After returning from a multi-year bicycle tour across Europe and Asia with my husband Tyler, I set about writing a cookbook for other two-wheeled wanderers. Bike. Camp. Cook. is the result of my labor. Despite the obvious focus on cycling, it's a beautiful food-centric journey for anyone to enjoy.
For a taste of the adventure that inspired me, here is glimpse of two years on the road, condensed into five minutes of photos. For a more detailed account, check out our award-winning website, goingslowly.com.
WHAT'S INSIDE THE BOOK
If you're not a wizard in the kitchen, don't worry—I've poured loads of cooking know-how into these pages. After years as a head chef for a two-person cycling team, I've made a lot of mistakes you can learn from! The first half of the book is filled with everything you'll need to know to start making delicious meals on a one burner stove.
For the beginner and expert alike, here are some of the things I share:
- A detailed list of cooking equipment and basic tools to bring along.
- Why you need a spice bag in your pantry, and how to make one.
- An explanation of staple ingredients to have on hand, how to use them, and how to fit them into a small space.
- Tips on how to "wing it" in the camp kitchen so you're not reliant on recipes.
- How to manage without counter space, refrigeration, or an oven.
The second half of the book is a delicious collection of recipes, starting with breakfast, of course. Think browned butter crepes, spicy breakfast burritos, and quick, easy granola. Next comes the lunch section, which is packed with fresh salads, homemade salsa, garlicky bean dips and more.
FROM IDEA TO REALITY
After exhaustive research into the world of publishing and self-publishing, weighing the pros and cons of everything from e-books to one-off printing options like Lulu and Blurb, I've decided to work directly with a printing company out of Albany, New York.
The book will have thick pages, ready to withstand a mobile lifestyle, and a sturdy spiral binding so it lays flat while you work, freeing your hands to focus on cooking. These important features, along with hundreds of helpful, full-color photos means the book isn't cheap to produce.
I've taken this project as far as I can on my own—everything is ready to print, I just need the funding to make it happen! Think of this kickstarter project as a pre-order. When enough folks have pledged to buy the book, I'll have enough capital to produce the final product. The moment the books reach my door, I'll package them up and ship them out to you.
I cannot wait to share my cookbook with you!
"It takes a cyclist to know a cyclist, and in this book Tara shows that she truly understands how to please a hungry bike tourist. We love the focus on ingredients that you can find almost anywhere in the world, and we love the colorful photographs and the many practical tips. Perhaps most of all, we love the passion that shines through on every page. This book should be a staple in the panniers of food-loving bike tourists everywhere."
- Friedel & Andrew Grant, The Travelling Two
Risks and challenges
Once my project is funded, there is only one challenge I need to tackle: printing the book.
I'm told the process will take four to five weeks, and possibly a bit longer if there are any kinks during proofing. As this project will stretch well into autumn, we're entering a holiday rush. Everyone (including me) wants their books printed in time for the holidays. While I should be able to get the final product to folks around Thanksgiving, I cannot make any guarantees. Whatever the case, I'll make sure to keep you abreast via project updates!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
While I didn't set out to write a vegetarian cookbook, due to the nature of bike touring (traveling without a refrigerator), most of the recipes don't have meat in them.
Out of 50 recipes:
- 17 are vegan, and about 8 more could easily be made vegan with a little tweaking (sugar for honey, oil for butter, etc.)
- There are only 3 recipes in the book that are actually meat-based, and just one that has fish. There are a handful of recipes in addition to those that call for bouillon. While I always use chicken flavor, you could absolutely substitute vegetable bouillon.
All the rest are vegetarian recipes, usually involving eggs or dairy. For those who love meat, and who happen to pedal by a grocery store or market right around supper time, there are plenty of ways to add meat to any dish. I sometimes offer suggestions in the cookbook of how best to do so.
I've been waffling about this issue for awhile. Releasing my cookbook under the ePub or Mobi format would require a TON of additional work which I don't have immediate plans to undertake. If/when I offer an electronic version (probably as a PDF) Kickstarter backers who purchased the book will definitely get a copy for free!
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