'A cookbook in a day' on agenda in Noosa
Published on 08 October, 2012
The production of a ‘print on demand' cake cookbook in a day was on the agenda for a creative writing workshop at CQUniversity Noosa recently.
The workshop was organised by Professor Donna Lee Brien and doctoral student Jill Adams.
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Their desired outcome would have been achieved had the group not got stuck on a lively discussion of whether to use Tablespoons, Tbsp, Tabs or Ts in their recipes!
"Twenty of Australia's and New Zealand's best-known food writers and food historians converged in Noosa to attend this workshop with a favourite cake recipe, a 250-word memoir related to the recipe and a picture of the cake," Donna says.
"Some even brought the cake! The recipes varied from more traditional chocolate cakes and a coffee sponge cake to very unusual cakes such as cakes made with tomato soup or Coca Cola cake and a cake made in a mug in the microwave.
"Lively group discussions led by Jill, who is a Cordon Bleu trained chef, and is working on 1950s cookbooks for her PhD, centred on a range of matters about cake including how to define it - is a muffin a cake? is a pavlova? - and how, for instance, does a cake differ from a slice?"
Jill said there were also discussions about the role cakes play in our lives.
"It was clear that most people feel that cakes are festive and celebratory. They are luxurious too, but also sometimes a guilty everyday pleasure. In cookery, they are a way to show skill, although nowadays some special cakes, like children's birthday cakes, were often just the vehicle for more elaborate decorations," she said.
"While it was easy to agree on a format for the collaborative book-size, colour, pages, font and use of images, the group struggled to agree on measurements; tablespoons versus Tabs versus Tbsps, for example. They finally agreed on the spelled out version - tablespoons - and so, to be consistent, also teaspoons, grams, litres, millilitres and centimetres. The contributors only agreed on this after consulting a range of recipe formats and the way they looked on the printed page. The creative food writing workshop quickly became an editing workshop!"
Donna said all of the participants agreed that this was a very valuable exercise. The edited recipes will be uploaded into the agreed format - a soft covered cookbook - and will be available for purchase through CQUniversity for around $20 by early October.
The day was documented by Lyn Taylor, an award-winning photographer, who has just completed the Graduate Certificate in Creative Industries on Noosa Campus with Professor Brien.
Donna and Jill are planning to run more of these workshops in the future. The 'cookbook in a day' workshop was a valuable exercise in creative writing and editing and produced a cookbook that is full of tried and tested cake recipes.