A ONE-OF-A-KIND COOKBOOK CREATED
DURING THE EARLY DAYS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
43 Tables: An Internet Community
Cooks During Quarantine
New Culinary Collection Features Recipes Served During the Early Pandemic Response
When businesses and restaurants closed down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, many people returned to their kitchens to provide meals for their families. The endless social media photos of perfectly presented dishes from hot eateries was replaced with home kitchen experiments and experiences.
43 Tables: An Internet Community Cooks During Quarantine preserves that moment in time, across a variety of cooks in their own homes.
This collection of recipes comes from the internet community of Kat Robinson, an Arkansas-based food historian and travel author. With no restaurants to share or travel experiences to obtain, Robinson was inspired by the efforts of her friends in creating dishes on their own.
“When the pandemic response called for self-isolation and the closing of schools here in Arkansas, I did like many others did - retreated into my home and attempted to find some new normalcy,” says Robinson. “Being off the road gave me the opportunity to spend more time with my daughter, partner, and mom. It also meant I had time to catch up with other people on social media. What I saw coming across my newsfeed was a change. Where before, everyone was shooting their plates in restaurants, now they were taking photos of what they were cooking. .Folks were making bread, starting sourdough, and canning their own foods”
The foods that appeared weren’t just your average supper.
“Dishes that hadn't appeared for decades began popping up as folks went back to their old family cookbooks. It was glorious,” Robinson says. “Best of all, I saw people on my feed who didn't really connect before, sharing their recipes and tips and advice. Some even became good internet friends.”
The author of Arkansas Food: The A to Z of Eating in The Natural State and 101 Things to Eat in Arkansas Before You Die, saw an opportunity to lift the spirits of many of these individuals sharing their kitchen creations.
“That's the idea behind 43 Tables: An Internet Community Cooks During Quarantine. We were all having a rough time of things, whether it was through job loss or handling the new reality of educating our kids at home, and we needed a bright spot. I was one of the many who found my income sharply curtailed, so I very much understand. I didn't have funds to help everyone out, but I could provide a smile.
“Within 43 Tables, there are 80 recipes. They come from the 43 contributors who reached me through Facebook. Honestly, I just sent out a call on Facebook, and folks responded,” Robinson says. “The recipes are widely varied and range from simple casseroles to marvelous cassoulet; sweet rolls and salads and soups and sweets. All the photographs come from the people who submitted the recipes; the photos come from cell phones, and are taken where they were produced, in the kitchens of individuals who turned out sustenance to their own when times were tough.”
The project, meant to raise spirits, has also become a time capsule to a more hopeful future.
“The book is a moment in an uncertain time, a culinary record of what happened in those scary months. It's singular in its composition and subject matter - I have yet to find any other compilation created like this during the pandemic,” Robinson shares. “COVID-19 may have kept us in our homes, but it did not quell the desire to break bread with one another. These dishes may have been served on 43 different tables, but even separated, we all dined together.”
43 Tables: An Internet Community Cooks During Quarantine is available through nationside retailers, and through Bookshop.org - which allows local bookshops to sell nationally and keeps bookstores afloat. . In Little Rock, the book is carried by WordsWorth Books. Additionally, books can be purchased directly from Tonti Press by visiting tontipress.square.site.
Kat Robinson is an Arkansas-based author, TV host, food historian and travel writer living in Little Rock, Arkansas. She is the host of “Make Room for Pie,” the Larry Foley Emmy nominated documentary on pie makers in Arkansas, as well as the Arkansas PBS program “Home Cooking with Kat and Friends.” Her nine books focus on aspects of culinary tourism and home cookery. She is the author of Another Slice of Arkansas Pie: A Guide to the Best Restaurants, Bakeries, Truck Stops and Food Trucks in The Natural State, Arkansas Food: The A to Z of Eating in The Natural State and 101 Things to Eat in Arkansas Before You Die, among others. She is a member of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame Committee and the Arkansas fellow to the National Food and Beverage Museum. Her latest book, A Bite of Arkansas: A Cookbook of Natural State Delights, will be released on December 15, 2020.
Tonti Press is a micropress operating in Little Rock, Arkansas, publishing niche books in full color by Arkansas authors.
For more information, review copies or digital book galleys for review, send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. The author is also available for interviews by phone or via Zoom.
43 Tables: An Internet Community Cooks During Quarantine
Trade Paperback, 122 pages, 130 color photographs
Tonti Press (October 27, 2020)
ISBN-10 : 1952547997
ISBN-13 : 978-1952547997
REVIEW COPIES AND INTERVIEWS available:
Print or PDF copies, contact email@example.com.
More information and to order: TontiPress.com
43 Tables: An Internet Community Cooks During Quarantine is available through the Tonti Press esite at tontipress.square.site. You can find it at Wordsworth Books in Little Rock, and online with these retailers: