Hey y'all! My name is Mary and I first want to say welcome to my humble abode here on the interweb! Pull up a chair, grab a cold glass of sweet tea & let's get to know each other. These are a few of the most frequently asked questions I receive from readers. Thanks for stopping by to visit and I sure hope to get to know you!
HOW CAN I BUY YOUR COOKBOOK?
I am both humbled and flattered at the number of inquiries I am receiving for a cookbook, however I do not currently have one published. I realize that many food bloggers enter into the publishing world, but my vision for a cookbook resulting from this blog, is that it would happen sort of organically and not be forced, or rushed, and certainly without a lot of self-promotion. This blog is for you, the reader, and I don't want the focus here to shift to talking about me, book tours, appearances, and all of that me-me-me business that goes with promoting a cookbook.
At the same time, I also want any cookbook I author, to be a high quality collection of my most favorite and well loved recipes, and a book that would be treasured by my readers. I enjoy the cookbooks that have beautifully styled photos, but regular ole text cookbooks can be great cookbooks too. I have loads of those without pictures in my own collection. But that is exactly why I haven't published a cookbook yet. I could put out a text cookbook much faster & easier, but I know some people are critical of those & want a lot of high quality pictures. Those kinds of cookbooks are expensive to produce though, so you either have to put out a lot of front money for photographers, food stylists, editors, publicists and all that (that I don't have) in hopes that you sell a lot of books and get it back, or else sell off your soul to have a publishing house take over the creative control & profits to do it for you. So, I sit in indecision still and with no cookbook!
WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL FAVORITE SOUTHERN COOKBOOKS?
I tease Christy Jordan of Southern Plate that she snuck into my head and published my cookbook because it is the identical vision I had for my own cookbook. Seriously, it was like she was reading my mind! Actually, the Southern Living Comfort Food, while an older cookbook, was what I had hoped to pattern my own cookbook after - Christy just beat me to it. If you like southern cookbooks with stories behind them, that might be one you'd also enjoy. Bless Your Heart is another favorite of mine that is somewhat similar and Southern Living's Heirloom Recipe Cookbook is nice too. It's really just recipes from the Southern Living archives, but re-formatted to be like a family scrapbook.
Honestly, it really just depends on what you're looking for. I have a wide range of cookbooks in my collection, some southern, some not, but I would suggest that you browse my favorites to get some ideas. And yes, it's true. I actually DO own 99.9% of those cookbooks (and many many others not listed there) The one or two I don't own yet, are either pre-ordered, or on my wish list. I really need some kind of cookbook 12-step program. Enjoy!
HOW DO I FIND PAST RECIPES?
Most of my personal recipes are featured here on the main website, although we do also have some recipes along with reader contribution recipes on our Facebook page under "NOTES." Please come and join us! Look for that link in the bar at the top under the header at the top of the page. There is no search feature on Facebook that I am aware of. To browse the "NOTES" scroll down the page and click where it says "See More" at the very bottom to go to the next pages.
Here on the website, there are several ways you can search for my past recipes:
1. On the upper right hand side is a "SEARCH" Box you can use anytime you're looking for something specific. Simply enter a basic search term and hit the Enter button on your computer or click the "Search" button on the site. This will provide you with a list of possible links to recipes on my site.
2. At the top of the page, right under the photo header, is a link to my "e-COOKBOOK" which is a manual listing by type or category of most of my recipes. These links are all manually created by me, so sometimes I run behind or miss adding something to one of the indexes.
3. Also, in the right hand sidebar, you can browse my "RECENT DISHES" links. These are links to the most recently posted recipes.
4. Also, in the right hand sidebar further down are "RECIPE CATEGORIES" links - these are links by basic, common categories based on recipe post labels. Recipes show up by date according to those labels, so simply scroll the page all the way to bottom and then click on "OLDER POSTS" at the bottom, to continue browsing on the next page.
5. Under that, also in the right hand sidebar, are the archives called "EARLIER DISHES." These links shows posts by month, so you can scroll all the past posts by date. When you reach the bottom of the page, click on "OLDER POSTS" to go on to the next page and continue browsing.
6. There are also some featured photo "Buttons" up and down both sides of the website page. Click on those to view. You'll find my site "GENERAL STORE," where I feature my favorite kitchen tools, food items, and cookbooks; links to my "GARDENING" efforts; and a variety of clickable seasonal buttons that will lead you to a list of recipes.
7. Further down toward the bottom on the left hand sidebar, you'll also find an index similar to #4 above, called a Label "CLOUD." This gives links to recipe posts according to each recipe's category label.
Have fun, enjoy & again, welcome!
HOW DO I PRINT RECIPES?
