Friday, May 15, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 22, 2009

I haven't blogged in awhile. But hey -- my presentation's over! Phewie! I just found out that I received an average score of a 147.3/150 points on the presentation ... definitely content with that!

At this point, this is where I am:
I'm going through the book and bulking the "About the Contributor" section of every page. I have also received about 5 more recipes, so I need to go back and add those in. For now, they'll be at the back of the book out of alphabetical order (which is OK). Once I've bulked/edited all the About the Contributor's, I'll send it to print so I can have it back by May 15 for my Written Document grade and Application. A shift in my Application --- rather than do the lunch with FA upper-schoolers, I'm submitting the final cookbook to the FA library (putting my work and knowledge on display for the FA community). This makes more sense I think.
While even this printed version will not be final, I'll be working on the book over the summer as well, readying it to be sold. I need to address a few copyright issues (pictures, etc.) before doing so.

Things are about over with at this point -- at least for the school project aspect of things -- so, I'm feeling pretty accomplished and very proud of my work.

I went to a lunch with the accrediations team and did a "mini" senior exhibit presentation for them. They were impressed with my work; Jamie and I did a great job of bouncing off of each other's ideas and working together to make the senior exhibit process seem as successful as it was for us. We did a great job displaying how important our projects were to us and how much we got out of the overall experience.

For my actual senior exhibit presentation -- I was worried sick (literally) before the presentation... even though I was 100% ready to give it. I was relieved that once I began talking, my nerves calmed down and I really pulled it off. I tried hard to maintain the interest of my audience and make the students feel a part of what I was doing. I think they were able to see how much my project meant to me. I told them that we, the youth, have the future in our hands. We have the capability of making great strides as individuals. I also harped on the fact that the senior exhibit process can be an incredibly enriching and enjoyable experience and the importance of finding something you're passionate about. I am incredibly happy with the turnout of my presentation, and my set-up was GREAT. I made "Sinful Chocolate" for my audience and discussed Robi Damelin (the one who contributed this recipe) and what she does. They seemed to enjoy that. I had a gold tablecloth, blown up/mounted cover, candlesticks, blown up table of contents & a couple pages -- the display was reminiscent of a homecooked meal and looked very professional. Before my presentation, I also arranged all the tables in a semi-circle to make it a more intimate arrangement rather than a standard classroom with me lecturing.
I will use the same set-up with likely another recipe for the night when all seniors have a table to display to parents and other seniors (can't wait!). By that time, I will also have the book bound and ready to go.

I'll report back with any more detail in a little while.
Only a couple more weeks of school left----- deposited to Smith a few nights ago; I'm extatic.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March 25, 2009

I had my rehearsal presentation yesterday. I was SO, so nervous beforehand. When I woke up yesterday morning, it was everything I could do not to absolutely freak out. As the day went on, I convinced myself that it couldn't be that bad -- I'm merely discussing the hard work that I've done over the course of this entire year. After all, this is not just a project for me - I've genuinely enjoyed working on it. Seeing the product is so rewarding, even when it's just printed out and not published. Before my presentation, I wrote down an outline that I wanted to follow to keep me on track if I found myself losing a train of thought. This helped me keep my cool, too. Walking through the entire presentation made me feel worlds more confident and excited about my final presentation. It was great getting genuine feedback from everyone that was there. They seemed impressed; that made me feel great. It's been hard for me to come to terms with the fact that my project isn't necessarily about the product - it's about the journey that I went through and the things that I got from the process. It was difficult yesterday to talk, talk, and talk about the book without having everyone looking through it -- even though I realize that they'd be distracted by the book. Maybe after my final presentation, there can be a ten minute or so period where people can look through the book. Some of the stories and peace commentaries that contributors sent are heart-wrenching; all of them are meaningful.
I found yesterday that at times, I was trying to stick to my outline too much. Rather than say "Now I'll discuss the process..." (even though that kept me on track), I'll just start talking about the process. When I talk about what I learned, it doesn't need to be cut and dry. I have to keep my personality and true feelings on the surface!

Here is how I plan for my presentation to go:

1. Introduction
- It was not easy for me to come to a decision about what I wanted to do. First, I thought about community service. Then I realized that I go to Honduras every summer and that while it's an incredible experience, it isn't something new for my senior exhibit. I decided it'd be a great idea to incorporate my graphic design skills that I've acquired through being an editor of the yearbook -- it's something that I not only enjoy, but am good at. I thought it'd be a great idea to compile all the family, handwritten cookbooks into one graphic masterpiece. I hit the ground running with the idea... but my excitement only lasted about a day or so. I wanted to do something that had a deeper meaning -- and that while a family cookbook would mean something to me, who else would it touch? Not many people. I wasn't "feeling" it as much anymore. I went to dinner the next night with my dad and stepmom (Jody from now on) and discussed my mini-dilemma. Jody got really excited and said she'd been wanting to create a cookbook full of recipes from people around the world, peace advocates around the world. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 and knows amazing people. It clicked. I knew this was right from then on out. We got really excited, took paper out at dinner and sketched ideas for names, possible contributors, and cover ideas.
- From then on out, I had a goal:
- for everyone who opened my cookbook, it would mean something.
- for my project to be more than a deadline looming in the back of my head.
- for this to be a joyous and enriching experience for me, and everyone who reads it.
- to be excited about my project and want to make it the absolute best it can be.
- to show people my age and of all ages that one person can make a difference. that it is the little things we do that will create a change. that we must start somewhere. that tiny footsteps like recycling will eventually provide great leaps.
- to inspire people the way I've been inspired by these amazing people.

