Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Book For All Food Bloggers

Reorganizing my bookshelves last week to make a little room for a few more, I came across a reference book I'd purchased on-line a few years ago but never had a chance to delve into. But taking the time to read it this week, revealed a very practical guide for anyone who writes about cooking.

The Recipe Writer's Handbook, by Barbara Gibbs Osterman and Jane L. Baker (mine is an older edition than the picture, left) encompasses a range of topics relating to publishing - laws to etiquette. Covering areas from "The Philosophy of Recipe Writing" to "Recipe Testing" to "Recipes for Radio and Television", there are numerous insights and corrections to assist those who love food and want to write about it.

What makes a recipe "yours" as opposed to one you've found in a book or on the web? The "general rule of thumb is that three major changes are required to make a recipe 'yours.' " This could be in ingredients or procedure, but "even if you make such changes, it is a professional courtesy to acknowledge the source or inspiration for the recipe."

There is a whole section of "Food Authorities on Recipe Writing" from food editors and cookbook authors, as well as a mini-dictionary of the correct spelling (various tenses) of cooking terminology in the chapter, "Preferred Spelling of Commonly Used Food Words." For those who are metrically challenged, another section converts numbers to the American measurement standards.

Don't miss the "Resources" chapter at the end, nor the Bibliography that lists several writing, food and beverage reference books to hone your craft.

No comments: