A First Look

A First Look

There are a number of reasons I love working on books. I love being able to live with recipes and images for months, or even years. Something about revisiting and working on them over time just feels right. I love taking photographs for print. I enjoy the collaborative process of working on a book. I love holding a finished book in my hands...there are a lot of reasons.

I'm sitting here looking at a document dated December 18, 2005, it is my author agreement with Ten Speed Press for Super Natural Cooking. I don't know how four years passed so quickly, but it has. I delivered the manuscript and photography in August 2006, the book was published the following spring. I loved working on that book. And now, looking back on it, I'm realizing I sort of never stopped.

Not long after submitting the manuscript for Super Natural Cooking, I started setting aside photos I loved, and continued to keep notebooks of my favorite recipes, ideas, and inspirations. I wasn't sure what I would do with them, or what would emerge over time, but I had a hunch something might. Or not. Either way, I don't like the idea of rushing these sorts of things. I've come to believe you can't really rush inspiration, it comes on its own schedule, emerging and intersecting my life when it sees fit. I just try to keep my eyes open.

Keeping it local: Aaron Wehner, now publisher of Ten Speed Press, also happens to be a friend and neighbor. It's nice to be able to casually throw ideas around with him at the playground in the park across from my house, or over coffee up the block. I suspected (and hoped) that if I was going to work on another book, it would be with Ten Speed. They're located in Berkeley, and there's nothing quite like being able to share font inspirations with your designer face to face, or hang out with your editor over lunch or drinks. I've been very fortunate in that regard.

Now, there's a big difference between thinking about a book, and turning an idea into an actual book. I'm not sure if it is like this for everyone, but speaking for myself, committing to a book project is both exciting and terrifying. There was a point last year when my excitement about the prospect of making a new book tipped the balance away from terrified, and I started attempting to wrangle things into something real and cohesive. Something I was excited to share.

A new cookbook: I'm working on one :) I'll submit the manuscript and photography to Ten Speed this summer, and it will be published in spring 2011. It will be a follow up to Super Natural Cooking, and the working title is Super Natural Every Day. In short, it's a glimpse into my everyday cooking and everyday life. All new recipes, all new photography. In equation form: Me + Northern California + cooking with natural foods + my kitchen in San Francisco = Super Natural Every Day.

The recipes: The recipes are rooted in whole and natural foods. They typically feature a handful of seasonal ingredients, some inkling of nutritional balance, and most come together with minimal effort. At times it's tough, but I've resisted the urge to include any over-the-top, special-occasion creations. I also skipped any that had lots of components, or required elaborate time commitments. Instead, I went back to my notebooks and have anchored the book in my favorite everyday creations. The recipes I revisit over and over.

There is so much more I'd like to tell you about it, so much I'm excited to share. I was thinking I might write a series of posts focused on the creative process of making this book if you're interested? I was thinking: photography; the manuscript; the design process; inspiration; the recipes....? Let me know what you think.

And most importantly, this post wouldn't be complete without a heartfelt thank you to all of you who embraced Super Natural Cooking. Simply stated, without your support, I wouldn't be working on another book.

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Comments

Yes! Your last book was beautiful. It would be amazing to have insight into your design process.

Megan

hello heidi and congratulations! this is great news! of course it would be an inspiration to hear about your process. i look forward to those posts. thanks so much for both your book and your site. every few days i find myself referencing one or the other and constantly recommend them to friends.

ann

fantastic! I would love to hear more. I have supernatural cooking, and I would absolutely have to get your next book. It's that much more special when we have been following you through the process.

kt

I would LOVE to read posts detailing your creative process. You're always so generous with us, your readers! I'm looking forward to the next book. My copy of Super Natural Cooking is dogeared and the spine is falling apart. I'm about to take it into Office Max to have a spiral binding put on it and to laminate the front and back covers, otherwise I doubt the book will last another month!

i would love to hear more about the process- specifically the photography aspect

I work in publishing (not cookbooks) and I would love to watch your new book develop through your blog. My boyfriend says he's never met anyone who reads cookbooks like I do, as if they are regular books. Looking forward to more posts!

Carlin

congrats!! i am very excited to see what comes next. i love your first book! and I for one would be very interested in reading a series of blog posts on the process! :)

Oh I am so excited. I love Super Natural Cooking. All the recipes I've made with it, or from your website in general have been awesome :)

I would love to read about your creative process! What a wonderful preview to your new book that would be. I am trying to push a little creative writing into my work these days. In my battle with cancer, I have been thinking about trying to write about it in a creative way. We'll see...

I would love to hear more about your creative process. :-) Your blog posts are such a delight and inspiration and I'm so happy you're able to turn that into books of things you love. :-)

I would love to read more about the creative process of putting a book together!

Heidi, you are just so inspiring to me, and to other people! Your photography, your recipes, your writing, and everything else makes me want to do what I love doing! I purchased your book, when I first learned of your blog, when I began blogging in April of last year. This time around, I will have been a long-time reader of 101 Cookbooks and a fan of you, your book, Super Natural Cooking, and the new book, Everyday Super Natural Cooking. Heidi, you are real inspiration to many of us! :)

Hooray! NSC hasn't quite made it to the 'toehold cookbook shelf--it's stacked on the fridge with the other regularly used cookbooks, stuffed with recipes from the site.

monkeytoe

Congratulations, that's great news! I've been cooking from SNC this past week, and I look forward to having another book of its kind on my shelf.

I love Super Natural Cooking and can't wait for your new book. Please include us in the process of creating it. I would love to hear more about it!

Heather

"a series of posts focused on the creative process of making this book" yes please!

vici

Congrats! I'm very excited about the new book, and I would love to hear more about the process! I'm always excited (giddy, almost) when I see that you have a new post, because invariably it's something that sounds and looks delicious. I remember the first time that I saw Super Natural Cooking - I tried to make a list of recipes to try, and ended up jotting down virtually ever recipe in the book. I look forward to having this experience all over again in 2011 :)

Heidi, I've just come from baking two batches of your cookies: the Nikki's Healthy Cookies and the Carrot-Oatmeal cookies. I simply adore both cookies, and have just been raving about 'em—and the sushi bowl, which I've also made recently—to a close friend. I then happen to check your (freaking awesome, my favorite ever) blog and what do I find? Another amazing cookbook is in the works. In a word: HUZZAH!!!!!!!! Best of luck from Washington DC, Rachel

Rachel

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