When Lisa, my daughter, asked me if I’d write a cookbook for her new publishing imprint, Lisa Hagan Books, I hesitated. She stood there in front of me, hands on hips, superman style, and issued her challenge: “You always say no to everything; just think about it is all I’m asking.” Who, me? Write a cookbook? I never cook by following a recipe! I’m the last person to write a cookbook. For me a recipe is a suggestion, a structure, a beginning. Like most cooks, I do have my own tattered spiral bound note book in which I’d made notations about exceptionally good recipes that got lots of compliments. Plus those recipes that just kind of came to me, based on what was fresh in the garden, or what was in the refrigerator and in the pantry. Also included were the recipes that I’d had at friend’s homes and restaurant dinners that were exceptional; meals I wanted to remember and re-create. Slowly I realized there was a treasure in that battered note book. I began to spend some time thinking about what kind of a book I could write that’d make both of us happy. When Lisa came by again, I offered to write a book of recipes but with stories to go with them. I had a lot of stories. Mine was a lifetime of hard-knocks, magical happenings, sweet romances and some funny stories. She thought that was a great idea. I spent six months testing recipes that I thought were appropriate for a cookbook. It was a tasty time and I enjoyed the process. During that time I also worked on the stories. I’ll admit creating the recipes was the harder of the two.