// Hand made recipe book?
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« on: Jul 02, 2008 07:44 AM »

Over the years, I've taken lots of great ideas from sisters Kathy (jazaki Allah khayr and i love you for the sake of Allah). If I remember correctly there was a recipe book that you put together one time? The sisters here are doing something similar. The question is for all: What should go in it other than the recipes? Like hadeeth, sayings,...any ideas how to make it interesting? It is for fund raising for the masjid, but mostly it is Muslims reading it I guess.

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« Reply #1 on: Jul 02, 2008 12:29 PM »


What a fantastic idea!  Let us know how we can purchase it once completed! (boy... you know you're married when you think recipe books are a fantastic idea)

Maybe if you have recipes from different cuisines, you can write up a little history about that culture. 
Like if you start off by introducing the book with a preface that talks about the diversity within Islam, and then break it down culture-wise. 

The hadith is a great idea.  But don't fill it up with mundane, non-Islamic quotes.  I think that would get boring.

You could also have an entire section on Ramadan foods, like at the end. 

That's it for now. I'm still thinking.
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« Reply #2 on: Jul 02, 2008 12:35 PM »

As salaamu alaikum

A couple of "extras" come to mind.  Since the cookbook is being used as a fundraiser include a blurb about that (which perhaps you've already thought of).  If submitted recipes are regional cuisine include a blurb about the region it is from.  If they are recipes handed down from one generation to the next include a story about that - such as the first time the dish was prepared by the first and how the one including it learned how to make it.  Often when someone prepares a particular dish there are other foods/dishes that they make with it so a note on the lines of "this dish works well with.....".  For example when I make my Moroccan-style chicken dish I basically go "international" and also make caribbean peas and rice as well as southern corn bread (everything  made from scratch - no box mix here).  Although each thing is from a different region/country the flavors and textures work well together.  Depending upon how thick the book would be perhaps a brief bio of each contributor would be a nice touch as well.

As salaamu alaikum

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« Reply #3 on: Jul 02, 2008 02:39 PM »

Thanks for the shout out... may Allah swt accept it from me.

I loved making the cookbook. Actually it was for my family and future generations since the recipes were going to be lost forever after i died. (my siblings don't cook any of our ethnic dishes- but they love them when i make them.)

It is almost like recipes skip a generation. My grandmother was the cook and my mom didn't. When they both died- no one knew how to cook the food.

My cookbook included a whole page of introduction to the reasons i made the book, thank yous to my nieces who were my guinea pig taste testers, acknowledgment of the relatives that died.. and then you know me... a bit of dawah.
Start with Bismillah on the first page- English and Arabic.
Have a table of contents- list the recipes in the English and foreign names.
Do not accept any recipes that are vague in ingredient sizes. make the person figure it out.
Have a substitute page:IE. Ghee- butter/oil. Just in case future generations can't find the 'ethnic' ingredient
Writing a recipe book can get boring. Do not skimp on directions. What makes sense to you- might not to an inexperienced cook. IE- make a water bath for your cheesecake- a non cook would not have a clue.
The binder should be ring style- so it lays open flat for the cook
Invest in a cover that has plastic- wipes clean
Glossary, index pages
Measurement Europe vs American- Do not mix these in the books- figure out your audience and make it all cc's or oz.
i did have an ayat or hadith- in English on a lot of pages in regard to food.
pick your audience and develop accordingly.
Remember- a lot of Americans would love to know how to make your food- they would love a copy
Ingredients- write them as they are named in the local every day stores- in parenthesis you can write your language.
At the very end of the book- have a dawah page. Pillars, beliefs and prophets, just enough to pique their interest and list a contact- Jannah.org or WhyIslam.org (For those who may be curious)
Font size- no smaller than 11pt.
Pictures- We may not know what it is called- but know what it looks like.
Number servings- does it feed 10 people or 4?
I would have a buffet section. Dishes for community dinners
Have a knowlegable cook proof read it. after you have looked at it a hundred times you will need fresh eyes.

Have fun with it-

"Allah surely knows the warmth of every teardrop... " Jaihoon
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