Note: DCCC is not currently taking new members or functioning as a cookbook club. In the hope that the guidelines I developed for DCCC might be of use to anyone thinking of starting up their own club, I have left the following in place as a resource.
If you are a member of DCCC, you’re invited to submit postings about the cookbook DCCC is currently reading and cooking from. To sumbit a posting, simply send the posting content to my email address under Contact in the banner.
I like to think of the postings as an outlet for members to express their thoughts and reactions (pleasures? frustrations?) to the recipes they are making during the several weeks between meetings. It is also a place where food finds and creative “food happenings” can be noted and described—more on that to follow.
What constitutes a posting?
Pretty much anything. The only requirement is that the content be topical: It should relate to the current DCCC cookbook, either directly or indirectly—be it the cuisine, an ingredient, a cooking method, or a particular recipe.
Please try to keep your posting to a maximum of about 500 words. And, if possible, please include a still or moving image—a photograph, scan of a drawing, video clip—to create greater interest in your posting. If you don’t enjoy writing, or don’t have time to write a posting, but would still like to contribute something, you can simply submit a photograph or video clip accompanied by a caption. If you would like to include a recipe from a DCCC cookbook in your posting—whether as is or slightly adapted—let me know in advance as I will need to request permission from the publisher or author.
I reserve the right to make small edits your posting (don’t worry, you’re in good hands; editing is how I make my living), or to not publish your posting. (See “reasons why I may not post a member’s posting” below.)
Ideas for postings
If you’re not sure what you’d like write about, but know you’d like to contribute something, you may find inspiration in these posting ideas, which are broken up into four main categories: “Kitchen Diaries,” “Field Trips,” “Food Happenings,” and “Cookbook Reviews.”
Kitchen Diaries. You may share your exploits in the kitchen as you test recipes from the current DCCC cookbook or come up with creative twists based on a recipe from same cookbook. If recipe testing is what you’ve been up to, you might talk about how easy or hard it was to make the dish, and whether it came off without a hitch. Did you learn something new from the author? Were you surprised by the taste?
Field Trips. Sometimes it’s time to take a break from the kitchen and do a little field work. You may want to let readers know about your activities outside of the kitchen, about what you’ve learned in the “field.” Did you find a local farmer who grows a special heirloom variety that a DCCC cookbook author mentions, or a hard-to-find Asian herb or vegetable used in one of the cookbooks? Did you try a local restaurant serving the same cuisine, or even specific dishes, as those in the current DCCC cookbook? All such research will be helpful and interesting to readers.
Food Happenings. Like the term “Art Happening,” I think of food happenings as something non-linear and creative (a maybe even a bit wacky). And they should be something you do or make, whether inside the kitchen or out, that was inspired by something you read in (or a dish you tasted from) a DCCC cookbook. The source of your inspiration might be an author’s off-hand comment about food or cooking, a touching description of a food memory, or the author’s passion for a particular ingredient. I read a beautiful and evocative account of a winter picnic in Darra Goldstein’s The Winter Vegetarian, which has inspired me to create a winter picnic menu of my own and make an outing. If DCCC one day chooses this book, my idea for a winter outing, or “happening,” would definitely fit into this posting category.
Cookbook Reviews. You may post a review of each DCCC cookbook. In addition to individual member reviews, I will post a summary review of each cookbook based on members’ feedback at the potluck meeting, which will allow readers get a sense of what the group thinks of each cookbook in one posting.
Reasons why I may not post a member’s posting:
- If the posting content isn’t about the current DCCC cookbook, directly or indirectly.
- If the posting is very long. Long postings do not keep readers interests as well as shorter ones.
- If the technical quality of the posting content is very poor. This applies to the writing and visuals. By technical quality, I am referring to writing with loads of spelling errors and sentences so poorly constructed that it’s impossible to make heads or tails of the content; and to photographs or video clips that are very difficult to make out, whether from being very under- or overexposed, or extremely grainy, creative license aside. Perfection isn’t required—what you have to say is more important than getting every comma correctly placed—but please do use your spell checker, reread your posting before sending it off, and do some color correction or brightness/contrast adjustments to your images if necessary. Your readers will appreciate your efforts!
- Aside from the three points above, I will not censure postings. A variety of opinions and experiences is very welcome, and even a little profanity is okay with me. (This blog is not for children after all.)