Whatever you do, don't try to use the print function from your browser!! I have included a "PRINT THIS" button on many of my recipes, but haven't gotten back to all of the older ones yet. When you run across those older ones, hands down, the easiest way to print is use highlight, copy and paste of just the recipe text you want. Simply left click your mouse, hold the mouse button down while you highlight only the recipe text, then use your mouse to hover over the highlighted text, right click your mouse, select "copy" and then go to a Word processing program like Microsoft Word or Works and paste that text in, or even your computer Notepad will work. Then send to your printer. Use the highlight, copy and paste feature to print recipes from Facebook.
If you aren't familiar with the process, I've written more detailed printing instructions here. I have added a link to a printable "pdf" document on most of the newer recipes. You will need to be able to read Adobe Acrobat documents to use this feature.
For more info see: http://www.deepsouthdish.com/2008/01/how-to-print.html
WHY DON'T YOU LIST NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION, PORTION SIZES AND NUMBER OF SERVINGS?
When I added the Recipe Box feature to my site, I have tried to estimate number of servings on recipes, but it's just that. A guess. I am only a home cook, not a big corporate test kitchen, and since what I post here are meals that my family is actually eating, I don't plan to deconstruct a cooked recipe to see how many 1/2 cup servings there are in it. Appetites vary among people and I have found you can't please everyone - someone will always disagree with my estimates anyway. Generally speaking, you'll find most of my recipes are designed for a family, and unless otherwise noted, will feed somewhere between 4 to 6 people, but again, that is only a guess and depends on appetites and whatever else is being served.
A glance at the ingredient list in most recipes will give you some indication how it will fit into appetites with your family, but I think it'd be safe to say that if you're a party of 2, you'll probably want to cut most recipes in half, unless you don't mind leftovers. Blogging food is a very time-consuming task and a lot of work goes on behind the scenes before you ever see a recipe here. I find that the majority of my readers do not require specific nutritional information so that is an extra step I prefer not to take. Nutritional analysis is available from a number of sources across the internet if you would like to input the recipe ingredients for your own personal use.
I TRIED ONE OF YOUR RECIPES AND LOVED IT. IS IT OKAY FOR ME TO RE-POST IT ON MY OWN BLOG, OR MY FAVORITE FORUM OR BOARD?
Well, in a nutshell, no. For all of you who come along, take a recipe from a blog, love it and simply repost it on your blog, we'd all like for you to also take along the extra 20 pounds we have gained from writing, cooking, rewriting, cooking and sometimes yes, rewriting and cooking again!
To simply repost another blogger's recipe is absolutely the wrong way to share recipes from anybody's site and the biggest mistake bloggers make. Unless of course your blog is private and used primarily as a recipe box that is not open to the public or to search engines, you should never copy somebody else's recipe, no matter the source, word for word, or by a copy and paste. Here's why.
One thing I have learned in my blogging experience is that it is a very big no-no to simply re-post a recipe from somebody else's blog to your blog. Period. We've all been guilty of doing that in our early blogging days, but over time of having your own blog, you learn. You learn especially when you start seeing other bloggers repost your very slightly adapted original recipes that you worked so hard on, nearly verbatim to their blog. Ouch! Unless you have significantly changed another blogger's original recipe to adapt it - and that means more than just increasing veggies from one measurement to another y'all - and you also re-write their recipe text and instructions into your own voice and words, my opinion is that none of us should ever repost someone else's recipe on our blogs.
Here's why I say this. By simply re-posting another blogger's recipe to your blog, you are devaluing their original creation! Suddenly Martha's Marvelous Muffins are all over the blogosphere at Blogger A, B, C, D, E, F & G's blogs, and nobody actually goes to visit Martha's original Marvelous Muffin recipe on her site anymore because they can get her recipe everywhere now! All her hard work - down the drain. And no love for it.
So here are my thoughts. If you simply made someone else's recipe with very little or no adaptations, it would be more appropriate in that case to instead post your photographs of the recipe you made, talk about the recipe, mention and link to the blog you got it from, and then link directly to their recipe post (not just the main site) where your readers can find it. If you made substantial changes to another bloggers recipe and put the recipe into your own voice and your own words, then I say it's okay to repost it. Just no matter what, please always link to the original source that gave you the recipe or gave you major inspiration for it - and make sure your link is a working link. I have a popular southern blogger who I know for a fact stalks my site, steals my work and in fact, has even adopted some of my "voice," phrases and words that I use regularly and such. This one has gone so far as to re-work some of their older dated posts, using information from my similar posts, just so that it looks likes they said it first, and I copied them. Very sad, but true.
The bottom line is don't be so fearful of losing readers, that you never credit other sources you use. Your readers will know it's not your voice, or your style, or your recipe. Give attribution to those who inspire you. It's just the right thing to do. What you give will always come back to you.
Have a question? Email me!