I dedicate this book to : "all who work for peace int he belief that some day, all families will live in a peaceful world and be able to share their favorite meals with family fand friends."

2. Process
- First, Jody and I (we) came up with a list of possible contributors. We came up with about 80.
- We then developed an email to send out to all of these possible contributors, explaining who I am, what my project is, and what we are asking of them. We asked for people to send a recipe and "peace commentary."
- Jody sent the email and we waited for a response. They started trickling in around September 2008. As they came in, I created a Word Document for every person, did vague research on them, and formatted their recipe. I decided every recipe would be organized "Ingredients" and then "Method." I saved every word document by last name (Williams, Jody).
- People didn't send recipes all at once; we developed a deadline of January 1st. I got my last recipe in February. Some recipes were really hard to format because they'd be so vague and personal.
- Once I had them all, I started creating pages in Adobe InDesign. Incredibly long process, huge amount of trial & error. Once all pages were created and the book was finished in its entirety, I exported each document in InDesign as a pdf. I uploaded the PDFs to, a self-publishing website. I chose my options -- hard cover, glossy pages, etc. I now wait on its arrival.
- After my presentation, I will likely "re-vamp" the book, re-publish it on Lulu, and then sell it on Jody's website ( We will make it available to everyone who is interested via Lulu & . Many people are interested, and I'd like to give a few copies to the school, too.

3. Design
- Cover:
- We came up with some key ideals of a peaceful world : environmental justice, gender equality, conflict resolution, protection & promotion of human rights, right to shelter, right to food, disarmament, right to basic healthcare, peace education, freedom from want, sustainable development, community service, and stopping violence towards women.
- we thought it'd be awesome to have a huge bowl on the cover with these words flowing out of it --- i.e. a huge mixing bowl of peace. I started designing it, though, and it looked like a cookbook for 3rd-graders. I knew this wouldn't work.
- So, I went to the shelves and shelves of cookbooks that my mom has, looking for inspiration on the cover. I came across the oldie but goodie Joy of Cooking. I loved the way the Gold popped and the word "joy" was dominant. This was my inspiration. As you can see - my book looks nothing like this, but I loved the gold and the dominant word; so i decided gold and dominant PEACE. I decided I wanted a graphically modern look.
- I loved gold. I wanted it to POP. I thought a darker color would be best, but didn't want black. I chose navy.
- I incorporated these two colors - gold and navy - throughout the entire book. As you can see, each page has gold on the outside and navy blue headers.
- Pages:
- It was not easy to come up with a design for these pages. I initially had decided every contributor would have 2 pages. A picture of the contributor would be dominant and on the left page with their name and information about what they do. The facing page would be quote(s) from them and thier recipe. I realized this couldn't and wouldn't work for everyone, though, because some people gave two-line recipes and one-line (or no-line) commentary. Some people didn't have good pictures available.
- So, I compressed most of them into one page. I kept all the pages saved with Last name first, but everyone had one page and the facing page was blank.
- I then compined everyone, alphabetically, and ended up with 60 pages. Some people, like my dad, got two pages because they submitted multiple recipes.
- INCREDIBLY long process!!!!!!!!!
- I chose Garamond because it is simple, easy to read, and it's not Times New Roman.
- I chose Mistral, as you can see on the cover for all the words that would bring a peaceful world. I encorporated this font throughout the book -- the dedication, header for Table of Contents, header for About the Contributor.
- The sizes are relatively uniform throughout but it does slightly depend on the lengthyness of the recipe etc.

4. Table of Contents
- Above the Table of Contents, I wrote "a prelude to my project," where I discussed the importance of this project to me. This is what it reads:

To me, this is more than my senior exhibit. More than a project that I must have completed by a certain date; more than a deadline that is hanging over my head and swiftly approaching, and more than another assignment that brings me stress and frustration. This has been a joyful, fun, and rewarding experience for me. Not only have I seemingly gotten to know sixty amazing people from all over the world, but I’ve gained knowledge on worldly topics, global issues, and most importantly - I’ve become aware and a part of a quest towards something so precious as peace. I am honored to be a part of this cookbook, honored to have compiled and formatted each of these recipes; honored to have researched every person and their unique cause, and honored to now have such an insight to the purpose these amazing people have united. An incredible inspiration is best descriptive of my feelings towards the contributors and I so hope that this book can bring other ordinary people, like me, to realize that small acts can and will make a difference in our world. We must start somewhere. Time is of the essence, my friends.
So please, enjoy this cookbook. Enjoy the recipes. Enjoy the words of wisdom sprinkled throughout. And most importantly, be thankful for each person’s efforts towards a common and beautiful cause. Believe in the strides that we as united individuals have the capability of making.

The Table of Contents is alphabetical by last name of contributor - this shows the importance of the contributors, emphasis on them rather than only thier recipe. It also shows the reader straightfowardly who they can cook with!

4. Application
- I have not done my application yet, but my plan is to make an announcement and send a follow-up email about, broadly, what my project is and what it involves. I will ask who is interested. I will coordinate with a small group of students a trip over to the Middle School where we prepare a recipe as we discuss my project, peace, and specifically the contributor who's recipe we're making. My goal in my application is to show that one person really can make a difference. It is so vital that youth realize that they can make a difference and grow to make a difference. My goal is to have them realize how passionate these people in my cookbook are about what they do, and the importance of this when we grow up.

