I know I don’t have to tell you that 2020 was a difficult year for all of us. In the midst of a world-wide pandemic causing illness and death, shutting down businesses, and closing schools, it was difficult to find anything good.
I’m not sure how other authors felt during this terrible time, but I found it almost impossible to concentrate on my writing. With a great deal of difficulty, I finally finished the Christian romance I had started but took some time off during the worst of the pandemic. Writing about hopeful and optimistic things while people were struggling both physically and financially seemed almost irrelevant. And the stress and worry about what was going on in the world caused me to overthink every word I tried to write.
So, instead of writing, I prayed and spent some time thinking about all the things I had for which to be thankful. My children and grandchildren were all healthy. I only had one family member—a grandson—who actually contracted COVID-19, and even though he was quite ill, he completely recovered.
I also thought a great deal about all the things people do to provide comfort for their families during tough times. While paper goods and foodstuffs flew off the grocery shelves, I was thankful that my mother raised my sisters and me to always have a good stock of food and household goods. We learned to make do with what we had on hand, just as our ancestors had before us.
My daughter-in-law, who lost her job because of the pandemic, planted a huge vegetable garden to provide food for their large family. When canning jars and goods became almost impossible to find in stores, I gave her all my canning jars and tools that I hadn’t used in several years. I had thought about getting rid of them several times but had hesitated—never envisioning the plans God had for them.
As for my husband and me, we hunkered down and stayed home. Fortunately, we are both retired, so it wasn’t that difficult for us to not have someplace to be every day. I know others greatly struggled with having to stay home, but I enjoyed the opportunity to wake up each day, knowing I had no place to go and no schedule to keep.
Being at home also allowed me more time to cook and bake old family favorites—comfort foods from recipes handed down generation to generation. It was during that time that I came up with the hair-brained idea to publish a cookbook.
Now, let me state right here that I am an author of Christian Fiction. I am not a chef. With twenty novels published, I right away poo-pooed the idea and decided I was finally losing it. My days of being cooped up in the house had finally sent me over the edge.
Then I thought a little more about the idea. After all, over the years, I have shared some of my favorite recipes with my readers in the back of some of my novels. And readers of my books can tell you that food is a huge part of my characters’ lives. So, I decided to go ahead and work on my idea.
Somehow, it seemed appropriate for me to pull together those recipes I had included in my novels—along with a few of my own family favorites—into a special cookbook designed specifically for my readers. Most of these recipes weren’t anything special. They’re just good, wholesome home cooking that will remind you of when families cooked and baked together and then sat down around the family table and enjoyed their meal.
Along with the recipes, I included brief excerpts from the books where the foods in question appear—hoping that reading those tidbits from the books would remind the readers of the stories they had read.
I know. Crazy idea, right?
That cookbook was released this past month, entitled Favorite Recipes from Kyser’s Kitchen. I have been blown away by the response from my readers. Who knew that stepping out and doing something crazy like publishing a cookbook would resonate with so many people?
If nothing else, I believe this pandemic has brought us back to the value of family time—the preciousness of having all your family home at the same time. Our busy lives were suddenly quieted to the point where we could just be—home with our children and spouse—home with our pets and friends.
Home. What a wonderful word.
Ruth Kyser is a native Michigander--wife, mother, and grandmother--who writes Christian Inspirational Romance. Ruth has had a wide variety of careers in her lifetime--ranging from accounting, working at a YMCA Summer Camp for kids, owning and operating a hardware store with her husband, to being an insurance agent for twenty years.
She is currently retired—for the second time—after working as a church secretary for three years. Now she devotes her time to writing Christian novels full-time.
Ruth is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and enjoys reading almost as much as she loves writing!
Ruth's Mission Statement: "My goal is to write stories that entertain, but more importantly, educate readers about Jesus Christ and His love for them."
Visit Ruth at: https://authorruthkyser.weebly.com/