Tuesday, May 23, 2017

CookBooks or Story Books or Books...

CookBooks and other Odities...

The photo that got the ball rolling
When you are dreaming of being a chef you can't help but dream of making a cookbook. The problem for me is I don't use them. I know your thinking WHAT!

But it is true.

I have only opened 3-4 in my entire life. One was to see Gordon Ramsay's Autograph, one was to get a cake recipe Betty Crocker, standard Martha Stewart's Cookie book ( I don't like to bake) and one was a gift and I kinda wanted to look at the pictures.

So writing a cookbook seemed totally foreign to me- I mean honestly, do you follow recipes?

Check my poll on twitter- I will pin a tweet poll there

My first idea was to write a book to teach you how to think like I do- with lots of photos and space for my readers to explore. I mean a big ole book. Problem with that is wow. it a lot of work and a lot of money to produce and you would have to re-imagine cooking to see it how I do.

I started brainstorming with my Mom and we thought about what I love, who I am, and a bunch of other stuff.  This crazy girl on Instagram drew me on the show in this wild manga style now I mean wicked cool. It stuck with Mom- said write a Graphic Novel.

I read Graphics, love them for the fun way they tell a story in a newer style. They help me get through some classics like Shakespeare and I love Manga art. You might not know this but Japan is my goal city and Manga is like a gateway to the cool world of perfect food and cute things, lots of cute things.

I started by messaging this crazy girl- crazy talented and well,l say crazy cause she said yes! She said she would draw my story. I had to make some sacrifices. I was writing a different series of stories about another character and I really, really did not want to write about a fictional me. It is rather weird to write about yourself as a character and exactly how it all fit together. But I did it.

Today my first Novel a Graphic Novel Adventure Cookbook is going to press. The crazy talented girl Cindy Tan is my Illustrator, Micah Phil is my colorist and letterer, my Aunt did the proof reading, It is a huge group effort. My Gran helped with the title, Cooking Dreams.

I like it- what would Cooked Dreams taste like? Success? I am still thinking about that!
Here are some cool photos of the entire process and trust me it was a long one.

Love the Cabbage,

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Well, Butter my Biscuits...

The National Cornbread Festival!

I really enjoy a good festival, so when I saw the National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg TN. I had to go. Lodge talked to me and I was selected to be the Emcee of the Kid's Cook Off. 

It took some convincing to get Dad to drive but we set off on a road trip. Yaaa, road trips are so much fun. After the five hour car ride we finally arrived. 

The festival was a great mix of, art, music, carnival fun, and of course great corn bread. I Emceed the 4-H cornbread cook off. That means 4th graders compete for $500 and bake their recipe for the win. The tension was high, these kids all really wanted to win. When your 9-10 years old 500 bucks is a lot of money. Heck, it is a lot of money to just about everyone.

The festival sponsored by Lodge Cast Iron and Martha White cornbread mix was huge almost 30K of people showed up for the fun

It's interesting to learn about the benefits of cooking in cast iron and the love affair cast iron has with cornbread. One tip I learned was to pre-heat your cast iron pan before pouring in the corn bread to make sure it won't stick. I use cast iron now and then but with some new tricks and a new skillet, of course, it might be my go to pan. 
I also found this really cool knife made out of an old railroad spike that I just can't wait to try. 

The high point of the whole trip was defiantly the Lodge Foundry tour. Seeing how such a classic and distinctly American product is made and taking a trip back in thyme a little bit looking at how a business evolved since 1896. Actually noticing when machinery changed and the break room got redesigned was quite fascinating.

Cast iron is one of those cooking methods that has a learning curve but if your able to master it then it will work forever, like forever.
First the pans need to be seasoned and then you need to care for these pans carefully. It isn't too much extra work and it is pretty easy once you commit to your pan. Name your skillet it helps.

Watch for me to post up a video on the care and seasoning of a pan or two and you might just join me in loving this sustainable and healthy cookware. 
Hit this link for a cool 360' video I took in the foundry! 


Love the Cabbage,

You can also Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Vine.