I loved working at the racquetball club. There were a lot of cute guys, fun girls, and getting paid to have a good time was pretty great. There were occasions when I would pull a cleaning detail, and I wanted to file a complaint when I chipped a brand new French manicure on a urinal in the men’s locker room, but mostly, it was a blast.
I loved to cook as well, and my collection of over 100 cookbooks had yielded some delicious recipes. One year for Christmas, I decided to make recipes cards of some of my favorites and put them in recipe boxes to give as gifts. What a lot of handwriting, and it soon became tiring, but I’m not a quitter.
One quiet Sunday afternoon at the racquetball club, I worked on the cards. One of the guys came down from the locker room, handed his yucky, wet towel to me, and asked what I was doing. When I told him, he said, “Maddie, you know how to type. Why don’t you make your own cookbook?”
Well, duh! You know those cookbooks you get from women’s groups and churches? They all seem to be the same size and have those punch-and-bind combs down the side. Yep. That’s what I did. I worked at the weight loss center during the day, worked and played racquetball at night, and typed a cookbook in the middle of the night.
That poor family of mine I keep talking about … well, they spent an entire weekend walking around a huge conference table, manually collating pages, and using a punch-and-bind machine to put the darn things together. I not only had Christmas presents, but I also had books for consignment shops. I’ve used my own copy so much it has become worn and tattered. I was delighted to find a like-new copy at a used library book sale a few years ago, and I set it aside.
It still feels good to see the finished product. It was especially neat because my brother-in-law, who was quite artistic, did some really good artwork for the cover.
It was my first publishing attempt. It was 500 copies.