On the menu for 2014: a cookbook!

I suppose that many food writers and bloggers dream of writing a cookbook. I wasn’t one of them … until this summer.

If you’ve been reading for a few months, you’re familiar with the Clara Project. An interesting series of events unfolded last July and August, as the Cincinnati Enquirer published a story of the Clara Project (and a few of these treasured vintage recipes); subsequently, I connected with Clara’s daughter, Jan, then had a delightful meeting with the two of them. A bit of social media buzz around the project sparked some discussion of a cookbook … but then it fizzled.

I’ll confess that I was relieved. Writing a cookbook is a massive undertaking: developing testing and preparing 150 recipes in a home kitchen is an all-consuming process. (Not to mention the food costs!)

And then, the perfect opportunity presented itself: a cookbook focused on Cincinnati’s wonderful Findlay Market. Over the next 6 months, I’ll be working with Karen Kahle of Findlay Market, photographer Julie Kramer (my Edible Ohio Valley colleague) and Michael Turback of Farm Fresh Books to create “The Findlay Market Cookbook.” The book is the third in Farm Fresh Books’ emerging series of market-centered cookbooks (see the first, “The Ithaca Farmers’ Market Cookbook,” below).

Ithaca Market cover

Slated to be published this October, the book will celebrate local food in Cincinnati as it’s best represented by the market. We’ll be telling stories of farmers and vendors, and sharing recipes from them (as well as from chefs around the city). You can read more about the Findlay Market Cookbook in this article on CityBeat.

I’m beyond excited about the project, and I hope you’ll join me on this journey. Along the way, I’ll share a few preview recipes and updates on the cookbook as we progress toward publication in the fall.

9 thoughts on “On the menu for 2014: a cookbook!

  1. Congratulations! We are knee-deep (maybe thigh-deep?) in our first cookbook-writing process, and it is every bit as big a project as we thought it would be, haha, but it’s fun, too. I am already looking forward to the end product SO MUCH. Also, my husband’s family is from Cincinnati and I bet they’ll love this! will be following along! : )

    • Hi, Shanna — congratulations on YOUR book project! It’s quite a wild ride, no? I anticipate that the interviewing/writing/editing/compiling process will be much bigger than I think it is, but like you, I’m beyond excited to see the finished book. I’ll be following your progress, and thanks for the comment!

  2. I am a little sad that you had to scrap the idea of a cookbook containing recipes & histories of many of our moms & grandmas… but this sounds like a wonderful project, too. The Findlay Market holds a charm & fascination for all of us in the area, and I do look forward to what you will write (you do have a wonderful writing style… in addition to your food expertise). About the other cookbook… well, you are still young and have many projects ahead… ;-)

    Jan (Clara’s daughter)

    • Jan, I’ve a hunch that a few of those lovely old recipes might find their way into the cookbook, along with a reference to their origin. And who knows … the family cookbook idea may still come back around.

      • Bryn, as you know, I’m not much of a cook (I’ll never be the “casserole lady” at church, for sure), but if you need any help tasting those 150 recipes as you compile the cookbook “someday”, just let me know. With all your readers helping by submitting stories, yours would be the role of editor & historian. A journey of family histories through the first half of the 1900′s… with recipes (some from the “old countries”) — wow.

        Right now… please keep us updated on “The Findlay Market Project” — the CityBeat article makes it sound wonderful.

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