The idea of a book on cooking for single and busy parents honestly all began with an email a few years ago when someone was complaining to me that all the books they seem to see were junk books written by celebrities making much-ado-about-nothing. They went on to rant about the cook books that were being produced by Gourmet chefs and the like that had dishes which took a whole month's pay to create and needed like 10,000 pots - and they still never came out right.
"Why the hell doesn't someone write a normal cook book that normal people can use to learn how to cook?" this person asked knowing that I had taught myself how to cook since I divorced. I had to. I had kids to feed! And oh boy, can kids eat!
Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen is about REAL LIFE, REAL KIDS, REAL PEOPLE, REAL KITCHENS AND REAL COOKING. I shrugged and let it go. Actually the whole subject did not interest me at the time. I was in the middle of getting some fiction WIP's together and working on my non-fiction book at the time "Three Weeks In Jenin". Writing a cook-book was the furthest thing from my mind, and I was certainly not going to destroy what little was left of my male ego by producing anything near a cook book.
Well life has it's own way of laughing at you. And one day while walking to the supermarket, (wondering if that really pretty lady who shops every Wednesday would be there so I could fantasize about getting enough courage to start a conversation with her - hey we all have our dreams), I suddenly realized that the cookbook was in my head. And thus "Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen" was born.
My literary agent at the time thought it might be a good idea. It took me all of 10 days to produce the first 150+ pages. But selling the project proved to be a totally different thing altogether. So after awhile I just let it sit and continued on my short stories and novels.
We need to feed our children and we should not be feeding them fast food every day or worse every meal of every day. You do not have to be a gourmet chef to cook sanely for your children or even to make a party. And so time went on. I put up my Teddy's Writing Mania and as a lark I also included "Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen" as a Work In Progress. Then as time went on I started the blog Cobwebs Of The Mind which is all about writing. I tried querying agents with "Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen" and though sometimes I got a read and always received high praise for the writing, the answer was inevitably the same. The market simply wants Gourmet and Professional Cook Books. So it did not look like it would be easy to sell. People want pictures and recipes of food they will never make and even if they try will never have it look as the pictures in the cook book. Hey! More power to them.
Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen is about REAL LIFE, REAL KIDS, REAL PEOPLE, REAL KITCHENS AND REAL COOKING.
So the other day another friend (female friend! YES!) was looking at Teddy's Writing Mania and Cobwebs Of The Mind and asked about the cook book. And suddenly lightening strikes. (It does that sometimes with me and burns my tush!) What the hell! If the book is not going to sell, at least not now, and this is a fun project. And thus the blog "Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen" is born.
Yes, there will be a lot of the humor of my book here. And it is not only about recipes by the way. This is a story of single parenting and all the deep dangers that come along with it. It is about a home and place - and how I learned to make my first real spaghetti and enjoyed doing it (after I stopped letting the water totally boil out and burning the pot). It is about life and what you make of it. It is also about REALITY. We need to feed our children and we should not be feeding them fast food every day or worse every meal of every day. You do not have to be a gourmet chef to cook sanely for your children or even to make a party.
I also want to share. If you have experiences and/or recipes you want to share and have put up in "Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen" follow the instructions in this post. I would love to hear from you.
Okay time to be off to start yet another fire. But the fire department here knows me - so they ignore it when my neighbors call and tell them my kitchen is on fire - AGAIN!
Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen is a Finalist in the 2007 Weblog Awards.
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