer as I am but Sue has better communications with many family members than I do. Our reach of invitation wouldn't have been nearly as comprehensive if she hadn't contacted them. Even more important to me, I did my work knowing I was working on her behalf as well as my own. I couldn't let her down and I appreciated the value of having a partner. I highly recommend collaboration if you take on something like this. Our family is very big - my great-grandparents (where the cookbook begins) had nine children and I was working with all the offspring from all nine children! I'm not sure I would have carried this through to completion without knowing Sue was my partner. And we're closer now than ever before - another bonus of the project.

I like your idea, Lestie, about adding a chapter on non-food stuff, especially since it sounds like so many tips from a beloved grandmother. Please do include them! My last chapter is mostly recipes that didn't fit into another chapter category - beverages, homemade yogurt, some breakfast dishes, even dog treats and a pet / kid-safe mosquito repellant. It's the only mosquito repellant I use anymore but I've changed it for my own personal use a bit. If you're interested, let me know. I'll send you the newer, improved recipe.

You can do this. It will be a labor of love your entire family will treasure for generations. Let me know if I can help with anything.





_________________________
Sandy Hemphill, Cocktails Editor
Cocktails Website
Cocktails Forum

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#752684 - 03/21/12 08:38 PM Re: Texas to the Bone / My family cookbook [Re: Sandy / Cocktails Editor]
Lestie - ContainerGardens Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Parakeet

Registered: 03/25/11
Posts: 1028
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Oh wow Sandy, OH WOW! Thank you for your quick and very useful answer and advice.

I will get back to you soon as all this advice and these lovely ideas filter through.

I have a 'Mature' family history and just have to hit the send button to be in touch with around 5000 or so extended family members from here in SA to Australia, England Scotland Ireland and Wales, the USA, Europe and even as far as I know, some in Macau and the Far East who are on contract.

We have a family gathering (not the same as yours) coming up on 5 May here in Johannesburg where the Australian part of the family is launching a book on the S A part of the family (Theo used to live here and then moved to Aussie). I am eager to see it and will be attending of course, (my first!) and also of course I will be buying a book.

What a God-sent opportunity is opening up for me!? Anyway, am not sure that my direct family line in S A has been fully researched or will be completely represented so that too is a project that I have had in mind for some time along with many others (including my gardening cardgame and my Ka Ching retail sales training board training game) Oh dear, I will have to settle on one and do it. Tut Tut and then of course I sometimes work from Monday to Friday!

Ah well, enough for the nonce, I must away!

Cheers and many thanks again for your generous help,
_________________________
Lestie Mulholland - Container Gardening Editor

Container Gardening Site

Container Gardening Forum

"Things GARDENING are great ... they are my daily smiles on toast!" - Jennifer St John-Rose, formerly black thumb recently turned green.

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#762265 - 05/11/12 08:39 PM Re: Texas to the Bone / My family cookbook [Re: Sandy / Cocktails Editor]
Sandy / Cocktails Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Gecko

Registered: 07/14/10
Posts: 566
Loc: Texas, USA

I just got a review on my cookbook that is so nice and so funny (!) I just had to share:


"Texas to the Bone" book review

_________________________
Sandy Hemphill, Cocktails Editor
Cocktails Website
Cocktails Forum

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#762270 - 05/11/12 09:14 PM Re: Texas to the Bone / My family cookbook [Re: Sandy / Cocktails Editor]
Lestie - ContainerGardens Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Parakeet

Registered: 03/25/11
Posts: 1028
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Hello Sandy and congrats!

Do you remember this guy? 40 years ago and he still remembers you - together with his sense of humour and compliments, he seems surprised that you have made so much of yourself ... and besides all, notes that you have written a book AND you can cook! I liked lots about what he had to say including that he has not tried the dog biscuits recipe!

Well done and wish you more reviews along these lines! Well done again I say - will you be contacting him? A catch-up call might be fun? Anyway...

Cheers now
_________________________
Lestie Mulholland - Container Gardening Editor

Container Gardening Site

Container Gardening Forum

"Things GARDENING are great ... they are my daily smiles on toast!" - Jennifer St John-Rose, formerly black thumb recently turned green.

