My mother loves cookbooks. Always has. She has a cookbook from my elementary school, my high school, various families and churches, famous television personalities, you name it. So it really should come as no surprise that she volunteered to compile a family cookbook for our extended family.
I am not a cook. I cannot cook without a cookbook. For Mom it’s a pleasure to read cookbooks, for me it is a necessity. I desire so much to be one of those amazing chefs on television that can take a basket full of random mismatched ingredients and think of new and innovative ways to reinvent them into a gourmet meal — all in under an hour. When I do happen to get creative and throw some things together in the kitchen and it happens to work, I can never recreate it. I don’t write anything down. I just take a little of this, and a little of that, cross my fingers and say a prayer that it works.
So when Mom asked me to write down recipes to contribute to the family cookbook, I hesitated. I procrastinated. I dodged. I had no idea how to write down what I had done on my few uncharacteristically successful kitchen experiments. And if I did try to write it down and it wasn’t exact and it bombed on someone else, I would feel terrible and embarrassed. But the cookbook is nearly finished and Mom needed some help.
She is using a cookbook publisher that allows users to submit the cookbook in a seemingly easy manner online. She has painstakingly entered more than 250 recipes and categorized them, but she needed some assistance with the cover and personal pages and getting some pictures added to the design. So I went online and we did it together today. I still have to finish up a few things for her, but it was pretty cool to be able to go on the site together and work on it. It was a simple program for users that allowed me to pretty much just click here and there to add whatever I needed to.
And, yes, I did add three recipes to the cookbook. I just tried to avoid quantities whenever I could so people could adjust according to their taste, but they are in there. So now the Sykes Family will finally get to try easy shrimp garden pasta, black bean salsa, and E’s pasta salad on their own and not wait for the annual family reunion. No doubt, they will cheer with excitement.