When I started writing my first book, I had an idea in my mind that I should write a book for an audience which does not know how to cook at all. So the sub-title of my book had to be “Even If You Have Never Boiled An Egg Before”.
I was already running a blog www.cookinginajiffy.com discussing my mom’s recipes. A few interactions on Facebook made me realize that some group members were actually just starting out in the kitchen, and didn’t know how to even make tea or set up a basic kitchen.
This reminded me of my own College days in University College London when I was forced to cook because the Hall of Residence, that I was living in, did not serve any meals during the weekends. So, I had a first-hand knowledge of the problems faced by beginners in this field.
I researched further on the internet. I also checked on Amazon and “looked inside” (a great feature on Amazon that allows you to read about 10% of Kindle versions) a few student cookbooks. I realised that most of the student cookbooks assumed that you knew a little cooking and jumped straight to recipes such as sweet n’ sour Chinese chicken. This could be a problem for someone who does not even know how to boil an egg, let alone make sweet n’ sour chicken.
So I started writing my outline in that background. Here is a sample of the first rough outline that I wrote:
What People Say
- Who is this book for?
- My Story—why I had to learn how to boil an egg and do much more?
- Why should you learn cooking?
- How NOT to turn cooking into a chore?
- How only home-style cooking can ensure putting nutritious food on your table?
- What if things go wrong in the kitchen?
Lesson 1: Setting up your kitchen: What equipment to start with?
Lesson 2: What spices and other ingredients you need to stock and experiment with?
Lesson 3: How to make tea or Coffee?
Lesson 4: How to toast bread and graduate to:
· Making bread crumbs
· Making a Garlic toast
· Making a cheese garlic toast
Lesson 5: How to boil and peel an egg flawlessly and graduate to?
· Making an Egg sandwich
· Making an Egg grilled sandwich
· Making an Egg poach or Egg Benedict
· Making an Egg fry
· Making an Omelette
· Making a Cheese or Spanish Omelette
· Making a Scrambled egg
· Making a French Toast
Lesson 6: How to cook your vegetables?
- Sauté peas
- Grill tomatoes
- Sauté spinach
- Roast Baby Potatoes
- Sauté mushrooms
- Sauté mixed vegetables
- Sauté anything and everything
- Learn to make a white sauce
- Steaming vegetables- the Jiffy way
- Make Vegetables au gratin
- Make Aubergines au gratin
- Grill cottage cheese
Lesson 7: How to handle chicken?
- What should you buy whole or cut into pieces?
- How to boil a chicken?
- What to do with a boiled chicken?
- Make a delicious chicken sandwich
- Make a grilled chicken sandwich
- Make a cold chicken
- Make a breaded chicken for dinner
- How to grill a chicken
Lesson 8: What to do with fish and seafood?
- How to grill trout.
- Make a simple Indian fish curry
- Graduate to making fish in a Yoghurt and mustard paste
Lesson 9: How about some soups for your soul?
- Making Pumpkin soup
- Making Tomato carrot soup
- Making the classic Chicken soup
- Graduate to making the Chicken Sweet Corn Soup: Chinese style
Lesson 10: Making a full meal in 30 minutes: with proper sequencing & parallel processing
- The concept of Foundation Meals and parallel processing
- Making a Foundation Breakfast
- Making a Foundation Indian Lunch or Dinner
- Making a Foundation Western Lunch or Dinner
- Make Cooking a pleasurable experience by involving your friends and family members
- Don’t shy away from tweaking, adapting and experimenting with any cooking idea you come across, including from this book.
About the Author
I am sure you would have got a pretty good idea by now of why and how you should write an outline. I have always written an outline for all of my book
Nothing can help organize your thoughts better.
What is your favourite way of preparing a book structure? Would like to hear your views.