I am beyond excited, November 14th 2022 marks the day that my recipes will finally appear in print, in a wonderful photo filled, beautifully designed cookbook. If you’d like to buy the book, please click here or go to the buy book tab at the top of the page.
It’s always been a dream of mine to write a cookbook, and you’d think that 10 years of creating and writing ‘friendly’ recipes on my blog would have meant that it would be completed almost as soon as I began, but that really hasn’t been the case. I have renewed respect all cookbook authors, or in fact anyone who has published a book of any kind.
The journey started as a little seed of thought, that germinated and has grown into an actual beautiful cookbook that you will be able purchase online direct from my publishers, in Waterstones and other bookshops and on Amazon, how amazing is that?
Over my ten years of running Lucy’s Friendly Foods, I’ve had some moments of doubt, ‘maybe I should just give it all up’, as well as some moments of where can I take this, how can I make more of my friendly recipes. It’s odd actually, because whenever the doubts have crept in something has happened; one of the girls have been left out of an occasion, or we’ve been somewhere and there has been nothing suitable available, and I’ve been fired up again; the whole point, all along, has been to ensure those with allergies don’t have to miss out, that they can also enjoy delicious food, and share that food with those around them because it may be safe but it’s also delicious, pretty and as good as the ‘real thing’.
I did consider selling baking mixes, but when it comes down to it, what I really love is setting myself a challenge in the kitchen, to recreate some delicious delicacy and make a winning recipe. I love the whole process; the initial thoughts and research, the dabbling in the kitchen, the perfecting the recipes, and then the writing up and posting some great photos. So, I took the big leap: I wrote a proposal in early 2022 and sent it to many, many, publishers and literary agents. Lot’s didn’t reply, which is only to be expected. Of the ones who did reply, most were really nice, polite not right nows, yes they thought it was a great concept and there was definitely a place for it on the shelves, but they weren’t taking on cookbooks, or come back to them when they are open for submissions. There was one frankly upsetting no where the agent basically said no-one will buy it and there was nothing interesting or special about it. Well, he might be right, but I don’t think so, and I’m hoping to prove him wrong!
Then came a yes! I was quite shellshocked and couldn’t quite believe it, it made me query the whole thing! But Phil Turner, managing director of Meze Publishing was so onboard from the offset that I felt confident enough to sign up.
I really thought I had a polished proposal when I initially sent it out, but the concept has really changed and evolved into the final book you will be able to buy in shops. The title was one of the hardest things to pin down – I wanted to get across the idea that the recipes are suitable for those with allergies, they’re plant-based but they’re also delicious enough to be for everyone. I knew I couldn’t say allergen-free as lots of my recipes contain wheat and gluten, but I wanted to get across my purpose which is to make recipes that can be made suitable for most (if not all) people. I’ve created recipes that can be easily adapted to suit anyone’s own requirements, making my bakes accessible for even more people. The title that stuck, and which most people immediately liked was ‘The Friendly Baker’ which obviously stems from Lucy’s Friendly Foods but also explains why all my recipes are friendly:
They’re friendly because they’re:
Allergen friendly or as much as possible, with easy substitutions to make them suitable for you
People friendly because they’re easy and delicious
Plant-friendly because they don’t use animal products which on the whole are more damaging to the environment
Pocket-friendly as they use easy to source and inexpensive ingredients
Even though I had lots of the recipes already, they all needed refining and tweaking to be made perfect. Some of the recipes have never been published before. There has been a lot of taste testing along the way!!
I particularly enjoyed the refining the contents, writing and editing process, and my editor Katie Fisher was so lovely to work with. I’m so hoping the book sells well, mainly because I want friendly bakes to be more accessible to those who need them, but I also have plenty of ideas for more cookbooks and I would love to repeat the process!
Next came the photoshoot. These may have been the most intense and crazy 5 days of work I’ve ever had, especially as the first three were in the middle of a heatwave – if you’ve ever tried to use buttercream, pastry or chocolate in a heatwave you’ll understand how hard this was! Luckily I was working with an amazing food photographer, Paul Gregory, who made the process as seamless and enjoyable as possible. I was extremely organised and prepared, but even so we were completely pushed to the wire – prepping, styling and photographing up to 13 recipes a day is a monumental task! I hope you like the photos as much as I do, I think they really show my bakes off to their best, and I’m proud to say that I made everything in the book, with a little help from Paul and the family.
Designing the book was really fun. Paul Cocker, my designer, responded to all my requests and we’ve themed the colours and the style of the photos to follow the seasons. He also, created a wonderful cover which I fell really gets across the idea of ‘The Friendly Baker’ What do you think? I do hope you like it too.
For me the next bit will be hard, I think it’s a fabulous cookbook and I’d certainly buy it myself, but I do hope others will feel the same. I have given away recipes for free for 10 years, and I’ve had masses of amazing feedback in that time on how they’ve made lives a little bit brighter and sweeter; it would be so nice if everyone who has used my recipes supports this step into print by giving back a little and buying a copy, recommending it to people they know or come across and make it a worthwhile process. If you buy it, and I hope you will, please let me know what you think, write (hopefully positive) reviews on Amazon and spread the word so more people can be Friendly bakers 😊.
Also, do subscribe; I’m planning a quarterly newsletter with exclusive content and maybe some competitions. There’s some exciting things afoot at Lucy’s Friendly Foods 🙂
You never know this may be the start of a friendly baking journey together
Love your recipes and will definitely be buying your book!!
Amazing! I hope you like it! X
Amazing, I hope you like the recipes. Let me know!
This is amazing Lucy. Well done for all your hard work and endeavour. I will be buying a copy and can’t wait to try out the recipes!
I so hope you like the book and the recipes- let me know! X
I’m so excited to buy your book. I’ve been using and sharing your recipes for years because I am vegan and your recipes work every time!
Hi Helen, that’s wonderful to hear. I hope you like the book. Let me know what you think x