The Batshit Craziest Facts About My Cookbook

Kind of forgot I even wrote one until seeing a bunch of lists lately about people writing cookbooks. @gabimoskowitz @eatthelove @mollyyeh @molliekatzen, I'm one of you. Except not.
  1. 1.
    I "wrote" it in 6 weeks, the summer between my junior and senior year in college.
  2. 2.
    I was paid $10,000 to do that.
  3. 3.
    I did not know how to cook then. At all.
    Really.
  4. 4.
    The key piece of advice I received was from my sister, who was in law school: you can't copyright a recipe, only the expression of a recipe. Change the phrasing, and you're good.
  5. 5.
    All the "research" was done in Internet cafes in the Old City of Jerusalem.
    They were the cheapest.
  6. 6.
    If I'm remembering correctly, I downloaded recipes and copied them onto to 3.5 inch floppy disks.
    I know, I'm a million years old.
  7. 7.
    I tested only about 10% of the recipes.
    Probably 30% of the dishes I had never eaten, let alone cooked.
  8. 8.
    The jokes were tossed off. Not my best work, even then, and I've never been the world's greatest joke writer.
  9. 9.
    The illustrations were stick figures drawn by a Yale biochemistry major. (Here's the cover.)
    Wonder what she's doing now?
  10. 10.
    As a result, it was an unvarnished piece of shit.
  11. 11.
    The positive Amazon reviews were sock-puppetry by my mom and brother-in-law.
  12. 12.
    The negative Amazon reviews were real, and very sensible.
  13. 13.
    To promote it, I went on television, ABC's World News Now, anchored by Liz Cho.
    That was pretty much my only time on TV, which I really don't think I'm suited for.
  14. 14.
    For that TV appearance, someone hired a food stylist to make dishes that I had invented but had literally never made.
  15. 15.
    The brownie recipe has "chocolate" as an ingredient.
    Years later, a reader wrote to the publisher to ask, "What kind?" I didn't know.
  16. 16.
    It sold just under 40,000 copies.
    This funded a good bit of my life in the first few years after college.