This new venture of writing my first cookbook has already proven to be exciting and fun. As with everything I do, this process is teaching me and stretching me. It’s also causing me to expand my dream and look higher.
One of the first things I learned about writing the cookbook is that there was more planning needed before I could dive into recipe writing and revision. I had done so much prep and writing for my Freestyle Cooking curriculum that I thought I was more than halfway there. I guess I was, but there’s still so much more organization to do. Surprisingly, I’m okay with that!
I’ve always enjoyed organization, but I never realized just how much I love to plan, organize, create repeatable systems, and teach. I have computer folders from the last fifteen years full of Excel spreadsheets that I designed for school, housekeeping, budgeting, and menu organization. I mean, I really, really love this stuff! If I had to define my hobby, I’d say it’s bringing order to chaos. I do it for fun. Is that weird?
That’s why this cookbook is going to be truly unique. It will have some of the best recipes you’ll find anywhere, but it will also be instructional, almost completely gluten-free (gf) and dairy-free, as well as healthy for diabetic and other restrictive health-mandated diets. Each recipe will have some way of indicating at a glance whether it is gf, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, diabetic friendly, heart friendly, etc. There will be chapters for freezer cooking, crock pot cooking, and menu planning, and I’ll share some of my cooking guideline templates from my Freestyle Cooking curriculum. And I’m having a blast bringing all of this together!
I’ve learned something about myself that would have been nice to know about twenty years ago. I would have been much kinder to that young, homeschooling mama that I was. I am a project girl! I excel at big undertakings that I can work in stages and have an end product or event.
My last big scheme was my daughter’s Sweet 16 party. I loved every single stage from planning to execution. It was a huge and painful undertaking. Of course, it wouldn’t have been if I had delegated some of the stuff. I am not good at delegating. I also learned that about myself. But, if I want to accomplish my really big dreams, I will just have to learn to share the load. Seriously, with all my lists, why can’t one of them be a list of things to delegate? Well, hey! I think I just learned something again!
With the help of the big project I’m working on now–a three week marathon of cooking and freezing meals for my parents in Arizona–I’ll have some great recipes for the chapter on freezer cooking. Having to devise so many recipes to fit their restrictive diets is helping me tighten the discipline on my throw-it-all-together style. I am a very health conscious cook, but planning daily meals for one person who is gluten intolerant and another who is diabetic with a history of heart issues is showing me how lax I can be. If I were to live on recipes from my cookbook alone, I would become quite a bit healthier and lose the weight I need to lose rather quickly!
Hmmm… If I could become disciplined enough to stick to these recipes, a section of before and after photos could be a great addition and proof of how healthy the whole cookbook is.
See? I’m learning new things all the time!