Hello everyone! While I've shared some aspects of my cookbook writing journey on my Facebook page, I have been hesitant to do it here because, frankly, I didn't know where to begin. Where does one begin to explain what it feels like to fulfill a dream? When I started writing this blog in 2010, my main goal was to one day write a cookbook. This blog was to serve as my writing portfolio. While some bloggers enjoy the social aspect of blogging and responding to comments, I've enjoyed the writing process. It is hard for introverts like me to do the social thing even in a virtual world.
I'll confess here for the first time that, when I submitted my cookbook proposal to a publisher last summer, I did so with the resolve that if the proposal was rejected that I would pack it all in - the blog, the Facebook page...the dream of becoming a writer. It was time for me to grow up and put away the food blogger props. No more dishes, linens, and cookbooks for me. It just wasn't meant to be that I would have any success as a writer. So, with yet another rejection looming in my mind, I hit the submit button and received a message that I would know something within two to six months, prolonging the inevitable. But, something miraculous happened. Eight days after I submitted my proposal, I received an e-mail from the acquisitions editor stating that my proposal had been accepted. My cookbook would be published!
So, work quickly began on Southern on a Shoestring with a focus on Southern cooking on a budget. I wanted so badly to convey to readers how deeply I understand financial struggles and also how much I admire the act of feeding a family to the best of one's abilities.
My Food Philosophy:
My food philosophy is that people shouldn’t have to spend a lot of money to put a nice meal on the table for their families. I also believe that there are many people out there who are struggling to make ends meet and they should be applauded for feeding their families to the best of their abilities. I wrote Southern on a Shoestring with those people in mind because I am one of those people.
My main area of interest is budget cooking. Fortunately, Southern cooking is fairly inexpensive as it incorporates local ingredients that are inexpensive when in season. I have never gone into a grocery store without being highly aware of the cost of an ingredient. I always buy food that is on sale and also purchase store brand products. With creative seasonings, it is easy to make inexpensive food taste delicious.
Pantry & Freezer Stockpiling:
I believe in keeping a well-stocked pantry and freezer so that I can create meals from scratch, often recreating some of our favorite boxed meals. In addition to a well-stocked pantry, I keep a freezer full of packages of meat bought on clearance. I brainstorm ways to stretch small packages of meat to feed my family of four through creative use of pantry ingredients, a variety of spices, and fresh vegetables.
Being born and raised Georgia, I cook the food that I grew up eating. Most of these traditional comfort foods are simple to cook and include common ingredients. And, most importantly for someone on a budget feeding a family, these foods yield numerous servings that can be stretched for more than one meal.
With Southern on a Shoestring, I have attempted to merge my food philosophy with my interests in budget cooking, pantry stockpiling, and Southern recipes. The recipes that I have included in the book are simple to prepare and the ingredients are readily available in any grocery store. My intent is to create recipes that will encourage people to put a simple, delicious dish on the table, to make their struggle just a little bit easier.
For those of you who buy the book, I hope that you will enjoy it and will find a recipe or two that your family will love. Thank you to all who have inspired and supported me in this endeavor!