Marty in our support bulletin board asked me why he couldn’t get the title “Holiday Cooking” to fit as a recipe heading in his cookbook. It’s normally not a problem, but I explained that this can be an issue in our half page formats if you’re writing a cookbook with a really large font size. There’s just not much space to work with!
But it got me thinking about a bigger issue that applies to everyone writing a family cookbook. When it comes to recipe headings, sometimes less is more.
Obviously, I myself can be a little wordy sometimes. (You never hear about Bill Gates’ Fantastic Word Processing Software. He just calls it “Word.”) But even I can see that when it comes to organizing recipes, short headings make it much easier for cooks to find the right page in your cookbook.
I advised Marty to just call the heading for Holiday Cooking “Holidays.” It’s in a cookbook, so it’s already implied that it’s holiday cooking.
It’s just much easier to skim through a cookbook with headings like “Entree” and “Dessert” than “Continental Dinner Fare” and “Cakes, Pies and Other Sweets”.
Do I follow my own rule? To be honest, no. But I tend to be a bit quirky about it. Instead of “Salads” I like writing “Green Things.” “Fish” are “Scaly Swimmers.” “Cookies” are “Grandkid Appeasers.”
Is my own cookbook a pain to use for the uninitiated? Undoubtedly. But it’s my cookbook and mostly my recipes. And if you want to use it you’re just going to have to humor my writing.