5. What I got out of this project:
- I learned about managing my time : I learned that if I was going to work on tihs, I needed to set aside huge amounts of time. I further learned (after yearbook) that creating and editing pages is incredibly time consuming.
- Trial & Error: Things are not going to work out first try, but this adds to the glory of the final product. My book looks virtually nothing like what we had invisioned at the start, but yet I am 100% satisfied and extatic about how it turned out.
- Working with people on a deadline: I had to wait for people to send me their recipes -- they are not at my beckon call, nor should they be. These people are busy with their own lives and will not drop everything for my school project. However, I had to set a deadline for them so that I could meet my deadline for the project.
- Graphically, I learned about encorporating a theme throughout an entire book and encorporating colors and fonts throughout without having it be overdone or repetitive. I learned about formatting pages to look similar but not boring.
- I learned about amazing people that devote their life to a common and beautiful cause.
- I learned the importance of being passionate about what you do. If you aren't passionate, where is the glory? Happiness does not come from money - it comes from accomplishment and satisfaction with what you do.
- I have developed a relationship with my step mom that one point, I thought I could never have. It has been such a special experience.
- It has been a great experience for me to work on FA's yearbook at the same time as this cookbook. I've bounced ideas back and forth, used common themes (i.e. the [brackets] and "s p a c i n g " that are in this year's yearbook). Using two different programs (InDesign and yearbookavenue online) is similar to reading two books at a time ... you learn new things and connect the two in all sorts of ways.
- It was also great working this project during the presidential campaign. I was pushed to care, pushed to want to have an influence on the election. This was the first time I've been able to vote, and I love that I had a part in it. These people have such strong minds and opinions, and they inevitably rubbed off on me. This is not to say they developed my opinion for me, but these people are in the middle of so many things -- they see the poverty, they see the hunger, they see the world. How lucky they are.
- Most of all, I have been inspired by my project. I am inspired to be a better person because of these people. I am inspired to be the best I can be, inspired to be happy, inspired to be thankful for what I have. Inspired to make a difference in this world just like these people have. Ispired to write great essays for college, and inspired to express my opinion confidently.
Inspired to believe that the small things I do -- such as being kind, not sweating the small stuff, donating a dollar towards Darfur at the supermarket rather than towards the latest about Britney, recycling ... I am inspired to be aware. Inspired to turn on the news and read the newspaper. We are in a world and time that is in desperate need of people who are aware and care about what is going on.

My mind has been opened, my horizons broadened and enriched. What a gift this project has been during such a key point in my life.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Winter Break Progress

This week off from school has been incredibly productive. I had felt a little disconnected from the book for awhile because I've been so caught up with the yearbook and other school work.

I spent a lot of time compiling and formatting various recipes that had trickled in from mid-January to now. I told Jody that this is about the end of the wire -- I need to start finalizing the book for submission to

As of now, every recipe that I have created has a place in the book. Every contributor has a page. I had initially had it set so that every contributor had two facing pages -- one page would have the contribtor's name, peace commentary, and information about the contributor, and the facing page would have the recipe (formatted into ingredients & method). However, some contributors provided a very simple recipe and little information to include; this made for an incredibly bland and blank couple of pages. So, for those who didn't send in much, I combined. I combined up to two contributors on two facing pages. This was a little tricky, though, because the book is organized alphabetically, not by type of recipe, etc. I had to wait to combine these contributors until after I had received all the recipes from everyone. The pages are really looking amazing. I am so excited to see the book in its entirety. Because I had initially created two facing pages for each contribtor, it took a lot of time to go through and compress many into one page.

I am in editing-mode now. I am going through each page and making sure they are formatted similar enough. I'm checking for spelling mistakes, font sizes (consistency), ingredient-measurement consistency, etc. I still have many "About the Contributor" paragraphs to write. I am hoping to sit down with Jody this week for some help on this. I just plan to write something very short & sweet about each contributor and what they do. It shouldn't be too time consuming.

To Do:
- Finish editing the nitty-gritty
- Write blurb about remaining contributors
- Add page #s to every page
- Create Table of Contents
- Write thank-yous & send (Will not be hard once I have an address/e-mail for every contributor [easily obtained from Jody])

I'm hoping for a snow day tomorrow so I can devote it to this! It sounds like a lot to get done and it my make you question what I've done so far -- but I really have done a huge amount. Every page takes at least 30 minutes to create. It isn't healthy to sit in front ofthe computer for 7 hours straight! I feel comfortable where I am with the book - I really do. Lulu only takes 3-4 days to get the book back to me.

Right now, my focus is completing the book. I want to have it finished by March 15. That is two weeks from today. I think I can do it. I would really resent not having the actual book for my presentation in just over 1 month! I'm not too worried, though.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Outline of Presentation + What is to be done

Outline for Presentation

1. Introduction
- I will have the book completed and out on a table, along with 1 recipe that is prepared, my printed off list of contributors (I already have this), and any conversing that I have done with the contributors via email/mail.
- I will first explain the idea that I had initially -- incorporating design/cooking, then my decision to do this.
- I will explain what this project means to me, what peace means to me, and how the contributors and their words have affected me.

2. Process
- I will explain the process of getting the recipes. I got them via Jody and e-mail. I then compiled each into a word document and formatted them to look alike. (i.e. same font, same ingredient-measurements, etc.) I researched each contributor in order to write a blurb about each of them which is included in the book. I played around with different cover ideas, then established the perfect cover. I then created a uniform design for each page. I then pasted each person's name, recipe, personal blurb, and my blurb about them. This got tricky because each person's page is different depending on the amount of information they provided, lengthiness of their recipe, picture, etc. Once the page was completed in its entirety, I uploaded it to in a PDF format.
-I had to set a deadline for all the recipes to be in, which was mid-way through January. Some have trickled in since then.
- I have been meeting with my step-mom periodically and showing her my progress. She has helped give me a more personal view on a lot of these people -- deeper than what Wikipedia has to say! :-)
- I have learned so much about each of them through their personal story/blurb. I will talk about how they have inspired me, etc.

