A couple years ago, in my sophomore year at RISD, I designed a cook book as part of a semester-long project with Franz Werner, my Typography teacher. The assignment: Design a cookbook with a theme. I chose the theme of family recipes (some people chose music, or foods pregnant people eat, or weird combinations/cravings, or college-budget recipes). At the time, I was 3000 miles away from my family, and living in a dorm with no kitchen, so I chose to make the book purely typographical. I spent hours on the phone with family members collecting previously unwritten recipes. It was quite an endeavor from certain family members, like my mom and my grandma, who haven’t ever measured a thing in their lives. My grandma would say something like “some mayonnaise” and my mom and I would have to coax her to say whether “some” meant “a tablespoon” or “half a cup.” Considering she was 87 at the time, most of her recipe-giving-sessions took place when my mom would visit, and put me on speakerphone.
Now that I’m living alone in a full kitchen with a gas stove, and three more education years, plus one in the work-force, of typographical knowledge, I really want to redesign the book. Not only are there only three copies of the first (one in storage at my Mom’s, one in my kitchen, and one in my professor’s office), but I also have the skills and equipment to design a beautiful book that includes photographs of the food.
This blog is a place for me to document my trials and errors, my notes, and my photographs as I cook my way through the first edition of the book in order to write the second edition. I’ll post pictures of the food, explain which dishes I combined to create a meal, write the original recipe and then my notes as to its modifications as I went, and also include typographical explorations as I continue to explore the second edition of the book.