Friday 4 December 2009

It's in the Mail

Many moons ago there was talk about Karen's wonderful cooking skills and the desire to get some of her coveted recipes. At that particular moment I had some time available for a project so I suggested I could help her create a cookbook. It seemed like a cute idea and would be fun to get lots of great recipes and put them all together in a book. The next thing I knew I was at a store and there was a cookbook for sale that had been put out by the local animal shelter, this must be fate wanting me to do this project.

So as you know I put out the call for recipes, lots and lots of recipes. I researched cookbook fund raising companies and found one that looked like they had good prices and a nice looking product. I had all the recipes from everyone and had compiled them all, categorized and organized them.

Then I moved from Maine back to Vermont and had some difficulties getting Internet all set up so there was a little break from the cookbook. Once I was back up and running I went to the website for the cookbook company and found if I entered all the recipes into their program I would save quite a bit. This sounded like a great idea until I started entering the information and that required each amount and item to be entered individually into program. It was very slow going and a bit of a cumbersome program. Now if I was only entering a few recipes it would have been fine there were over 200 recipes and that seemed a daunting project.

Next was to find a different printer that might be more reasonable and that I could give them the recipes in a Word document. I checked with the local printer(to where I was in Vermont) because I thought it would be the right thing to use a local business but their prices were sky high so that was definitely out. Next I found another printer, Minuteman Press, in Montpelier, Vermont (about 45 minutes from where I was in the summer) that had a good price and the folks there were extremely friendly and helpful. Oh but once again it was much less expensive if I formatted the recipes myself. So I started the formatting and decided to add pictures to each page, which of course took a good deal of time as well!

After a month of working on the formatting (oh did I mention that I moved back to Maine in the middle of all of this?) and getting the pictures I decided to send the pages off to Heather Wall for proofing. Heather was great and the proofing went along pretty quickly but again it was one more step in the process. Then we had all the sections ready to go and proofed but we still needed a small section of introduction to complete it all. After a bit of prodding and nudging the introduction was completed and all the pieces of the cookbook were ready to be sent off to the printer.

It was easy to send all the sections via email and Minuteman Press was excellent in getting a sample printed and sent to me for review. I was so excited when I got the review thinking the cookbook was only days away from completion. The printing took a few days and then there was Thanksgiving and then the binding. Well on Monday I emailed and asked about the cookbook and they said sometime next week. I asked if we could push and get 150 of the 250 ordered done so I could get them out in the mail. (Karen has had a tremendous response and there were just over 150 pre ordered) So yesterday I drove to Montpelier, which is now a 6+ hour drive round trip from here, and picked up all the cookbooks.

This afternoon I finally had some free time and packed up all the books in the packaging to be sent. Thankfully it was warm so I was able to do it all out of the back of my car. Needless to say the post office groaned when I came in with 3 big boxes of packages to be sent in the mail!! And I didn't even send one to Karen either!!!

So what is the point of all this rambling? Well first I wanted to tell all of you that yes the cookbooks are in the mail!! Secondly I wanted you to know that this little project turned into a bit of a monster and took a long time to complete all the pieces. Thank you for your patience in waiting for the cookbooks to finally be finished. When I first was getting bids for the cookbook I estimated it would be about 50 pages and it ended up being 150+ pages!

So I hope you enjoy the cookbook and please know there are still lots left for sale! There is something warm and fuzzy knowing this is one way of helping Karen get to Iditarod and yes keeping Kara in Dentastix as well!!



Nannette Morgan said...


Thanks for all your and Heather's tremendous work on this project! I had no idea that you were moving back and forth also in the midst of this! You are tenacious like a good Sled Dog!

Thanks for all the work AND letting us know it's in the mail.

Andi Louise said...

AWESOME!!! looking forward to cooking with it in my new home.

granimar said...

Commitment and loyalty are such importance in a friendship, Helen you surpass all elements of the word "friend"
Thank you and Heather for all of the work, thank you for your continued support of North Wapiti. Supporters like you and Heather are ideed worth your weight in gold.

Anonymous said...

Woohoo it's in the mail...truthfully...I would have waited til spring...or however long it took. What a great fundraising activity. I can hardly wait to see/try everyone's recipes. Thanks Helen and Heather for all your hard work.
Tammy in snowy Maryland (everything shuts down at 1/2 inch and we got about 3 inches today!)

Karen Ramstead said...

As are you Marlene!!! I love you all!!! ;)

I hope everyone will let me know when the cookbooks arrive and what you think of them. I actually don't have one on the way!! Mine will hopefully arrive in 'batch 2'!!!!


Pat E in MN said...

Can't wait to get my 20 copies so I can use them as Christmas gifts. So sorry that the project morphed into such a giant - those kinds of things often do. Thanks for all your work Helen and Heather! Every time we use a recipe we can all pretend we are on Karen's sled runners.

Chris said...

I cant agree more with every ones comments about you helen.

You really are a god send, with all the work you put in to assist Karen ,Mark and all of NW .

I am looking forward to getting mine over here in Australia to try out all of these great things i have heard about and hopefully some of the great meals i enjoyed at Karens.
Cheers Chris