3. Presentation of the Book
- I will give as many people I can a copy of the book to look through.
- I will first ask them to look closely at the cover, and discuss why I chose the design/colors that I did.
- I will then ask them to flip to certain pages to read a certain person's story and recipe, and discuss the design/format of the page and why I chose for it to be that way. I will have these pages already picked out.

4. Struggles
- I will discuss the struggles I faced: time management, getting recipes in on time, getting substantial and useful information on each person, writing about each person and attempting to make each person sound as great as they are, etc.

5. What I've Learned
- About individuals and what they can do
- About time management
- About building and incorporating a theme and design aspects throughout an entire book
- About making do with what I have
- About the difference one person can make
- About key issues in the world
- What I can do to make a difference every day (discuss examples).

6. Questions

What I Still Have to Do:
- I have gotten all the recipes and thus the list is complete
- I need to write a thank-you note to each contributor (it's good form!)
- I will hold 2 classes where a small group of students get together and make a recipe from the book. I will explain my project and zero in on one of the contributors each time as we prepare the recipe.
- Complete all pages
- Edit all pages
- Submit to Lulu for the first copy to get back and edit
- Re-submit to Lulu for the final and order multiple copies

Thursday, October 16, 2008

15 October 2008

New to blogger!
I think I'll adjust fast to this method of journals. I like to check in more frequently than we have to, because things are always happening with my project. Recipes are still flowing in. I thought that by now we'd have them all, but we don't - which is OK.
As of now, every recipe I've received is saved on my hard drive in a special folder. Each of these recipes has been formatted to match the next: The name of the contributor, their peace commentary, general information about what they do, ingredients for recipe, and method for recipe. They are in the same fonts and all the ingredients "match" each other. The template all the pages has been created, but each page's template actually varies because each contributor gives not only a different recipe, but a different amount of text for me to include on their page. I'm hoping to soon have all the recipes in - so I can create the Table of Contents and work from front to back on the book. I've created multiple pages, but it's frustrating that I can't look at them in the order they'll appear in the book.
The pages are really looking great. I only work on them when I'm at home, and only for a certain amount of time each time - this way I'm not and will not get sick of this awesome project! Some times I'm more excited about it than others, and I purposely choose to work on it when I'm excited. I want this experience to bring me joy. I'm not stressed out about it at all at this point - I'm moving steadily through the pages and have a format for each of them. I plan to work a lot this weekend on page-design and creation. I have a large list compiled of each contributor and their recipe that I have updated multiple times. It is in alphabetical order and has the names of not only the confirmed contributors, but the invited and "committed to sending" people, too.
I asked Jody to ask those invited to include a "peace commentary." It is interesting to see their responses because different people make different things of this request. Some send a summary of their achievements. Others share a personal story. Some share the reason for choosing the recipe, and some share what peace means to them. Each of them are special. I feel so lucky to be a part of this and I can't wait for others to be able to read through my creation.

Journals as of 15 October 2008

Thursday, September 18

Today I gave a 5-10 minute presentation to my senior exhibit class explaining my project, what I've done so far, and what I plan to do. I think I did pretty well, but I was definitely nervous. I always get nervous, but I'm not sure why. It was only in front of a few friends... and I was well prepared to give the presentation. For some reason, my hands still shake! I started by explaining how my project evolved into what it is now. Then I explained my project, and showed the cover. Everyone seemed to be really impressed. I have created a template that I'm going to follow for each contributor's page, so I showed two examples of the pages - Wangari Maathai, and Lynne Twist. On the left page, the person's name is big, and beneathe it is a large photo of the person. Under the photo is where my "peace bio" will go - information about what this person has done for the world. On the other page, the name of the recipe is written in a similar format to how the person's name was written on the other page. Under their name I have room for a quote, with large quotation marks to bring the person's focus to it. Under the quote are the ingredients which will be displayed in the same fashion throughout the book, and under them will be the "method" for cooking the recipe. All ingredients have been formatted to look the same... consistency, consistency, consistency! (For example, throughout the whole book, "tablespoon" will be written out and not shortened to "tblspn", and "lb" will be changed to "pound.")

The colors of navy blue and gold are being encorporated throughout the entire book, not just the cover. Mrs. Clark Evans, next time we meet I will show you the template for the pages!

At next week's senior exhibit meeting, we get to watch the video of ourselves that Mr. Eckerson took while we gave our mini-presentation. I'm sure my nervousness will be obvious, but I hope to really improve that problem of mine over the course of the year, so I can be calm, collected, and comfortable for my real presentation!

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September 9, Entry #15

The "work" aspect of my project is finally starting to kick in. Between 60-70 people have agreed to put in recipes. We have gotten a lot of them; each is saved on my computer. This weekend, I have no real plans. I decided to devote it to my project! I'm going to begin researching those peace advocates who have already submitted their recipe (esp. the easy ones that won Nobel PEace Prizes... their info is all over the place!), and hopefully write at least 10 "peace bios."

Jody heard from a writer that is a great place for self-publising. I've created an account on that site. The Table of Contents is going to be organized alphebetically rather than by types of dishes (appetizers, main courses, desserts). I created the cover and I'm really excited! It's navy blue with gold writing. No pictures, but sometimes the simpler, the most effective.

We decided on a paper-back, 8.5x11book. Hardcover would be my first choice, but it is more expensive. We'll see what ends up happening - that decision doesnt have to be made quite yet.

I can create the pages in InDesign, change them to a PDF file, and upload them directly to the site. Perfect!

