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A book of recipes and photos about small homes, their even smaller kitchens, and the people who cook in them.
A book of recipes and photos about small homes, their even smaller kitchens, and the people who cook in them.
A book of recipes and photos about small homes, their even smaller kitchens, and the people who cook in them.
736 backers pledged $38,869 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$38,869

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Trevor Gordon / Mary Gonzalez / Maddie Gordon

The Tiny Mess is a cookbook about people, places, small kitchens, and the delicious meals that come out of them. It is a whimsical hodgepodge of recipes, culinary adventure, medium-format photography, and, of course, petite and inspiring cooking spaces that prove constraints are nothing but an invitation for creativity.

From buses and tree houses to sailboats, off-the-grid mountain cabins, converted rail cars, and the refrigerator of dumpster-diving urban freegans, The Tiny Mess is alive with the story of people, the meals they love, and the anything-but-ordinary places they cook in. It is a collection of tasty and unique recipes, personal stories from the cooks themselves, storage solutions, illustrations, and photos of everything in-between.

The Tiny Mess will be around 208 pages, 9.5" wide by 11" tall with lay-flat binding (for cooking ease), recycled paper, and a lovely fabric cover. The photos are take by Trevor and are almost entirely shot on medium format film, with some 35mm and the odd digital. Inside will have over 30 recipes curated by Maddie and Mary from the people they've met and–in some of the more exotic cases–they work with the cook to make the recipes more accesible to the home cook. Throughout the book there will also be one-off photos from inspiring tiny kitchens highlighting spacial over-comings and inventive cooking solutions.

Maddie and Trevor live on 36' sailboat in Santa Barbara and often frequent the Channel Islands. Catching fresh fish for meals when away from the dock is a daily routine.  

They made a make shift hot-smoker that sits atop the the rail-mounted BBQ on the back deck. With the smoked fish they make "Mackerel Empanadas" using their sourdough starter for the dough. The book will be full of homemade hacks, to do's and tips for the inspired chef.

Mary Gonzalez cooks in her 30' trailer, tends to her vibrant vegetable and herb garden and comes up with delicious vegan meals.

Mary making her "Watermelon Poké" from watermelon she grew on her ranch in Carpinteria, CA. This recipe is so damn close to real poké, just without the fish. 

 Brooke & Emmet, Orcas Island, WA. 

Overnight vinegar soaked potatoes with an asian red rice noodle Pad Thai.

The book will be set up in a unique way with hints and suggestions to help you combine recipes and meals throughout the book. ie. Tomasso's authentic pork sauce with Lindsey's homemade pasta.

WHO is the Tiny Mess?

As much a book as it is a way of life, The Tiny Mess is the handiwork of a trio of food-minded friends from Santa Barbara, California, all of whom live without the trappings of a traditional kitchen. They have spent the past two years rambling around the western United States, visiting unique and unexpected cooking spaces, collecting favorite recipes, and talking story with cooks of all kinds about the life-affirming intersection of food, kitchen size, and the pursuit of happiness. The Tiny Mess is the tasty result of these efforts, a from scratch dish carefully concocted to inspire no matter the square footage of your home kitchen or your years of experience. Recipes include abalone meatballs, watermelon poke, rabbit and nopal cactus tacos, avocado sunflower dip, cucumber and seaweed salad, mackerel empanadas, sourdough tempura root veggies with ponzu dipping sauce, carrot and coconut slaw, and salmon with honey elderberry sauce.

Mary Gonzalez is a vegan baker, farmer, and all around culinary rebel from Carpinteria, California. She lives on a secluded mountain top avocado ranch in a 30’ travel trailer with her dog Rose. Surrounded by organic gardens, fruit trees, and a sweet outdoor kitchen, Mary makes the rigors of off-the-grid life look elegant and oh-so edible. @sweetmountaintop

Maddie Gordon is an illustrator from rural Sussex, England with a serious passion for healthy cooking, hot tea, and foraging for food. Her home kitchen is in the belly of 36’ sailboat that she lives aboard with her husband Trevor in the waters off Santa Barbara, CA. Whether it is mushrooms from the forest, sea weed from the shore, or fish from the sea, Maddie always makes a point to use the resources around her when it comes time for cooking. @maddiegordonart

Trevor Gordon is a photographer and professional surfer who grew up on the beach in Santa Barbara, CA. He loves sailing, fishing and getting knee-deep in boat projects. He has been a brand ambassador for Patagonia, Teva, and Cliff Bar and now works with Poler Stuff. Working primarily with medium-format and 35mm color film cameras, Trevor’s food and kitchen IQ has grown exponentially since falling in love with Maddie. @tearevor - trevor-gordon.com

WHY this Tiny Mess?

