My Dearest Family, Friends and Fans,
Back in 2008, I had an idea. Well, more of a reaction, really. Like so many people at that time, I was newly broke. I was also newly carless, forced to move to a smaller, worse place to avoid eviction, and trying my very best to survive it all on some of the most miserable pay I’ve received. But I knew where I could easily make my cutbacks, and soon enough I found myself back in the kitchen, creating fantastic meals that were starting to put a lot of my favorites from the Trader Joe’s frozen section to shame.
Friends and coworkers started to notice this too, and soon the “What are you making today?” and “I thought you were having a rough time with money, though; how did you manage that?” questions became non-stop. So I decided to write about it. What the heck, I thought. I followed a few food blogs at the time, and figured I could create a small one of my own to show others that eating well despite being broke doesn’t have to be all that difficult. Or that disgusting, or even that bad for you. I thought maybe friends and family could get some ideas and that would be the end of that.
What I didn’t expect was for my little Blogspot blog, on dark blue background with plain white (Garamond) letters at the time, to strike a chord with so many people. Not just my mom and a few coworkers who ate something other than fast food, but people I didn’t even know. All of a sudden I was getting comments from strangers thanking me for this, that and the other, and soon PGEW wasn’t just this silly little private project. It was now something that was helping people from random places across the country save money, discover their love of cooking, or even lose weight.
Clearly, what I was talking about wasn’t just insignificant babble posted onto the internet; this was something people needed.
So my little baby blog became a labor of love. As its popularity grew, so did my creativity and veritable cornucopia of ideas and savings tips. I couldn’t believe there were so many people struggling with making better food shopping choices and wanted to help by sharing my frugal ways with everyone. Sure, I was struggling hard myself, and continue to do so, but if the ways I have been able to get through my difficult crises (at least food-wise) can help others and make them feel less alone in their struggles, then I didn’t mind sharing them.
And of course, there’s the food….. I grew up in a restaurant biz family, have been cooking and obsessing over food presentation since I was about 6, and have basically had a love affair with food and everything about it for as long as I can remember. Getting back into the kitchen to cook for myself made me fall in love all over again, and even I’m amazed at how far I’ve come in terms of creating new & interesting dishes.
Nearly 4 years later, this blog, this platform on which I share my life, my recipes, my stories of struggle and tales of triumph, has grown into something even I couldn’t have imagined: not just a blog that has opened doors to wonderful opportunities like freelance writing and speaking engagements – it’s a community. A community of readers from around the world and from all walks of life, who share the same passion for wanting to enjoy life, no matter how hard it may be. We’ve shared stories, ideas and jokes on Facebook and in post comments, bonded over random things like a shared love of kitty bomb photos, and swapped cooking ideas, some of you teaching me things I never knew and vice versa. When I say, “Welcome to the PGEW fam!” to a new reader or follower, I mean it – this is a family now.
And now, like anyone with an exciting piece of news that I know will make her family happy, I’m here to announce that I am finally - FINALLY! – going to make my dreams of becoming an author, and your dreams of not having to take your laptops into the kitchen when you cook with me, come deliciously true.
I’m writing my first real book.
You’ve been asking for this for years, and believe me, I’ve thought about it for years. But life being what it is for me, with all its crazy ups & downs, didn’t really give me the chance to find that space within myself to write the best book possible. Because, you see, I am not just writing a cookbook. That is not, and has never been, the goal. Don’t worry, there will be PLENTY of recipes (and pretty pictures!) for you to devour in this upcoming project! But PGEW has never been just about recipes, and the new book won’t be either; PGEW is about learning how to make those recipes without breaking the bank.
It’s about changing the way you think about eating on a budget and realizing that those four little words don’t have to mean a life sentence of crackers and canned sprayable cheese. It’s about knowing that in the grand scheme of things, being broke & struggling financially isn’t everything. You’re not a bad person if you’re having a hard time, and you completely deserve to treat yourself to good food; you just don’t have to pay through the nose for it. And that’s what I want to share with you in my book.
My story, my lessons learned, and the way I turned those lessons into real, functional practices that allow me to shop wisely and eat ridiculously well.
But I can’t do this alone! Self-publishing is no easy task, and part of the work involves racking up the funds. Right now I’m still not working full-time because of health issues and the difficult job market (though I am happy to report that I finally scored an awesome part-time job! I’ll share more about that with you in a different post.), so my primary financial focus has been on sheer survival. But I don’t want to keep living like this! I want to get out of this hole and find a way to build on what I’ve created thus far, because I know that even as the economy improves, there is still a need for the information I share.
Of course, I don’t expect to save the world or anything like that. But if one little book with some clear, practical tips and tasty recipes that use everyday ingredients and don’t cost a bundle, can help some folks save money, rediscover (or discover) good, real food, and some hidden culinary talent & passion, then hey! I’ve done a pretty awesome thing. And I’ve made my (accidental) dreams come true in the process. If that’s not a win-win, I don’t know what is!
I’ve chosen Kickstarter to help us make this book dream into a reality, and with the help of some amazing people, have created a fun informational page that will tell you everything there is to know about what will be in the book, how to contribute, as well as what’s in it for you in thanks. Because up until now, all I’ve been able to do to thank you for unfailing support and encouragement is just that – show you my enormous gratitude (and much better pictures, lol!). Now I’ll finally be able to give you something real & tangible in return, something you can bookmark and highlight and not worry about breaking if you bring it into your kitchen (and, in some instances, something tasty to nibble on, too).
So that’s it, folks! This is actually going to happen… I’m really taking the plunge! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and for your amazing loyalty & support throughout the years. You’ve been amazing to me thus far and I have no doubt whatsoever that you will also support me in this, my most important endeavor.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being the most incredible food blog readers on the planet.
Kimberly A. Morales