I hardly even know where to begin on this one. I'm so thrilled to have been invited to contribute to this project, and so happy that I can finally share it with you. Nobody needs an introduction to the earthquake that happened last month in Haiti, but unlike most of us who sat in front of the pictures feeling helpless, one woman pulled on her combat boots and came up with a plan. That woman is Julie Van Rosendaal - better known as Dinner with Julie - and the plan she conceived was to create a benefit cookbook to raise money for the Haitian relief effort. Gathering her extensive experience in publishing, her contacts in the field and her superhuman determination, she cast her net for contributors and knuckled down to work. She found writers and artists and designers and marketers all willing to donate their skills to the cause. She found a publisher willing to produce the book at cost. She got up early for meetings and sat up late at night fiddling with layouts and text size and image resolutions. Rumor has it she even (gasp!) ate meals at her computer. And today, barely three weeks (!!!) after inception, the cookbook is no longer an idea but a reality. I don't know how she did it but there's surely a world record in there somewhere, don't you think?
Okay, here's the deal. This is a glossy, full-color 120-page cookbook with recipes and photographs from twenty-seven bloggers and food writers. There's every kind of thing you could want inside: soups, cakes, granolas, gluten-free, vegetarian and kid-friendly, and they've all been vetted and tested and are tried-and-true favorites. There are two versions of the book, a softcover for $25 and a hardcover for $50. The book is printed on demand by SF-based publisher Blurb, who have a reputation for very high quality output. Every penny earned (after the cost of printing) is going to Haiti via the Canadian Red Cross and Doctors without Borders. But that's not all - both Blurb and West Canadian Graphics are matching every dollar raised, up to $10,000. Then, until February 12th, everything raised will be matched by the Canadian government, since this is a Canada-based effort. So basically, any donation you make is being more than tripled - and you get a beautiful cookbook out of the deal. Doesn't sound too shabby, now does it? Oh, and don't think that if you're not in North America you can't get a copy - Blurb has very reasonable flat-rate shipping to most parts of the world. Many of you can even pay in your own currency!
So I'll quit babbling now and let you take a look for yourself. Just click on the button below and choose your version. On each order page there's a full list of the contributors and Blurb even lets you preview a good chunk of the book to see what you'll be getting. So check it out, think it over, then buy a copy for everyone you know. I guarantee you'll love it.
Edit: The powers that be decided to wrap up this project on Feb 12th after an amazing response - in total 1818 cookbooks were sold, raising $47,166.00!!! Thank you so much to everyone who bought one of these. You've not only helped raise a sizeable chunk of change for Haitian relief, you're now are the proud owner of a limited-edition cookbook. :) If you missed the opportunity to buy one of these books but would like to know more about the project (the full list of contributors, how it came to be, etc.), take a look at the blog dedicated to it.