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August 28th, Entry 14

I'm sorry I haven't written in so long! Things have been crazy. I went to Honduras on the mission trip I went on last year (and that Meghan Pcsolyar did as her senior exhibit), and since then it's been crunch time preparing for school. I'm so excited to be a senior this year, and even more excited about yearbook and my senior exhibit! A lot's happened since I last wrote. The recipes have been flowing in!!! Too many to put in my journals, it'd be an overload. 56 peace advocates have been invited to contribute to the book, and most of them have had an extactic response. Some truly awesome people have contributed. This month, I've done some cooking with my dad and stepmom of these recipes, and adjusted them to work better here. Jody is preparing a final list of contributers so that I can begin formulating a blurb about each of them. I'm going to get help on this from Jody, too though so that it doesn't end up being a boring blurb that I got from Wikipedia! She knows a great deal about each person, and purposefully chose them to be contributers.

Jody sent me an email yesterday, and this is what it said:

Hey, Em.
This is not a trick question, ok? In your view, how are recipes and peace similar? Don't just whip off an answer, think about it. Ok?

At first I was thinking, "oh great. more thinking and work and i'm not even in English class!!" But truthfully, if this is my senior exhibit, I need to have a pretty good idea about how they are related. I think it's a good idea to, at the beginning of the book, write a little something about my project and why I chose it. I'll talk about the similarities between peace and recipes/cooking. Here's what I came up with for a response to her email... but this is pretty informal and doesn't include all my ideas:

Hi Jojo,
Peace and recipes/cooking are metaphorically very similar. Peace is like a well cooked meal. There are so many ingredients - just hoping for it will not ever acheive it. It takes time, effort, pateince, knowledge and a true passion. Without these things, peace, fairness, and equality would have never become a part of our world. If only a simple recipe could be created and followed to achieve world peace!


I think it's interesting that she thought to ask me that. But, I'm really glad she did.

We're hoping to have all the recipes in within two weeks from a couple days ago. Once I have the list she's sending me of the contributers, I can write the blurbs. Then, I can really get going and begin the design aspect. The book should be completed in its entirety by springtime. Jody was happy to hear we have that long, just as I was happy to hear that all the recipes will be in within two weeks! It's all coming together.

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July 2nd, Entry 13

July 2, 2008

Another recipe in, from Liz Bernstein. She has worked hand in hand with both my dad and Jody. She is the ICBL (Interenational Campaign to Ban Landmines) coordinator. She travels constantly! She gave us a recipe for gazpacho:

jody's summer salads inspired me to add my favorite summer soup, gazpacho, from my dad, simple but does use the cuisinart or blender (beware phnom penh-ites!). when we moved back from mozambique and actually owned a cuisinart to make cool things in, thanks to jody and goose, one hot DC day i called up my dad to ask how to make it as i remembered his was just the thing on hot summer nights in NO. it's yummy, and cool.


4-5 good ripe tomatoes (or if you're stuck a can of 16 oz will do (seasoned diced tomatoes)) lots of veggies: a green pepper a red pepper (if you are averse to domineering green peppers another red/yellow will do instead!) a bunch of scallions/green onions a small-ish vidalia (or red) onion a carrot or two (chopped a bit first) celery stalk or two a cucumber several garlic cloves

a tbsp or so of olive oil 2 tbsp or so of your favorite vinegar squirt of lemon lots of italian seasonings: oregano, basil, parsley, salt/pepper

puree at hi speed in lots of short spurts - if it's not a consistency you like you can always add room temperature stock - or after stir in some ice cubes and let sit. or put in the fridge or freezer to get cold enough.

you can then chop up some accompaniments: chopped fresh tomato, chopped / diced celery, peppers, cucumber, parsley, as you like!

bon appetit!

Sounds yummy! I've had gazpacho before, but unfortunately wasn't very impressed. Something about a cold soup seems to make me uneasy... but I do look forward to preparing this dish and tasting it again.

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June 18th, Entry 12

June 18, 2008

Happy summer! I've started working everyday with the kids at the FA summer camp, and I'm really enjoying it. I've also been putting a lot of thought into where I want to go to college lately - a lot of talks with my brother, sister, and parents. I've narrowed it down to this so far: First choice; UVA, second choice; University of Richmond, Third & Fourth; CofC and Ole Miss.

As for my senior exhibit, I have another recipe. This one is from Betty Williams and her husband Rusti. Betty won the prize with Mairead Maguire for advocating peace in Ireland. I also had the opportunity to meet her when I was in Denver for the peace conference. She seemed to be a very caring and loving person with a good sense of humor! I'm really happy she sent an Irish recipe to represent her culture. Here is her recipe:

Salmon in Pastry

For an easy lunch or party dish it always looks attractive. Serves six to eight.

2 3/4 lbs Salmon (skinned & boned; cut into two pieces)

4 oz Butter 2 inches Ginger peeled & chopped finely

1 tbsp Raisins (optional)

8 oz Shortcrust Pastry (frozen if you can't make your own)

Beaten Egg Yolk to glaze Mix butter with ginger and raisins and spread on top of one piece of salmon. Put the other piece of salmon on top and press down gently. Season the salmon with salt and black pepper. Roll out the pastry into a large piece. Put the salmon in the middle and wrap the pastry over the salmon, pressing the pastry closed so you have a package. Trim off any pits of extra pastry. Fork the pastry in a few places to let steam escape.

Brush with the beaten egg and bake for 30-35 minutes at 425 F/Gas mark 7. Serve with hollandaise sauce and new potatoes. Hope this helps. Sending tons of love, Betty & Rusti

For the salmon, I'll use filets. I found a good recipe for Shortcrust Pastry that I will include in the book:,21,AR.html

And, my family has a GREAT hollandaise sauce recipe that I'll use that includes egg yolks, butter, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. I'll include this recipe, too. (But make sure to specify it's not Betty's actual recipe!) Three recipes down!

