Today we talk about Yes! You can cook, a book by Linda Lawrence published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author Linda Lawrence to get to know her better, and how her book Yes! You can cook, can really help beginners to learn cooking easily.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Where did you find the inspiration to write this book?
I was inspired to write this book by the worrying lack of knowledge so many young people have when it comes to cooking and meal planning. I am constantly appalled at the huge amount of food thrown away by households each week because of this lack of knowledge. Cooking is no longer taught in the majority of mainstream schools in England and that has resulted in 2 or 3 generations of young people leaving school unable to cook, bake or plan meals. This has resulted in huge quantities of food being thrown away each week as there is no clear plan on how to cook meals on a daily basis using ingredients already in the fridge. When I wrote my first cookery book it was for my granddaughter who had asked her father how to make coffee using a cafetiere! I wrote the book by hand and included a multitude of photographs to illustrate how dishes should look in the making. The brief instructions in some cookery books are not always easy to understand and can be ambiguous for someone who has never cooked before. I was then asked by another member of my family if I would write a cookery book for them also. So once again I set about hand writing a cookery book and inserting photographs. But when other friends started to ask if I would write a cookery book for them too, with the same easy to follow instructions and photographs it made sense to write a cookery book that everyone could use.
- What would you like to hear from your readers?
I would like to hear that the simplicity and choice of the recipes, the clear and easy instructions has encouraged them to go into the kitchen and have a go at cooking maybe for the first time in their lives. That, for the first time, they have realised that tasty meals can be made quickly and easily without the multitude of expensive equipment frequently shown on ‘cookery shows’ on the television or endless hours in the kitchen reducing gravy.I would be very heartened to hear that because the book is relatively small it is kept in a kitchen drawer and referred to on a daily basis rather than being left on a coffee table or in a bookcase because of its large size.I would very much like to hear that their household budget for food has reduced because of better meal planning, that their families are eating better and healthier and that very little or no food is being thrown away. I would be particularly pleased to hear that even if they didn’t quite get it right the first time that they are ready to try again. I feel sure that families or friends would appreciate the effort they are putting into making life better.
- How does your book help beginners to learn cooking easily?
I particularly wanted to write a book that was going to be both extremely useful and not expensive to buy. I wanted a book where the price was well within the reach of the average family. After all, my book is all about saving money. I did not want to write a book that was so big and heavy that it had to be kept on a coffee table or in bookcase where only the pictures would be ever looked at. My book will fit comfortably into a kitchen drawer or kept on the worktop in the smallest of kitchens. Here it can be constantly referred to I did not want to write a book where the list of ingredients for each recipe cost most of a weekly household budget probably never to be used again and then thrown away. By listening to comments over the years from family and friends,generally they only ever cook 3 or 4 recipes from any cookery books as so many of the recipes are just not relevant to their lifestyle. So what I have done, I have selected popular recipes, I have then striped them back to use the minimum of ingredients, herbs and spices but still ensuring the end product is tasty and appetizing. The recipes are easy to follow, with detailed instructions and in some cases a number of pictures. This helps to guide the cook through a recipe illustrating how a dish should look in the various stages of cooking. At the start of each recipe I have indicated how many people the dish will serve.
- How did it feel to see your book published?
It was both exciting and frightening. The look and quality of the book exceeded all my expectations, from recipes scribbled on bits of paper, to seeing them in print was fantastic. As my book is not a conventional cookery book I did have a few wobbles, but the comments I have received so far from family, friends and neighbours have been very complimentary. As my close neighbour said, it reminded him of how he used to cook, but over time has let himself slip into bad habits. The book is a collection of favourite recipes from 50 years of cooking. It has made worthwhile the hours and hours of hard work testing and photographing each recipe and bringing it all together. I wrote my first cookery book when I was 15 years old, which I still have by the way, but I never thought at that young age I would ever see a book of mine actually published.
- Are you planning to write more books? On the same genre or a different one?
I am planning to write a second book which will take the reader onto the next, slightly more advanced stage of cooking. It will include tips and hints on the best way to cook meat to ensure a tender and tasty meal. How to cook complete meals without getting hot and bothered over the timings. There will be more on meal planning and more importantly how to plan your weekly shopping and meals to avoid food waste. I feel that cutting down on food waste is a top priority, so I will be showing how to manage your weekly shop to ensure that the only thing thrown away are vegetable peelings, which can go into a compost bin. Additionally, how to reduce plastic waste in the kitchen. Again, it will be a slim book that will keep in a kitchen drawer or on a worktop.
Europe Books thanks the author Linda Lawrence once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside her on the editorial path that led to the publication of her book Yes! You can cook. We wish her the best of luck for her future works.
To you, my dear reader, I hope that this book will encourage you to cook, thanks to the simplicity with which it was written, and that it will bring you joy and satisfaction in doing so. It is always better to say “I tried and I was really good” rather than watching and mulling over not being able. At the same time, I hope that this book will also allow you to understand the importance of not throwing away superfluous food, due to badly planned at the time of purchase, and that this becomes a learning to be applied to all other life contexts where the superfluous does not add, but only takes away.
So, my dear reader, I just have to wish you to enjoy your “cooking” reading!!!