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College of Human Ecology

HMD grads publish cookbook filled with Mom's recipes, photography

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

atasteofhomecoverTwo HMD graduates and a mom have published "A Taste of Home," a glossy 125-page cookbook filled with inviting recipes and lavish photographs.

The book, published by Aura Productions in Hays, Ks., began as a food writing class project for Jamison, then Heather Meckenstock. After graduation in 2006, she and her mother, Shay A. Meckenstock, built on the project. They returned to the kitchen, revisiting past creations such as a Moroccan themed dinner and a backyard barbecue, adapting recipes to fit other cooks and kitchens.

Jamison recruited former classmate Emiko Taki to provide photography for the project.

heather-and-mom200"My mom and I slow dance in the kitchen. Our music is the sizzle of olive oil heating in the skillet and the rolling boil of water in a stainless steel pot..." Heather Jamison wrote in the introduction.

"What began as a dance in the kitchen translates to dinner by moving a common need for food beyond sustainability into irreplaceable time with family," Jamison wrote. "For mom...dinner wasn't just about cooking, it was about enjoying our time together."

Emiko Taki

Emiko Taki

Taki, a 2007 graduate, is a registered dietitian and food stylist/photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area. For "A Taste of Home," she styled and photographed nearly a dozen dishes - ranging from Chicken Puttanesca to Popple Cake with Marshmallow Icing.

She tested the recipes, shooting up to 200 photos for each. She culled her images and Jamison made the final choices. "It took about 13 months total," Taki said. "Heather was typing the recipes as I was doing the photos, so I worked as she sent me recipes." Sometimes she styled one or two a week, sometimes more.

Jamison said one of her biggest challenges was translating her mother's recipes.

"Many of them did not list measurement or instructions. I had to guess on a lot of them and then take them back to my mom and ask if what I typed was correct," she said, describing a typical problem for cookbook authors.

New Orleans gumbo

New Orleans gumbo

The graduate is done with authorship for a while. Soon 18-month-old daughter Basha will have company. Jamison is expecting twins. "Makes me glad we're remodeling our kitchen in January because there currently isn't room for two more little ones!" she said.

Meanwhile, Basha has joined her mom in the kitchen just as Jamison joined her mother. "Basha already is interested. She takes everything out of the lazy Susan (all my baking stuff) and asks me the name of it, then she puts it all back. She will do this over and over," Jamison said.

"A Taste of Home" is available through Amazon.com.

Kitchen M - Taki's blog

This article was posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2009, and is filed under Hospitality Management.