I’m Writing A Book And You Can Help

I soft-launched an announcement about this about a month ago, but shit’s gotten real on the Write A Book front, so I wanted to keep you guys in the loop.

First, the Big Announcement, if you missed it when I snuck it in the first time around: yup, I’m writing a book. It is a mildly opinionated How To that focuses on from-scratch cooking, food preservation, modern Home Ec, and how to do this kind of stuff without going nuts or joining a hippie commune in Georgia. (Unless hippie communes in Georgia are your cup of tea, in which case, you’ll definitely want to learn how to make kombucha from that tea before you pack.)

Most of what’s slated to be in the book is new. There are a few old-favorite recipes from the blog that regular and dedicated readers will recognize, but this is not a print-out of content you’ve already read here. Just getting all the philosophy-side stuff out of my head and onto the page in an organized way is a pretty massive undertaking, but because I’m nuts, there are also detailed beginner-friendly explanations of everything from braising to beer-making, and over 100 recipes to test, perfect, and make accessible to cooks, food preservers and new productive homekeepers of all experience levels.

Some of you (you know who you are) have been telling me to write a book for three years. Okay, it’s happening! Yay! But I’m on a tight, five-month deadline, and in order to create something all of us can be proud of, I need a little help.

So, I’m looking for recipe testers. Here’s what that means. I am frantically cooking, brewing, canning, dehydrating and mixing up concoctions in the kitchen. I’m getting them to a place where I think these recipes are awesome, but I need other people to make sure that the recipes make sense and work outside of my head and my kitchen.

If you are interested in testing recipes for the book and have time to follow a recipe and honestly assess it, including filling out a fairly detailed one-page questionnaire I’d send you about your experience making the recipe, please let me know by subscribing to the NW Edible Book Helper Team mailing list. This is a totally different list from the RSS feed that automatically sends you all new posts when they are published, so unless you sign up for the new list, nothing about the book beyond what I might write on the blog will be sent to you.

I’m sorry to say I’m not in a position to pay or otherwise compensate for this help beyond my own undying gratitude. No one should feel under any obligation to volunteer to recipe test, and signing up for the Book Helper List list doesn’t mean you have to actually do anything. It’s just something that will give you the opportunity to raise your hand occasionally over the next five months if you like trying new recipes, get something out of this site, would like to know that you’re helping and are in the life space to do so. No worries if not!

The most pressing testing right now is all about booze (fun, huh?). Because most alcohol ferments take several months to come into their own (and some far longer) I’m starting my testing with that.

If you are interested in hearing more or helping out, just sign up. Otherwise, thank you guys so much for your patience with a less aggressive posting schedule here as I work on the book. I still have lots of great content I want to share with you on the blog, it’s just a time-balance to get that much writing in!

To join the Official NW Edible Book Helper Team, subscribe using the form below, or click here. You will receive periodic emails (probably weekly) with updates on the progress of the book and info for how to help with the current round of recipe testing. Signing up for this email list doesn’t commit you to anything, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Thanks for considering!

Join The NW Edible Book Helper Team!

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  1. says

    2 guaranteed sales here. One for me, and one for my sister. Her family is big into growing food and doing long term storage for lean times.

    I forward links to her all the time :P

  2. Jensen says

    How exciting! Good luck and I can’t wait to read about your progress. You are very unique and I am looking forward to hearing your story.

  3. Kyle says

    Yay!!!! One caution: I think it is easy for bloggers to fall into the trap of wanting the book to be “new” and losing the voice that made them good in the first place. There is plenty of information here that is awesome that belongs in a book, so don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!

  4. jane parks says

    Yes, would love to test recipes! But, I have an urgent need of my own. We a huge patch of Marion blackberries which we planted last summer and an older patch of tame, thornless blackberries. The problem…in a few weeks we will have an abundant crop of blackberries. I have never made homemade wine but need to learn the technique so I can use some of this fruit. Would you have any simple wine recipes for me to test?

  5. Suzanne says

    Hey Erica! Just last night I was visiting the blog multiple times to follow your no-pectin jam directions. Emboldened by the success of my new jars of plum jam with cardamom and red wine–which, while it falls short of “Sweet Baby Jesus” status, is really not half bad–I have signed up for recipe testing, and promise to try and give feedback on at least a few. (It may even be a good thing to have some of the culinarily challenged along for the ride–if I can follow it with success, probably anybody can.) Love your blog and eagerly await your book!

  6. Julia says

    What Kyle said. I know that buying a book that turns out to be a compilation of blog posts available for free on the interwebs is infuriating, but you don’t want to skip out on all of the goodness that is here. Maybe you should ask for input – what pieces on the blog here NEED to be included in your book, for those who aren’t familiar with your website? There really are people who don’t like to read things on screens. I don’t know much about the publishing business, but I think it’s color pictures that make books expensive (and gorgeous), not extra pages of text.

  7. Lisa says

    So excited, definitely going to buy your book. Can’t wait until it is published & I can get my paws on it. I love all your information on your blog and have been inspired!

  8. Erin says

    So excited to be a recipe tester and starting with booze is perfect, I just bought wine making stuff to do it on my own, but I’d rather do it with your guidance. Can’t wait!

  9. Christina says

    Erica, congrats! Avid follower and neighbor! Signed up to be a taster but no confirmation email back?

  10. Staci says

    I just found your blog a few months ago. I found the giant list of all the posts, and have read most of them… Caught up to current as of last week! :) since I made (and loved) your Thai cabbage salad, and made (and loved) your preserved lemons, and made (and loved) several jams, and made… You get the picture… :) I’d love to test recipes! I’ve got chickens and a small orchard and berries, with plans for a food forest, bees, and maybe ducks… But plain old annual vegetables terrify me for some reason, probably because I’ve not had much success: the bugs usually win. I love reading about your garden, I’m hoping I learn enough to keep mine alive! Thanks so much!!

  11. Lucy says

    I am so for this. And I agree with the others, it doesn’t all have to be new. Where if not in this book, do the neat things get saved for posterity? I like your stuff and haven’t had time to read it all – maybe the book would be an easy way. There is Nothing Wrong with That.

  12. says

    I just signed up (rather late, I know). I can follow SMALL batch homebrewing recipes (my set-up is 1 gallon), along with just about whatever else.

    Hope I can help. :)

  13. Renee says

    If you still need any more recipes testers, I’d love to help! I used to be a mystery shopper way back when and I can describe, analyze and suggest until the cows come home.

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