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#762271 - 05/11/12 10:02 PM Re: Texas to the Bone / My family cookbook [Re: Sandy / Cocktails Editor]
Sandy / Cocktails Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Gecko

Registered: 07/14/10
Posts: 566
Loc: Texas, USA

Yes, Lestie, I do remember this guy. I always had a crush on him but I was friends with his little sister and you know what the big kids think about the little siblings' friends - brats!! I don't recall having had the chance to "dump" him, though.

We reconnected via Facebook a few months ago and we maintain pretty close contact these days. His mom lives just down the street from me and he and I recently went to a party together.

Know what's even nicer than reconnecting with Sam? Reconnecting with his sister, too!

_________________________
Sandy Hemphill, Cocktails Editor
Cocktails Website
Cocktails Forum

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#762345 - 05/12/12 03:37 PM Re: Texas to the Bone / My family cookbook [Re: Sandy / Cocktails Editor]
Francine - German Culture Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk

Registered: 09/02/08
Posts: 1289
Loc: Germany/France

WOW Sandy, what an accolade, just super, and what a happy 'blast from the past'. Einfach toll - just great.

Now 'Texas to the Bone' should be flying off the shelves, or whatever it is that happens through Amazon. Well done and well deserved...... all I have to do is move to the US so I can buy some of the ingredients, your friends descriptions of your recipes are mouth watering. My cat might even try your dog biscuits, eats almost everything else that isn't tied down.

Just wonderful photos of your family over the years, and what a history to be a part of.

Great book, fabulous read, many many congrats. queen

_________________________
Francine McKenna-Klein - German Culture Editor

German Culture Site - German Culture Facebook

Avatar: HOHENZOLLERNBRUECKE Cologne, the CATHEDRAL and LUDWIG MUSEUM. Photo "Der Wolf im Wald" with Plantu's "European Dove of Peace 2012". Western Europe has enjoyed the longest period of peace in its history, and in 2012 the EU won the Nobel Prize for Peace.


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#762361 - 05/12/12 08:55 PM Re: Texas to the Bone / My family cookbook [Re: Sandy / Cocktails Editor]
Lestie - ContainerGardens Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Parakeet

Registered: 03/25/11
Posts: 1028
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Hello there Sandy and all,

Life is amazing in the 'coincidences' it throws up at us. We meet people, live near them, go to school with them, travel next to them maybe catch the same bus or have a shared colleague or friend, stand behind them in a queue and so much else but then lose touch ... again through life adventures and for myriads of reasons.

And then 40 years later it reconnects us! And not only that but his Mom lives down the road from you and his sister is still part of the equation. Seems to me to be that you 'two' have something to do for or with or through each other.

I am not sure that I have articulated my thought clearly enough, but who knows - time may tell if it was just a coincidence or if you are destined somehow to do 'anything' together. Maybe you will invent a new way of doing something or make a better mousetrap or write another book?

Anyway, it's a friendship renewed on several levels which certainly cannot be bad.

Cheers
_________________________
Lestie Mulholland - Container Gardening Editor

Container Gardening Site

Container Gardening Forum

"Things GARDENING are great ... they are my daily smiles on toast!" - Jennifer St John-Rose, formerly black thumb recently turned green.

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#762376 - 05/12/12 10:12 PM Re: Texas to the Bone / My family cookbook [Re: Sandy / Cocktails Editor]
Connie - ADD/Sandwiches Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Chimpanzee

Registered: 10/03/10
Posts: 7058
Loc: Kansas USA
Consider doing a book together! His writing style is quite readable. Maybe there is an event in your shared extended past that needs exploring.
_________________________
Connie Mistler Davidson-Editor-ADD/Sandwiches
Attention Deficit Disorder
Sandwiches
Avatar: There is Hope~Even when conditions are harsh, hope can bloom.

Here is a link to my EBook.
Building School Success with ADD EBook Link





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#851095 - 01/16/14 06:33 PM Re: Texas to the Bone / My family cookbook [Re: Sandy / Cocktails Editor]
leedavid Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/14/14
Posts: 8
Loc: USA
I just read your post and I am very happy to read it, You are giving such a very impressive information. Thanks.

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