Grandma's Home Bakery | Harriet Nichols Monroe
“I have wanted to publish a cookbook of one sort or another for a number of years. I had originally envisioned it as a large collection of family recipes, my experience as a professional chef, and a record of the personal chef service for seniors that I created and operated for a number of years. That sort of “magnum opus” almost never is completed.”
What inspired you to turn your recipes into a print book?
Katie: These are my grandma's recipes. She's fed the hearts and bellies of three generations of my family with these delicious desserts. We all have our favorites and there are so many memories associated with these treats. My grandma is 91 years old and I thought making a cookbook and telling her story through these desserts would be a meaningful way to pass on the recipes to her grandkids, great-grandkids, and beyond. It was a way of transcribing her handwritten recipe cards, which eventually fade, into a more permanent collection.
Ashley: I had all of my recipes written down in a notebook and I kept thinking how great it would be to have my recipes in a cookbook! I thought my recipes were great and thought that others may enjoy using my recipes also.
Harriet: I have wanted to publish a cookbook of one sort or another for a number of years. I had originally envisioned it as a large collection of family recipes, my experience as a professional chef, and a record of the personal chef service for seniors that I created and operated for a number of years. That sort of “magnum opus” almost never is completed.
Last year, I was looking for an appropriate and personal wedding gift for a number of the younger members of the family. My two younger cousins and a nephew were getting married in the same year. None of them had had the same opportunity to know their grandmother or great-grandmother. The idea formed of a cookbook that would be a tribute to our grandmother, preserve the family recipes that had been handed down for generations, and to take the opportunity to teach basic techniques of baking as I had been taught.
What were you looking for in a publishing platform?
Katie: I wanted a platform that would allow me to create a professional-quality book. It also had to be easy to use. I was really impressed with the quality of the books that I saw in Blurb's online bookstore. Once I downloaded the software, I realized that it would give me the flexibility and tools that I needed to make the book I had imagined creating. I also love that the software was free and that I created the entire book on my laptop.
Ashley: I was looking for something simple and user friendly. I found Blurb to be simple and hassle free. I like the fact that I own the rights to my recipes and photographs.
Harriet: The cookbook as I envisioned it would be a relatively small collection of recipes but rich in photography. I wanted the instruction through photos and descriptive text to be at least as important as the recipes. I wanted it to be both beautiful and completely functional as a teaching tool. I began by retesting each recipe and photographing each step in the process. As I continued this process I realized that while I had used these recipes all my life, I had modified and adapted them to my needs building upon the changes made in her turn by my grandmother. I added the information about the process of adapting and changing recipes so that the reader could be empowered to continue to modify and imagine new uses and flavors.
I had been aware of Blurb.com for a number of years. I had used the service to create a photo album of a cruise to Alaska I had taken with my sister and father. The quality of the printing of my photographs exceeded my expectations and, although expensive as a print-to order book, my plan for the cookbook as a wedding gift would be well served by the quality of the printing I knew I would be able to achieve.