Me vs. MS Word

Future Cookbook

You know you’re in trouble when the Help menu – doesn’t.

I have taken MS Word classes and I have gone crawling to the Help menu many times.

I still cannot get my cookbook’s headers and footers to format correctly. Instead of doing a “work-around” (modern word for what my grandpa called jerry-rigging), I refuse to move on to Plan B. Which means I’m stubbornly frustrating the crap out of myself. I hate it when I do this. Yet here I am.

As soon as I heard about the NaNoWriMo thing (National Novel Writing Month), I got excited because this could really get me moving. Unfortunately, I also got blocked. I have not been able to think of any ideas to write about in my blog, so how could I write a novel?  My confidence is shot, and I blame MS Word for this because I am spending way too much of my writing time surfing the web for forums, articles, anything that will explain to me how I can fix this mess I call a Cookbook.

Hope your weekend has been more productive.   At least the 49er’s were productive this morning and we are 7-1 now! Maybe I’ll sneak in a nap now while hubby and buddy are hogging the TV watching NASCAR (YUCK!), and maybe I’ll dream about something good to write a novel about.  It could happen.  Either way I need the sleep…


The Cookbook: Formatting Nightmares

Future Cookbook

I am at the last section now – desserts!  I thought I would format the document while taking a break from writing recipes. OMG!!  What a mess I have made.

There are 126 “sections” in the manuscript because I used one and two column sections, for the ingredient list for each recipe. It looks really nice on the page, but now I can’t get the page numbering OR the footers working. Just when I get it started going right, I notice there are 2 odd-numbered header/footers in a row. Then 2 even-numbered sections in a row. All the even-numbered pages say “Page 2”, and all the odd-numbered ones disappear after the first 20 sections.  I do not know how this happens.

If I had a secretary, or an assistant, I could make them do this. Since I have to wear those hats during this point in my career, I must suck it up and learn how to format a many sectioned document. I have had MS Word training. I’m a woman, so I can (and do) ask for directions from “Help”.

There are many help pages on how to format a long document. There are no pages for help with fixing a messed up one. Perhaps Microsoft does not think people could mess up this bad.  Well, they do.

I need to know how to “hide” sections that I don’t want to count. I only want TWO real sections. Not 126 sections I can’t “link to previous” with, or make sense of.  Sigh. It looks like I need to sign up for more ^&*#@! training…

Cookbook Interruptus

Future Cookbook

Sigh. Almost to the desert section, and I discover errors in a recipe given to me. By my mother!

On my recipe card she wrote: “1 can salmon, not drained”.  On her card I find the original recipe says: “1 can salmon (1 pound), drained”. So, which is it? I ask her. She replies that you have to tip the can and drain off the top, but don’t dump salmon into a strainer.

Oh.  She took the card from my hand and crossed out “not” and wrote above it “lightly” and handed it back to me. No wonder mine always came out too runny.

I suspect the salmon cakes is not the only recipe with discrepancies. I make a note to refer to mom’s file box while proofreading the cookbook.  For now, I want to finish adding the pile of recipe cards, magazine clippings, and sticky notes to my manuscript.

What I should be doing is taking a nap because I could be up all night again.  What I am doing is trying to keep up with my post-a-day challenge in the midst of chaos  😉  Since it has already interrupted things, I will pass along the correct Salmon Cakes recipe. Y’all should feel honored.

Salmon Cakes
1 pound can Salmon , lightly drained [tip can to drain off most liquid, but don’t use a strainer]
1 Tbls. Lemon Juice
1 Egg
3 Tbls. Onion , diced
¼ tea. Pepper
¼ cup corn meal (or crushed crackers)

Mix Salmon with other ingredients in a medium bowl.  Mix well. Shape into 10 to 12 ‘patties’ and fry in oil on medium heat, until brown on each side. Mom always said using a heavy iron skillet was the proper way to fry stuff.

Serve with Cole Slaw & French fries. And plenty of  salt!!