June 4th, Entry 11

June 4, 2008 The next recipe's in! This one is from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who won the prize in 1984 for ending a partide in South Africa. Here is his recipe: Tutu Chicken

3 potatoes 2 large tomatoes, skinned and chopped 1 chicken cut in pieces 400g (14oz) can tomato puree 75g (3oz) seasoned flour 15ml (1Tbsp) curry paste 30mil (2 Tbsp) vegetable oil 5ml (1tsp) Tabasco sauce 2 onions chopped 1 chicken stock cube 1 green pepper sliced 600ml (1pint) water

• Boil the potatoes for ten minutes until half cooked. Peel and slice. • Coat chicken in seasoned flour. Heat oil in frying pan and brown. Remove from pan. • Add onions and green pepper and cook until soft. • Add 4-5 tablespoons of the remaining flour to the pan and cook for 1 minute. • Add tomato puree, curry paste, Tabasco sauce, stock and sufficient water to make a thick sauce. • Put the chicken pieces in a large casserole, cover with the sliced potatoes and the vegetables. • Cover the casserole and bake at 150C (300F) for an hour. Serve with rice and a salad. This recipe is from both him and his wife, Leah. I had the chance to meet Tutu at the PeaceJam Conference a couple years ago. This recipe doesn't look too intimidating, which makes me happy! Two recipes down; great news. I seem to be right on track with my plan.

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May 21st, Entry 10

May 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to Meg! We received our first recipe!!! Yipee. It is from Mairead Maguire. Here is the email she sent Jody and Jody forwarded to me: Dear Jody, I hope this finds you and family all well. We are great here thank God. We are looking forward to seeing you in May and have got the room ready!!! I am sorry I did not get back to you earlier re your request for recipe for your step daughter's book, but here it is. I love this recipe and I hope that sharing it with others will bring them the same enjoyment, both cooking and eating it, With friends and family. (I decided to send a sweet rather than savour dish and hope this is alright). Wish your Stepdaughter every good luck with this - a great idea).

PAVLOVA (named after the famous Russian Ballerina Anna Pavlova) (Serves 8 - 10) Ingredients: 10 egg white's - room temperature 350 grams castor sugar (This means super fine sugar) 2 teaspoonfuls vinegar 2 teaspoonfuls corn flour (Corn starch) Pint Double Cream (If this isn't available, we'll use heavy cream/whipping cream) Strawberries for decoration (or mixture of favour fruits and chocolate flakes) Tools: Mixer/balloon whisk Greaseproof paper Large Flat tray Over preheated to l8Oo cent. If convection oven or 190o cent, if normal oven Spatula. l) Mix eggs in mixer (balloon) on high until tripled size 2) Slowly add sugar until meringue is stiff 3) Add corn flour and mix for 2 minutes 4) Add vinegar and mix for 2 minutes 5) Transfer mixture onto greaseproof paper and pile high about 10 cms round 6) Cook in oven about 20 minutes until light brown and cracks have appeared 7) Remove oven and leave in warm room for half hour and then turn onto a plate and wait till cold. 8) Decorate with whipped cream and fruit of choice. 9) Enjoy From Ireland - via Russia - with love.... Mairead

Interesting that she chose a Russian recipe when she's from Ireland! She received the prize in 1977 for promoting peace in Northern Ireland. You can see that I've done some research on the ingredients that weren't familiar to me (the things noted in this font in parenthesis). I'm glad that rather than only main courses, we will have other things like desserts too.

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May 7, 2008 Entry 9

May 7, 2008

I just realized I never updated you on my change of plan for my summer activity. I received my work schedule for the summer, to find that I'll be working between 30 and 40 hours a week! I'm happy about this because I'll be making a lot of money I can save. This will, however, keep me from having the time to take a class at germanna. I'm alright with this, though, because my project seems to focus mostly on cooking. I will take cooking classes at Wittingham downtown - there are a lot of different ones. Hopefully, over the summer, they'll have international cooking courses. That would be perfect! I don't have much of an interest in graphic design for my future, and I don't need any more skill in that area in order to create the cookbook because I have so much experience designing pages form yearbook. So, as the summer begins, I'll look more into the classes at Wittingham. I'll also prepare some of the recipes over the summer, probably in August.

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April 23rd, Entry 8

I'm not sure if I've told you yet, but I have decided that the title of my secnipor project is "Recipes for Peace." What I love most about my senior exhibit is that I get to coordinate three of my passions into one great project: peace, graphic design, and cooking! I will learn a lot more about how to cook, about peace advocates, and about graphic design. I'm going to take classes downtown at Whittingham. I am going to get the recipes, and cook them at home with my new knowledge. I'm going to make the needed adjustments to the recipes (Some will have ingredients that I'm not familiar with - from other countries). I will photograph each entrée and save the picture to put in the cookbook. I will research about each peace advocate, and write a little blurb about each of them on the same page as their recipe. I will send thank-you notes to each of these peace advocates for their contribution, and hopefully get a response from them that I will hold on to and display to everyone I present my project to. I will design each page and the cover of the cookbook, send it to a plant that will publish it, and send a copy to each peace advocate, and Jody will sell the book on her website. Woo! I have everything planned out.

