A family that cooks and eats together, stays together. In Cooking in Heels, first time author Ceyenne Doroshow takes tradition to heart with over 50 recipes designed to be easy and inexpensive for the whole family to enjoy. As a transgender woman who was inspired to write her book while serving prison time for a prostitution conviction, Ceyenne might not seem like the most likely representative of home cooked family values. But her book, which is peppered with good humor and begins with the story of her life, shows that food and love are the ties that bind, and family is what you make it.
What Now? New Goals
You might have noticed that this project is more than 100% funded. That's amazing, and it happened faster than we could have dared to imagine!
So why should you, not-yet-backer, pledge to a project that is already, definitely happening?
- Pledging the $30 level means that you are pre-ordering the book and helping us figure out how big our print run should be. The best -and right now the ONLY- way for you and all the people you know to get a copy of Cooking in Heels is by pledging to our Kickstarter campaign. We would love to pre-sell at least 250 hard copy books, which means we need about 175 more pledges at the $30 level to make that happen.
- More pledges will make for a better and more beautiful book, with full color pictures of food shot by a professional photographer. In our initial planning for the book, we were afraid to dream up a budget bigger than we could raise funds for, so our original $6000 doesn't cover photography beyond the cover. If we raise more money (aka, sell more books plus some bigger pledges), we can afford to produce a professional photo shoot with photographer Stacie Joy and get the book printed in full color.
- If our fundraising continues to blossom, we can produce a series of video webisodes, which will be free to watch and feature Ceyenne cooking dishes from the book and telling stories. Our first obligation, of course, is to making the book awesome. However, we've been getting A LOT of requests to produce a cooking show featuring Ceyenne. We would love love love to make this happen, and have the crew to do it: the video crew that produced Ceyenne's Kickstarter video is Emmy Award-winning, and the director has directed episodes of food shows like Chopped and Man Vs. Food Nation. Creating a high quality and very entertaining web series is well within our abilities, we just need some more funds to make it a reality.
So for those reasons, and because Ceyenne is amazing, please do pledge what you're able to, and encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same.
The Cooking in Heels Story
Ceyenne Doroshow and Audacia Ray, the founder of the Red Umbrella Project and the editor of the book, were introduced by Ceyenne's lawyers at the Sex Workers Project in February 2011 and have been collaborating on Cooking in Heels since then. In the early days of our collaboration, Ceyenne showed up with handwritten recipes and lots of stories, and Audacia showed up with an audio recorder to try and capture Ceyenne's tales. The Red Umbrella Project has been supporting Ceyenne in honing her storytelling and amplifying her voice, and she has shared her talent for storytelling as a frequent performer at the Red Umbrella Diaries storytelling series that Audacia hosts in New York. Ceyenne's vision for Cooking in Heels is certainly bigger than a breadbox, and the Red Umbrella Project has been enthusiastically supporting that dream.
We need your help to create a book that inspires people to cook together, and gets people talking about gender identity, sex work, and struggles for social justice, topics that don't seem "family friendly," but that tear apart families and harm individuals when they aren't discussed. There's no better place for laughter, comfort, and conversation than the kitchen - and we want to invite you into Ceyenne's kitchen to see the world through her eyes.
What's Cooking: The Recipes
Ceyenne's cooking style leans toward Southern favorites with Caribbean influences, and she loves a little (okay, usually a lot) of spice. Though the flavors in her recipes are robust, the list of ingredients isn't, in recognition of the fact that the longer the list of ingredients, the higher the barriers to cooking at home.
The book has sections devoted to appetizers, main dishes, and desserts. Though generally inclined to cook with lots of buttery goodness, Ceyenne also offers healthy alternatives and suggestions of health-conscious substitutions to make. Meat and seafood play a starring role in many of the main courses. Many of her recipes bear the names of her loved ones; they are favorite dishes that her friends and family request for her to make over and over again.
Some of the dishes include:
- Nya's Deviled Eggs
- Grandbaby's Spare Ribs
- Papa Franks' Ting Ting Fiery Red Snapper
- Ty's Pig Pot
- Shameka and Kayla's Seafood Pot of Gold
- Davaney's Stuffed Shells
- K.C. and Alex's Curry Shrimp
- Jackle Family Apple Turnovers
Project Timeline and Rewards
Today, we've got all of the recipes assembled and Ceyenne's stories recorded and transcribed. We are entering the home stretch of editing (see pic below!) and need your support to make the book a reality. With the funds raised from our Kickstarter campaign, we will pay for the photography for the cover and have the book copyedited, designed, and printed.
We plan to edit and copyedit the text of the book in May, and then have it designed in June. In July we'll get it printed and produce the ebook, and then in August we will mail it out as well as deliver ebooks. Our Kickstarter supporters will be the first to receive copies of the book. The postcard awards will be mailed in May, after the conclusion of the campaign, and if you pledge enough for baked goods, a cooking lesson, or a private dinner, we'll be in touch and make arrangements with you.
- (30 days)