Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My own cookbook?

Recipes are in the forefront of my mind today. And it’s not all because it’s our topic of the week. First off, we’re creating a recipe book at my day job. I work at a historic house here in Franklin, Tennessee and the staff is putting together a cookbook for visitors to take home as souvenirs. Some of the recipes are from long ago (the house was built in 1826 and is remembered today for the role it played as the largest confederate field hospital during the Battle of Franklin. If anyone has read The Widow of The South, by Robert Hicks, that’s the place!) The rest of the recipes are contemporary and it’s been fun to see the different tastes of so many of the people of Franklin who have submitted recipes. I never thought I’d assist in the authoring of a cookbook, but the opportunity happily presented itself. Hmm, I feel my own dreams of cookbook authorship bubbling to the surface!

I’m thinking about adding a few recipes to my novel, Whistlin’ Dixie In A Nor’easter. A large part of the book takes place in Vermont, where my very southern heroine, Leelee Satterfield, owns a restaurant and inn. Incidentally, inn ownership was never her idea. It’s the brainchild of her narcissistic husband and Leelee reluctantly gives in to what she feels, at the time anyway, is her wifely duty. Having no restaurant experience whatsoever, Leelee is not only a fish out of water in Vermont but feels like an interloper within the walls of the 4 star commercial kitchen. To add insult to injury, the former inn owner – an extra-tall, mean German woman named Helga Schloygin - takes an immediate disliking to Leelee and ruthlessly schemes her demise. The cuisine at the Vermont Haus Inn, at least, is scrumptious and I hope to talk my editor into including some recipes from its menu.

When Leelee’s husband decides inn ownership is no longer the dream for him, he skips out and leaves her to work alongside the German spinster alone. That’s when she discovers her true grit and transforms the dingy Teutonic inn into a charming southern getaway in the mountains of New England. Leelee adds a southern bill of fare as a weekly special and changes the name of the place to The Peach Blossom Inn.

One of my literary heroes is Fannie Flagg. I love that she includes recipes in several of her books. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café spawned it’s own cookbook, the Original Whistle Stop Café Cookbook. I’m going to allow myself to dream that dream too - the publication of my own cookbook, Leelee’s Original Peach Blossom Inn Cookbook!


Jillian Cantor said...

What a cool idea! I hope you actually get to do it :-).

Maureen Lipinski said...

I LOVE this idea! You must run it past the fabulous Katie Gilligan!

Oh, and where you work? Sounds like the perfect place to set a ghost story book!

Lesley Livingston said...

I also adore this idea!!

And I would buy such a book.

And give it to someone who wasn't me and therefore would make good use of it!

(er... see my own post on this subject for needed clarification...)