Longtime followers of this blog may have noticed that I keep moving the goalposts on book publication. That's because life, as it often does, has intervened in the past few years. So poor "Preserve or Perish" gets neglected, and I feel guilty about it.
I'm hoping that 2020 will bring more stability, less stress, and more routine and free time. So of course, the book is at the top of the list!
My primary goals for 2020 are thus:
My book, "Preserve or Perish," on food in New York State during WWI is nearly complete. Peer reviewers wanted more context, my editor wanted a chapter on propaganda, and I wanted to add recipes and make the academic text a little more approachable to the lay reader. But editing, an essential part of the writing process, is HARD. Especially when adding context means you have to go back and read (and take notes on) and condense and cite even more secondary source books. I am, however, probably most of the way there. I'm not sure what the final book will look like, as this one is ending up longer than expected, but I know that the finished product will be better for the time and attention. Setting a completion deadline for myself also usually works to kick in my "oh no I have a deadline let me work furiously and extremely efficiently to meet it" generally works. So fingers crossed.
I also want to post more in this blog. Thank goodness for the scheduling function, so I can sit down and write a few posts at a time. But I also want to branch out in topics. I've loved the World War Wednesday series, but I want more time for historic recipes and cookbooks, too.
I know a LOT about food history. I've been studying it, on a fairly regular basis, for over 15 years. And I want to share what I know, but the traditional college course is not really for me (also, adjuncts are treated terribly in academia). Which is why I'm in the process of developing a couple of online courses.
I also want to get back into podcasting and/or make a few YouTube videos. Part of the online course process is creating online videos, so why not make a few shorts to post on YouTube?
In the past few years I've acquired a LOT of vintage cookbooks. I've managed to organize some of them, but I have it on good authority that more are coming in 2020. So, that not only means organizing my library (again), but also cataloging what I have and digitizing a few gems to share.
This is a bonus resolution, in part because I think it will be so much fun. We've got a great group over on Facebook and my Patreon patrons delight me in more ways than I can say. But I'd like to develop a place for all us like-minded folks to be able to better communicate and spend time together.
SO! To that end, I'd like your feedback! What do you think of these goals? I've made a little survey for you to take (only 4 questions long!) and help shape the future of The Food Historian.
How About You?
Do you have any 2020 goals related to food, history, or food history? Share in the comments!
Sarah Wassberg Johnson has an MA in Public History from the University at Albany and studies early 20th century food history.