There are few virtues a man can possess more erotic than culinary skill.
Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses
by Isabel Allende

Starting in November of 2009 Michelle at the Big Black Dog formed a group to bake its way through Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg. I loved Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, so I signed up with the group. Michelle first had us do a couple of warm-up assignments, which were my first attempt at blogging. The first "Official" post was on January 15, 2010, and it was followed by 41 more, on the 1st and 15th of each month. When I signed on I said I would bake the whole book, and like Horton (the elephant) I meant what I said and I said what I meant. I finished baking the book on October 1, 2011. Having completed that challenge, now I am just going to do some stuff, and post about it. As part of that stuff Michelle is posing a new, and different, challenge for us each month.

I am still baking bread, mostly the Five Minutes a Day kind, and if you would like to try the Five Minutes a Day bread method there are some links, with recipes, in the right hand column to get you started. Please give it a try.

But first, a word from my sponsor . . .
Depending on to whom you listen, however, our standard of living, may, or may not, be threatened by climate change--global warming. Though scary, it is hard to sift through all the shouting and conflicting information to figure out who is right on this issue.
One person, Greg Craven, has suggested changing the question from "which side is right" to "what is the wisest thing to do given the uncertainties and the risks involved?" To me, this seems like a very productive way to refocus the conversation. So, if you are confused about, concerned by, or interested in the issue of global warming please take a few minutes to watch his VIDEO. If you find it interesting or helpful, please pass it on to others.

This day be bread and peace my lot.
Alexander Pope

How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?

Julia Child

Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven.
Yiddish proverb
(And some are only half baked.)

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
George Bernard Shaw, via Sharon

Of all smells, bread; of all tastes, salt.
George Herbert

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

You Can Publish Your Blog as a Book

nar·cis·sism  (nahr-suh-siz-em)
inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity. 
van·i·ty (van-i-tee)
excessive pride in one's appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc.; character or quality of being vain.
vanity press or vanity publisher
a publishing house that publishes books at the author's expense.

I became aware that you could have your blog published as a book.  So I did it.  I published my HB in 5 blog up to the half-way point of the Schedule (Volume 1).  I did not do it for myself, of course, but for my fan.   I gave her the hard-cover edition for Christmas.  The reception was so overwhelming and the demand so great that my blog is now out in a paperback edition! 

The catch is that you have to, or at least I had to, pay to have the blog published.  But that is not a new concept.  Wikipedia notes that "[i]n the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries it was common for legitimate authors to, if they could afford it, pay the costs of publishing their books. Such writers could expect more control of their work, greater profits, or both. Self-publishing was not judged negatively as it has been more recently. Among the authors taking this route were Lewis Carroll, who paid the expenses of publishing Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and most of his subsequent work. Mark Twain, E. Lynn Harris, Zane Grey, Upton Sinclair, Carl Sandburg, Edgar Rice Burroughs, George Bernard Shaw, Edgar Allan Poe, Rudyard Kipling, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman and Anaïs Nin also self-published some or all of their works."  So there!

Several outfits will do this for you.  I used Blog2Print as my Vanity Press.  I looked at some others, but this one seemed pretty easy, and I was very pleased with the results.  

 The program uploads your blog and gives you a complete preview to review.  You can choose to include or omit comments, or you can select which comments to include, which can save quite a few pages, and pages are money.  You can also select the entire blog or only those posts within a particular date range. 

There are things it does not do, however.  It is not very customizable.  It does not pick up the blog design--the headers and sidebars--just the posts themselves.  And within the posts, if you embed a video it does not show a screenshot or thumbnail.  Most of my posts are in Blogger, but I had used LiveWriter for some of my posts, and I had to redo the pictures in Blogger to make them appear in my book.  You can include some pictures at the back, and I printed and scanned some screenshots of my blog design and included them there, but the quality was not very good.  (Anybody have an easy way to capture high resolution screen images and save them?)

There are several versions of your book available to choose from, including a digital version which is pretty reasonable (about 8 bucks).  The site notes "[t]he Digital File Download is provided to you as a PDF file. With your purchase you'll receive a download of your completed book. The file is yours to read, print, and save on your computer for reference whenever you like (in case you lose track of it - we'll keep a copy for you for 30 days)!" This might be the way to go if you are looking to publish for archival, as opposed to presentation, purposes.   Those of you with blogs of recipes, particularly family recipes, might find this a good way to preserve them. 

So, if you are interested in joining the ranks of Lewis Carroll, Mark Twain, E. Lynn Harris, Zane Grey, Upton Sinclair, Carl Sandburg, Edgar Rice Burroughs, George Bernard Shaw, Edgar Allan Poe, Rudyard Kipling, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Anaïs Nin--and me, check this out.


  1. The results look like a 1st class book. You got me to thinking about my own recipes that I have clipped, downloaded & copied over the years from various sources. I could collect these into one file and have them published. Son has wanted me to do this, anyway, for the family favorite recipes. Publishing them would be over the top. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. These are so neat! I've seen other people who have done this. Unfortunately, this service doesn't work on blogs that are hosted independently. There is a plugin for files, but it doesn't work very good yet. I'd love to have my blog in a book too! Thanks for sharing.

  3. This is a great thing to know! My sisters and I have always wanted to make a family cookbook...and this could give us the way to do it. Thank you for the info!! :)