Thursday, November 15, 2007

First-Grade Food Writer?

I volunteer once a week to work with the children in Tess's class. I am at one of the "rotation" stations. The children are divided into groups and rotate between activities. It's very different than when I did the same thing for Kindergarten, where I was just doing a craft or reading a story, while the "real" instructing was going on in the other groups. This year I am really helping the kids work on important skills. Last week, I was working with them on a writing project. One little boy and I had a meeting of the minds. He grinned ear-to-ear because I showed interest in his story and asked him questions. This week, the activity was writing a Thanksgiving menu. When his group came to me, he pulled on my sleeve and said, "Remember me? I am the good writer." (My heart burst!) This week, I paid special attention to him and praised his menu. "Of course it is good. You are such a good writer," I said. He looked up at me and said,"Yes, I know, but does it make you hungry?"
Great. Just what the world needs. Another food writer.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mrs. Rowe's Restaurant Cookbook Signing at Sam's Club—Success!!!

What is a Narrative Cookbook?

I am often asked what a narrative cookbook is. And I smile.
A narrative cookbook is a cookbook that tells a story. If you think about all the different kinds of cookbooks there are, you'll note that some of them just give recipes and hints about food. Narrative cookbooks have recipes, along with stories about the food, history, the people making the food, and so on. The Mrs. Rowe's Restaurant Cookbook: A Lifetime of Recipes from the Shenandoah Valley tell the story of Mrs. Rowe's life, restaurant, food, and give some local history. It tells the story through overlapping techniques—the main one in the narrative that flows throughout the book, which is accented by photo captions, sidebars, recipe head notes.
A narrative cookbook is what it says it is. ;-) A cookbook that tells a story. Any other thoughts about that?