I distinctly remember when Maggy, Sharon, and I celebrated the first anniversary of Three Many Cooks. I remember our second and third one too. But when I woke up yesterday morning to friends and colleagues on Linkedin congratulating me on our five-year anniversary, I was pleasantly surprised, because it coincided with another big event for the three of us: the near publication (and pre-order status!) of our first book, Three Many Cooks: One Mom, Two Daughters: Their Shared Stories of Food, Faith, and Family. You can pre-order from any of the following: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.
It was two years ago when Maggy, Sharon, and I first proposed this book. We wanted to share the story of how our special mother/daughter bond was cemented. It was not in the splashy bashes and big family celebrations but in the ordinary moments we took time for. Our book would feature these moments—apple picking, raking leaves, the day after Thanksgiving.
There would be recipes of course, but we wanted stunning photography too. And when we started pulling together our recipe list, we couldn’t resist telling the backstories too. We ended up turning in an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink proposal—equal parts celebration, recipes, photography, and memoir. We knew we had packed a lot into this document, but we hoped for an editor with vision.
There was interest for sure. Some publishers wanted to highlight the special moments. Others wanted to focus on the recipes. Still others envisioned a real looker of a book. Nothing really felt like us.
When Pamela Cannon at Ballantine Books told us to tear up our proposal and just start writing we knew she was right. From the start, Three Many Cooks has always been about the stories. The first couple of years of blogging, our recipes were simply woven into our stories.
When Pamela suggested we “just starting writing,” I was nervous. Having never written a book without an outline or structure, not even a recipe from which to tell a story, I couldn’t believe I could do this.
But then my dad died and I ended up buying a piece of sinker cypress pulled from the creek where he and I used to fish. That was a fish tale I could tell. Maggy started writing about her time in Malawi building a maternity clinic, and the story always circled back to the African meals she was served and the ones she cooked for her curious new friends. Sharon took on some weighty topics—how her faith had little meaning beyond sharing bread, and how Zen-like acceptance was helping her deal with her full-figure thighs.
With three of us writing independently we had no idea how this book was going to hang together. But as we laid our stories on the table we saw clear patterns and themes. We turned it in, got some feedback, and spent another couple of months tightening the themes, fleshing out the good stories, and telling the hard truths too.
We’ve got a book we’re proud of. There are recipes—the “best of” our combined years in the kitchen—but it’s the stories behind those recipes we think you’ll really love. If your appetite is whetted, you can pre-order!
Barnes & Noble
Maggy, Sharon and I look forward to meeting you around the kitchen counter.