The Kitchen Party Cookbook!
I’ve been buzzing with excitement as my new project, The Kitchen Party Cookbook, takes form! I spent the winter and spring developing and testing recipes for this celebration of the food and music of the East Coast. Let me tell you, testing these party food recipes was not a tough job. My kids were happy to test every nacho and meatball variation I could throw at them.
Of course you know I wasn’t going to make a cookbook without the help of Laura MacDonald of Deep Hollow Print, my trusted friend with whom I created The Union Street Café Cookbook. I met Laura when I ran the Union Street Café, a local food restaurant and music venue in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. She started making gig posters for us on her Vandercook press. You can see many of them here! Laura kind of blows my mind. She carves beautiful art into linoblocks and combines those with old woodtype to print on her old Vandercook press, makes beautiful reduction art prints, designs digital posters and thingies, formats books, and plays guitar. She is just an incredible artist.
Laura agreed to make another book with me, even though I’m quite annoying to work with, changing and tweaking things up to the very last second. Anyway.
I originally thought I was writing a holiday cookbook, testing out recipes for roasted turkey and creamy turnip alongside a slew of appetizer recipes. Eventually though, the party food recipes started to take over. Then my bookseller friend Hilary suggested that a holiday book was a little limited in terms of when people will actually use it. She gives great advice so I changed course immediately, but I could not for the life of me figure out a title I was happy with.
In the middle of a long-winded, quite one-sided conversation with my sister Meagan (something Gabrielle Hamilton calls “taking a bath in her ear”) in which I was expressing my frustration about what to call this food-and-music celebration, she said: “You are going to call it The Kitchen Party Cookbook, right?” Then I said “I am now!!
And so it is.
Then I lined up Monica Beaton, a local cartographer and friend of mine that had created the Annapolis Valley food map for the first cookbook, to make a new map for this book. Little did she know it would eventually have nearly 100 points on it, all wonderful food businesses in the province and around the Maritimes.
I started asking some of my favourite Nova Scotians and food writers for support for the project. Old Man Luedecke even let me use a line from one of my favourite songs of his. Here it is on Laura’s press!
Gaspereau Press, an esteemed publisher and print shop in Kentville, agreed to print the insides of the book and assemble them. Since Laura’s studio is right next door, she was able to capture the various stages of making a book, like this video of Gary printing the pages:
And of Connie working the sewing machine:
Here’s the day Laura let my kids and me print a few covers!
And a shot of my Mom takin’ a shot of a few dishes from The Kitchen Party Cookbook!