September 22, 2006

“Take Control of Thanksgiving Dinner” released

Take Control of Thanksgiving Dinner coverIt’s the first day of autumn, which in the United States means just one thing: the Halloween shopping season! Normally I don’t like thinking about holidays too far in advance, but all summer long I’ve had my mind on another holiday: Thanksgiving. I spent much of the summer writing, testing, and revising my latest book, Take Control of Thanksgiving Dinner, and I’m pleased to announce that it’s now available for sale. If you’ve ever tried to cook a Thanksgiving feast for a crowd and run into problems (or if you’re trying it this year for the first time), this book is the solution. It walks you through every step in detail, with careful attention to timing and logistics, so that all the food will be done right and on time—with as little stress for the cook as possible. The book covers the traditional Thanksgiving dishes: roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, candied sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie.

American readers may be thinking that even late September is rather early to be talking about a late-November holiday, but we wanted to get the book out in plenty of time for folks in Canada, where Thanksgiving falls on October 9 this year. (And by the way, I’ve included metric equivalents for all the measurements!) Because some of the planning tasks I recommend can usefully be done a few weeks before Thanksgiving, we wanted to get it out as quickly as we could. (It would have been published last week, in fact, were it not for a last-minute logistical glitch involving the illustrations. Props to illustrator Jeff Tolbert for rapidly and brilliantly solving all our graphical problems.)

This 104-page book is initially available in electronic form. The ebook costs US$10 and can be downloaded immediately; you can then, if you wish, print it yourself. We’re working hard to get a custom-printed, spiral-bound version ready, and it should be available within a couple of weeks or so (but, I’m afraid, not in time for Thanksgiving in Canada—sorry!). Either way, you also get a downloadable “Print Me” file containing the shopping lists, recipes, and schedules, so that you have something you can tape up in the kitchen, write on, and take with you to the store.

Although I’m no stranger to writing books and ebooks, this project is quite a departure for me, as I normally cover computer-related topics. But I love to cook, too, and have wanted to write a book about food for some time. The publisher and I figured that if I can make something complicated like backing up your computer or installing a new operating system easy to understand, I should be able to do the same thing for a similarly involved cooking project, and I believe I’ve succeeded with this book. You don’t have to be a computer geek (or a cooking geek!) to follow my instructions; the book is written in plain, nontechnical English. As long as you can boil water or chop celery, you should be in good shape.

As time goes on (and particularly in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving), look for more information, tips, and details on this site relating to Thanksgiving dinner. In the meantime, if you plan to cook the big feast this year, please do yourself (and me!) a favor by picking up the new book. I think you’ll find it well worth the money!

6 Responses to ““Take Control of Thanksgiving Dinner” released”

  1. Introducing The Geeky Gourmet | The Geeky Gourmet said:

    […] Little did I imagine a year ago that I’d be starting my own food blog. After all, what can I say about food and cooking that people far more qualified than I couldn’t? Then, with the encouragement of my publisher, I began writing Take Control of Thanksgiving Dinner, an experiment in which we’re taking our computer ebook model and applying it to the world of cooking. In that process, I discovered that I did have quite a few things to say that I wasn’t seeing anywhere else (that being the reason for the new book in the first place). […]

  2. Recipe: Roasted Green Beans | The Geeky Gourmet said:

    […] By the way…personally, I still feel that the only valid food colors in a Thanksgiving dinner are shades of white, yellow, orange, red, and brown. However, if you must cook something green on Thanksgiving and your family isn’t pushing for the green bean casserole, consider giving these beans a try. […]

  3. Toast Eatery | The Geeky Gourmet said:

    […] A couple of months ago, I started running into my dentist pretty frequently while walking around and shopping in my San Francisco neighborhood. He told me he’d recently opened a new office, which conveniently is only a few blocks from my home. Shortly thereafter, I ran into him again at, of all places, a restaurant supply store. I was there shopping for apparatus I needed in the course of testing recipes for Take Control of Thanksgiving Dinner. He told me that along with his brothers, he was about to open a new restaurant just over the hill in Noe Valley, in a space formerly occupied by a diner called Hungry Joe’s (no relation). […]

  4. Turkey Giblets | The Geeky Gourmet said:

    […] In the process of working on Take Control of Thanksgiving Dinner, I mentioned the items you’ll have to remove from the inside of your fresh or frozen turkey: the neck and the giblets (heart, gizzard, and liver). These parts aren’t usually eaten, but they can be used to make an excellent gravy. I wanted to make the point that I recommend leaving out the liver, which might add undesirable flavors to the gravy, but in order to explain to the uninitiated which one of these weird tissue masses was the liver, I had to give a verbal description of the size, shape, and color of each item that constitutes the giblets. Upon reading my description, the publisher felt that a picture would serve better, and I agreed, so I snapped a shot of the neck and giblets sitting on my cutting board the next time I roasted a turkey. […]

  5. kalyn said:

    Hi Joe, Sorry to be off topic here, but I just wanted to say thanks for the help on Food Blog S’cool. Really appreciate the simple explanation so a non-geek (me!) could understand it.

  6. Happy Thanksgiving, Canada | The Geeky Gourmet said:

    […] we worked hard to get Take Control of Thanksgiving Dinner published in plenty of time for Thanksgiving in Canada, and included Canadian-friendly metric […]