Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My advice to would-be cookthrough bloggers

So you want to start a cookthrough blog...
I've been asked my advice by several people lately who are interested in starting their own CTB. Let me preface this by saying that I absolutely love TJOTJOC and it's been an absolutely terrific hobby. My goal is to learn how to cook and it's totally working!

My advice to would-be CTBloggers:

1. Don't start with a book like Gourmet or TJOC. Start with a cookbook that has 200-300 recipes. You will have time to grow a readership and if you like having a CTB, you can pick a bigger cookbook when you are done! As much as I love TJOTJOC, it's kind of depressing that I'm probably not even 15% done and I've been working on it for 2.5 years. If I could go back in time, I would probably still pick TJOC, but it would be with my eyes more open. Also, if you pick a well-known cookbook, you have built-in readers! There are lots of cookbooks out there that I'm astounded nobody is cooking through.

2. Pick a book in which you truly think you will like the vast majority of the recipes. If you don't like baking, stay away from books that have a lot of baked goods in them. Seems obvious, right?

3. Hedge your bets against a new edition coming out in the middle of your CTB. It's harder for people to follow along if they have a different edition of the cookbook. It's a big fear of mine!

4. Realize that the CTB is going to take over your life. In a good way. I can talk about TJOC for hours. I think about it when I'm in the grocery store, farmer's market, and kitchen stores.

5. Make sure you can stick to blogging. And cooking. At least for now. Life gets really busy.

6. Realize the odds of you getting a book deal out of the CTB is very, very low. Julie Powell was a lucky women.

7. Know that it gets expensive at times. The punch and glogg I made for New Year's Eve cost about a $150 in alcohol. And TJOC is a relatively inexpensive cookbook! I've been putting off the truly expensive recipes.

That's all I can think of for now but I'm sure I will update this post. I know other CTBloggers read this blog--what is your advice? Am I jaded? Does anyone have any other questions?

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  1. Thanks for the great tips! I have been thinking about cooking through a cookbook for 3 years, but haven't done it! haha.... I just don't have that kind of determination as you do! Maybe when I find a cookbook that I truly like, I'll give it a go. For now, I'll just enjoy reading your wonderful blog! ^^

  2. You picture isnt showing up anymore-
    Also, I would like some more cream of celery root

  3. Hi thanks for the great tip I was playing with the idea of taking a book and cooking through it, I also bake sourdough bread so one of my things was to take one of my books and bake from the beginning to the end.

  4. I fixed my picture--I don't know what happened!

    Honestly, Dimitry, I don't think there are enough baking cook-through blogs and I don't know if anyone is doing an exclusively bread CTB. That's exactly what I'm talking about--find a niche that nobody is filling and step into it!

  5. Great advice Jessica. So glad you're having fun with your blog.


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