I sat down and spoke with my dad and Jody a lot about the project the other night over dinner. We discussed the layout of the book, the people she had contacted, and our plan of attack. Jody is going to forward me every recipe she receives - she plans to begin receiving them very soon. I will look over each recipe and see what is familiar and unfamiliar to me. I will make each recipe with either Jody or my dad, rather than completely on my own at my Mom's house. That way, Jody will be included, and they both will likely be able to help me out. They can help with cooking skill, and deciphering the differences in ingredients. I plan to create the book in InDesign - the same program I use in yearbook. Although there are millions of other programs I could use, I chose this one because I am already very comfortable with it and know a lot of the cool things it can do. The book will be in all color. There are also a million websites for creating cookbooks, but I've decided not to use them because most of them design the book completely after getting the recipes (no fun for me!).

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April 9, 2008: Journal Entry #7

We're getting somewhere!!! I sat down and spoke to Jody and Liz about the book and my plan for it. Liz mainly was interested in getting a better idea of the timeframe we have and th deadline for getting it all finished. I'm a little shaky as to definite dates, though. I told her I'd like to have most of the recipes compiled once I've taken the course so that I can have them organized. I plan on buying a binder to compile it all in a hardcopy before I begin my work on the computer with it. I'm not sure what program I'm going to create it all in, either InDesign (same as yearbook) or another program that I'm introduced to over the summer. They tend to be pricy, but it's likely that it would be taken care of by the Women's Initiative. I have recipes now from Ireland from two of the laureates. Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his wife have confirmed that they will be entering recipes too. Jody went to a PeaceJam conference in Vermont this past week, where she met a boy (18 or so) who is in culinary school. He's very active with PeaceJam, and Jody told him she'd love to have a favorite recipe of his. He enjoys cooking Mexican-type foods. I thought it was a really nice idea to include him. The laureates so often intereact with youth, so it seems right to include them in something like this. I would like to get to work over the summer on the book so I have a head-start before school's back in. I also plan to create a bunch of yearbook templates over the summer. Looks like a tech-y summer for me !!!! I've been checking out cookbooks and the Fine Cooking magazine that we get at our house, and marking the graphic designs that I like. It's important to look around and find things I like, because it's likely that I'll later be able to incorporate them into the cookbook!

March 26, 2008: Journal Entry #6

It is hard to find a lot to write about this early in the stage of senior exhibit! I am so excited for summer to roll around so that I can really get going. I plan to sit down in a little less than two weeks with Jody and Liz Bernstein, whom I've gotten to know over the years through both my dad and stepmom. She is going to play a role, just as Jody is, in the compilation of this awesome scrapbook. She's got to be as excited, or more excited, than I am!! Right now in yearbook, we're just about finished with this year's book -- meaning it's almost time for me to step it up as Editor. I'll have to start talking to the class everyday, and begin brainstorming ideas for next year's book. As I think about it, I get a little stressed because I know how much work it will be for me over the next year. This relates to my senior exhibit because I'm taking a graphic design course over the summer that will likely give me a million great ideas for next year's book AND the cookbook. It'll be cool working on them both at the same time - I'll likely bounce ideas back and fourth.

I've been talking to Jody often about our plan. I'll write again after the meeting with Liz and her!

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March 12, 2008: Journal Entry #5

March 12, 2008: Journal Entry #5

I have been urging, politely, for my step-mom to begin contacting those friends of hers that she was interested in including in our cookbook. I’d like to have all the recipes together far before I begin laying out the design. That way, I can organize and prepare the recipes in a way that I am 100% sure that I’ll love. I have already purchased a brand new binder to being working with these recipes. I plan to do a little research on each area of the world that I get recipes from. Although I already have some knowledge about most of these laureates from the conference I went to last year, I’d like to refresh my mind on them and their lives as well. That way, I can include little tid-bits about their life and accomplishments in the cookbook.

A little cookbook update:

Yesterday, Jody began sending a couple of invitations to her Nobel friends to contribute recipes to the cookbook project. Both Betty Williams and Mairead Maguire -- the Laureates from Northern Ireland, enthusiastically agreed.

She also sent one off to Archbishop Tutu, but hasn’t heard back yet.

My dad and Jody are going to contribute "American classics" -- his bbq sesame beef, his bacon-cucumber potato salad, and her bourbon apple pie. That is their plan as of now, at least.

Jody plans to send some more invitations today -- to Shirin Ebadi(Iran) and to Rigoberta MenchuTum (Guatemala).

This is exciting.

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March 1st, 2008: Journal Entry #4

March 1st, 2008: Journal Entry #4

Great news! The cookbook is a definite “go.” I told you before that Jody had contacted the director of the Nobel Women’s Initiative. Her name is Ms. Liz Bernstein. I’ve gotten to know her through the years, because she works very closely with my dad and stepmom both. Jody spoke to her awhile ago, but sat down more recently with her to really “work the kinks” out about how it was going to work. I’m so excited! I’ve been looking into graphic design classes at Germanna Community College, and it looks like I’ll be taking one over the summer. I’m really looking forward to learning in this class, because I know it will help me a great amount in my yearbook-ing skills as editor next year, and help me very significantly in creating this cookbook.

The core recipes for this international cookbook will be favorite recipes from some of Jody’s Nobel Peace Laureate friends. There can be favorites from Ireland, for example, from Betty Williams and Mairead Maguire (N. Laureates from 1976), and from Iran from Shirin Ebadi (2003), and Guatemala from Rigoberta Menchu Tum (1992). Jody will also ask her friend Archbishop Tutu from South Africa and Adolfo Perez Esquivel from Argentina, etc. And then others will be invited to participate as well. Once it is all completed, it will likely be offered for sale on the Nobel Women's Initiative website and the proceeds can support the work of NWI.

I am confident about this project because it will have a concrete and practical result, contributing to making a better world.