Several years ago, a fateful slice of vegan quiche brought Mary and Maddie together for the first time. With a shared passion for living uncluttered lives and creating vibrant and healthy meals, the pair became fast friends and soon started cooking together. Their experiences trying to cook with limited funds and even more limited kitchen space opened them to a whole new realm of foodie exploration. The Tiny Mess wasn’t far behind.

In a world where so much emphasis is put of what you own and how much you earn, The Tiny Mess wants to show people that you can cook amazing meals with humble means.

Tea Towel:

We are also making hand silk-screened tea towels with both the original cover art and original art from Maddie Gordon.

*ORDERING: When purchasing outside of the USA be sure to select the option with titles INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING. It is the cheapest option. 

When we plan to print and ship:

Despite being approached by publishing houses and a lengthy editorial feature in Bon Appetite Magazine, the goal is to keep The Tiny Mess an entirely homemade affair and offer it directly from us to you. The book will ship summer 2017. There are still a few more kitchens to visit and recipes to taste in the coming months. The goal is to have the layout done, the proof work complete, and the whole package off to the printer by spring. Until then, updates will be regular and guaranteed to make your mouth water.

Is this a holiday gift?

If you are purchasing this book as a gift for someone for the holidays, please let us know in the comment section when you order. We'd be happy to ship you a placeholder card stating that their gift will arrive in June '17.

Press:

Bon Appétit - July 2016 Issue - http://www.bonappetit.com/entertaining-style/article/tiny-mess

Edible Santa Barbara, Cover Story, Spring 2016

To see more follow @the_tiny_mess on Instagram.

Thank you so much for supporting!

Risks and challenges

Together we have completed lots of printed projects, although The Tiny Mess is our biggest yet.

Trevor has completed and printed travel zines and worked on books such as "The Cinder Cone" by Foster Huntington, as well as working with brands like Patagonia, Teva, Clif Bar and Poler Stuff in both design and marketing content.

Maddie is a full time graphic designer and is constantly keeping up with illustration jobs from wedding invites to designs for outdoor apparel companies. www.maddiegordonart.etsy.com

Mary has worked in vegan/allergy friendly bakeries and runs her own local and seasonal cake business. With her extensive knowledge of plant based foods she and Maddie will be putting those skills towards perfecting and curating the recipes within the book.

With our combined skills we are confident the book will be printed and shipped to you by the specified date.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The Tiny Mess - tea towel

    One The Tiny Mess tea towel. Organic cotton. silk-screened.

    Pick one of the two options.

    - Cover art
    - Cluttered Kitchen - Maddie Gordon

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    The Tiny Mess - the book

    One The Tiny Mess book signed by Trevor, Mary and Maddie.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    One book - INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING

    One The Tiny Mess book, singed by Trevor, Mary and Maddie.

    **Shipped internationally** outside of the USA.

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    84 backers
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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    The Tiny Mess - book + tea towel

    One The Tiny Mess book. Signed by Trevor, Mary and Maddie and one tea towel of your choice.

    - Cover art
    - Cluttered kitchen - Maddie Gordon

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    144 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    The Tiny Mess - 2 books

    Two The Tiny Mess books signed by Trevor, Mary and Maddie.

    If ordering more than two books, add $35 for each additional book. Up to 4 books.

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    52 backers
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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    The Tiny Mess - 5 Books

    Five The Tiny Mess books. Signed by Trevor, Mary and Maddie.

    If ordering more than five books, add $35 for each additional book. (shipping may vary)

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    10 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    An all inclusive Dinner for two

    One all inclusive dinner catered by Maddie and Mary.

    + 2 The Tiny Mess books singed by Trevor, Mary and Maddie.

    + 2 The Tiny Mess tea towels of your choice.

    - Cover Art
    - Cluttered Kitchen - Maddie Gordon

    Summer 2017, Carpinteria, CA. Seasonal and local menu. All inclusive. The location looks over the Los Padres National Forest. Totally private and incredibly beautiful. This option will be a blast and we would love to have you!

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Funding period

- (17 days)