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

This is wonderful! And yes I for one would love being able to be part of your process! Do share how you make it happen!

Claire

Heidi, how exciting! Can't wait for the new book. Please do share your process... it's probably my favorite type of insider peek. To see someone else's creative process is, to me, endlessly fascinating.

Would love to hear about your creative process. Your work inspires me so much! Can't wait until 2011. Thanks Heidi.

Jenifer

yes, definitely share your inspirations/design ideas, etc.!

Tina

Absolutely! Everyone I know is waiting for my book! It terrifies me. I have started with my collections and am formulating my ideas on what it will include, why and how it will look. Oh, please do share. PS, I absolutely love your blog. It is very inspirational.

I'm so thrilled for you!! You are the person I've never met that I think of most fondly.

Please do share the process, recipes, photos, anything from the new book as it unfolds! It would be fun, maybe create some helpful feedback and would definitely be delicious! Looking very forward to it.

Marcia Larson

Yay! Thanks so much Heidi! Looking forward to your new book. Super Natural cooking has become a staple in my kitchen. Your website has made me experiment and learn more about what works well together. Looking forward to the posts on putting your new cookbook together.

shilpa

Yes please! It would be awesome if you would share that. Love your other book btw...

srm

A few months ago I had a dream that I ran into you and Alice Waters (!) on one of my trips to visit my brother and sister-in-law. Unfortunately, even in my dream, I could not think of anything substantial to say to either of you. This probably means I might be a bit obsessed with the food movement in which you two have been/ are involved. In other words, yes, yes, yes please, share the creative book-making process. You are one of my major inspirations-- and I'm not even a vegetarian (but I've upped my non-meat intake tremendously since I first came upon your blog about one year ago.)

Isela

phew! i bought your amazing book super natural cooking about three months ago and am almost half way through it, so I am seriously going to need your second book by spring 2011 :) i would love to hear about the process of putting a book together.

I'm interested. Keep up the good work. Thanks for sharing inspiration, practicality and beauty while guiding us in excellent cooking.

ann

I'm a very small drop in the wide sea of your readers but you DID ask...I'd love to read of the processes of putting a new book together. Anything you are willing to share I'm so happy to read. Thanks for the opportunity!!

pat

Congratulations! I love your cookbook and am now super excited about your new one! And I would love a series of posts about putting a book together.

Sarah

yay!!! so looking forward to your new book and would love to read posts on the process.

Heather: I am so grateful for the discovery of your webjournal. I have benefited so much from the fresh and natural recipes/ideas. I wouldn't go so far as to say it has changed my life- but it has definitely made an impact on a huge part of it!! I would love to see the process of creating and publishing your new book..... Thank You!!!

lisag

Congrats! Like all other 123 people above, I am really looking forward to the new book coming out!

Heidi, is there any way that you could include nutritional info in this cookbook? I love your recipes, but it would be so helpful if that other information was included as well! thanks and looking foward to the new book...

Emmarie

I love the concept of your new book. For those of us who are busy with work and kids, it is appealing to hear about how to best celebrate seasonal ingredients on the day-to-day level. As someone who is toying around with the idea of a book of my own, I would really appreciate learning about your creative process and photography tips. You are an inspiration.

yay!! cant wait for spring 2011 and super natural everyday to come!! can you give us a sneak peak at some of the recipes... my eagle eyes tell me your fabulous red lentil soup w brown rice made it into the book. congratulations in advance!

kbto

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