How exciting!!!! In fact, Liz Bernstien will be here in Fredericksburg in April, and maybe we could have a meeting and brainstorm more about this adventure.

I can’t wait to work on creating this first-ever cookbook.

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February 10, 2008 Journal Entry #3

February 10, 2008 Journal Entry #3

Not much has happened since my last journal entry. Jody has spoken to the director of the Nobel Women's Initiative, who sounded incredibly interested in this project. Jody plans to soon begin contacting and compiling recipes to forward to me. She will serve as the liaison between the laureates and me. My job and "time to take over" will come as the recipes start coming in, so I can begin organizing the cookbook and my ideas for it.

In September of 2006, I went to Denver, Colorado (University of Denver) for a conference for an organization called Peace Jam, which is an effort to get the young involved in issues in the world. Nobel Peace Laureates are incredibly active with this program, because it meets around the world. At every conference, there is a Peace laureate there to speak about the issues of the world, and how we, as youth, can involve ourselves and change what needs to be changed. I went Septemer 15-17 of 2006 to the 10th year anniversary of Peace Jam. It was the world's largest gathering of Nobel Peace Laureates outside of Oslo, Norway. This was an amazing experience, where I got to hear Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, President of Costa Rica Oscar Arias, Rigoberta Menchu Tum of Guatemala, the Dalai Lama from Tibet, Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, Mairead Maguire and Betty Williams of Ireland, Adolfo Esquivel of Latin America, Jose Ramos-Horta of East Timorese, and Shirin Ebadi of the Middle East all speak. These are some of those laureates that Jody works most closely with, and who she intends getting recipes from.

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February 4, 2008 Journal Entry #2

February 4, 2008 Journal Entry #2

I have decided to change my topic. I realized that what I was most looking forward to in my first idea was creating and designing the cookbook. I love what I do in yearbook everyday, and that is designing templates for each spread. I choose where to put pictures, captions, copy, and choose colors to correspond. It's an art! ...called graphic design. I talked to my brother about it, and he came up with the idea to take a graphic design course over the summer at germanna. So, that's my plan. Later on, at dinner, I was telling my dad and step-mom about the new idea. I still needed a way to apply what I learned though. I had pondered about a way to incorporate it into my yearbook-ing next year, as editor - but my step-mom had an even better idea. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for banning landmines internationally. Her name is Jody Williams - and she's an amazing person. She, for years now, ahas had an interest in compiling recipes from all the living Nobel laureates to create an awesome cookbook with recipes from around the world. The only thing keeping her from it was the fact that she had no one to create it. So - the plan is as follows: Jody will contact all the laureates that she keeps in contact with about the idea. They will report back to her with their favorite recipes and how food is intertwined in their culture in that part of the world. She will forward to me all this information. I will take a course over the summer at Germanna Community College. Jody already has a company in mind that will publish the book. I will integrate my old and newly-learned graphic design skills and put together the entire book. I will correspond colors and themes to each area of the world. I will place a photo of the laureate, information about how food is connected to their specific culture, and the recipe. I will work to make it pleasing to the eye - and the most awesome international (and first-ever Nobel Peace laureate) cookbook ever created! I will learn about graphic design, AND the world... AND about these amazing people. The book will be sold via the Nobel Women's Initiative, which is a group of women Nobel laureates. Jody heads this organization. All the proceeds will go to that group. I'm excited !!!

Journal #1

January 28, 2008: Journal Entry #1

My first journal entry -- and I have so much to say! After a huge amount of thought, I've finally made my decision. I thought about becoming an EMT trainer, learning/instructing yoga, mastering photography, volunteering at the hospital or a pediatrician's office, learning about being a florist, a massage therapist, and involving myself with the situation in Darfur. I so serious considered volunteering at a hospital because I knew that it'd look great on a college application, especially if I chose to go into the medical field in the future. However, I realized that the senior exhibit is a great opportunity to "think outside the box" and learn about something completely separate from my future life-plan. I realized that I have my whole life ahead of me to focus on that one special career - and I don't need to do that now.

So, I chose a topic that will aid me in the future, that I enjoy, that others enjoy, that I will do for fun, and that I'm interested in learning a lot about. This topic is cooking. I plan to master the art of cooking. However, to do this - I need a game-plan.

  1. I will look through the seemingly millions of cookbooks that my parents have. I will pick out recipes that interest me and/or that I know I like. I will search online. I will prepare, alter, and serve (over the course of time) all of these recipes.
  2. I will compile a list of old family recipes, prepare them, alter them (or, maybe keep them the same!), and serve them.
  3. I will compile a list of old "tricks of the trade" that I have come across, or learned on my own. I will add to this list as I continue to cook different recipes.
  4. I will compile a list of terms that are often used in recipes (i.e. dredge, mince, glaze, scald, au jus, etc.)
  5. I will create a "basic etiquette" guide.
  6. I will attend local cooking classes over the summer, and apply the knowledge I learn.
  7. I will try a huge amount of recipes, serve them to my family and friends, learn techniques - and write down every bit of it.
  8. I will create and publish a cookbook through a company found online. Through this, I will integrate my passion for yearbook, design, and organization. I will use color and photography to personalize it.
    1. This cookbook will include all of the following:
  • i. Tricks of the trade, rules to live by, helpful hints, clean-up tricks, etiquette guide, "how-to" guide
  • ii. Table of Contents
  • 1. Appetizers
  • 2. Breakfast foods
  • 3. Soups, salads, vegatables
  • 4. Main dishes
  • 5. Meat/Seafood
  • 6. Desserts galore: cakes, muffins, cookies, brownies, pies, ice-cream, etc.
  • 7. Miscellaneous items
  • iii. Index