Friday, November 17, 2017

The Cookbooks in My Life

With the holidays approaching, you may be looking for gifts. Since The Cooking Channel and cooking shows have become so popular, cookbooks have become prized gifts. I have been involved with three of these.

My first venture into the world of cookbooks occurred in 1996 when Community Presbyterian Church of San Juan Capistrano decided to collect members’ favorite recipes as a fundraiser for the Friends of Music. The result was The Gift of Christmas.
A friend and I edited the recipes, and then Larry did the layout. The completed book was copied at a local copy shop and spiral bound. A church member designed the cover. This book contains not only some of my recipes, but also those of my mother, grandmother, and mother-in-love. Many of them were favorites at church dinners and potlucks.

In 2015, a friend asked if we had an extra copy. We decided to re-publish it in both Kindle and print form as a fundraiser for the church preschool and kindergarten. So, it is available once again.

The second cookbook in my life came about when my friend and fellow author, Ilene Schneider, suggested creating a cookbook of the recipes featured in our books, to be published by Oak Tree Press. The book was to include author photos and information about our books. I did the layout for publication, but the book was put on the back burner because of health issues of the publisher.

It languished for a couple of years until we decided it was time to get it out. Another Oak Tree author, Mary Montague Sikes, allowed us to use her beautiful artwork for the cover, and Recipes by the Book: Oak Tree Authors Cook became a reality.

This one is also available for Kindle and as a print book.

The most recent one I have been involved with is the resurrection of Marilyn Meredith’s Cooking for a Big Family and Large Groups.

This one was published so long ago, even Marilyn had forgotten about it. I ran across an old copy on Amazon, or I wouldn’t have known about it. The only copy she had was a three-hole punched copy typed on a typewriter.

I scanned the old one and converted to an electronic file, then edited and formatted it for publication. The cover is a photo of our dining room table.

Larry produced the covers for all of these.

So if you are considering a cookbook as a holiday gift, take a look at these. All of them contain great recipes and much more.


  1. Replies
    1. So do I. My beautiful Amish-made table has now been immortalized. I liked a lot of the recipes, too.

  2. Oh, I love love love cookbooks. This is a great post! Thank you, Lorna!

  3. Each of these is different and special. The church one has recipes that were favorites of the contributors--and also church members. Some (like Ruth Willett's Almond Rocha) were well-kept family secrets until they allowed us to include it. The OTP authors' cookbook is unique. we each chose recipes for foods mentioned in our books. It also contains photos and brief bios of each of the authors. And Marilyn's contains great, healthy recipes for large groups. I'm proud to have been associated with each of them.