Remember your Grandma's collection of recipes? My Grandma's recipes
were written on notepaper in a looseleaf binder - the "poorman's cookbook".
Some of her better recipes resided in her head, entirely committed to memory,
and more than a few were created on the fly, with hands that just knew
"how much", "how many", "how long", and "when".
Cooks today rely on the cookbook publishing industry to document Grandma's
Kitchen, as well as the artistic developments in the culinary industry.
My quest this week was to find an online cookbook with hypertext links
to other online resources - historical information, suppliers, a glossary
of cooking terms, recipes for complementary sidedishes, etc.
What I found was a hearty pantry of recipes, quite a number of sources
to purchase cookbooks, and a wealth of cooking information, including newsletters,
reviews, and food-related resources.
Cookbook publishing has long been a successful fundraising venture,
and one of the most extensive sites I visited was Fundcraft
Publishing. Fundcraft has been publishing community cookbooks since
1941, and their website provides all the vital information a civic group
or charitable organization might need to launch a successful program.
Two really neat features of the site were the Workbook, which provides
a step-by-step planning guide for organizations to use in developing a
cookbook as a fundraiser, and the PC program they offer to facilitate pre-press
submissions. If an organization utilizes the software they offer, the project
cost is reduced by $50. The $10 deposit required for the disk is refundable
upon return of the disk, even if no order is placed. What a fair deal!
Too bad the program is not downloadable!
A wide variety of add-on options are available, to further customize
the cookbook - specific cover art, ink-color options, special information
sections, advertising and coupon options.
The Fundcraft site links to Cookbooks
Online, which serves as a marketing and sales vehicle. You can order
a variety of cookbooks directly from Cookbooks Online in any of a dozen
categories. Categories include civic groups, charity foundations, church
groups, schools and many more.
Another interesting site was Thunderball
Press, which publishes cookbooks on disk. They offer two formats, either
Master Cook II or Microsoft Write (both printable). Once you have the disks,
there will be updates available from their website - quite a revolutionary
feature! They will soon offer downloadable new cookbooks, as well.
In the meantime, their website provides sample recipes in a wide assortment
The Wimmer Company specializes
in marketing regional and community cookbooks in an effort to preserve
cultural traditions. It wasn't clear from their website whether they actually
publish community cookbooks for fundraising purposes, but they most definitely
distribute them. They offer a half dozen links to sample cookbooks, including
interesting anecdotes or historical information about the communities they
represent and scrumptious recipes.
Webhead that I am, I was fascinated by Food
Tales, which you will find at Sally's
Place, an excellent culinary site with much to offer. Food Tales
is a continuing interactive novel by Samuel Bernstein, which of course
is focused on food and cooking. The story line is quite entertaining, and
there are relevant links to recipes (with photos), as well! Be forewarned
however...pages on this site take a while to download at 28.8, but they're
Cookbook reviews were a new concept to me. (I'm a taste-tester, myself.)
Two Don't Miss sites are the Electronic
Gourmet Guide (eGG), which features cookbook reviews, plus a plethora
of food related information, and Cook's
Nook, a feature of Book Stacks Unlimited. In addition to cookbook reviews,
Cook's Nook offers news, features, and even a message board forum to discuss
Rounding out my culinary tour were two unique sites quite worthy of
mention. One is The
Bargain Cookbook Table, offered by The Cookbook Connection in Belton,
MO. If you are looking for quality discounted cookbooks, make this your
first stop. They also handle "remainder" inventories of fundraiser
cookbooks that can be a mother lode of classic recipes, and a Grab Bag
option that could be the hit of your pot luck dinner!
If your taste runs nostalgic, you might take a look at A
Sentimental Journey, a Gladewater, Texas company that specializes in
old and rare cookbooks. Pricy, perhaps...but keepers, nonetheless.
Two other sites I just have to mention are The
Cookbook Store, which features Canadian cookbooks and an excellent
newsletter, and The
Whole Health Book Company. The Whole Health Book Company specializes
in vegetarian cookbooks and health related topics.
I am still looking for a hypertext cookbook or collection of recipes.
Certainly, it is only a matter of time. In the meantime, I will fill the
void with two of my Grandmothers' recipes: Grandma Rager's (father's side)
recipe for Hot Chicken
Salad, and Grandma McCanna's (mother's side) recipe for Cream