You may wonder, if you are the kind of person who wonders about these things, how come I have the blog name of sandyscookbookchatter….well, the answer is fairly simple although with most things I tend to explain too much and the response gets convoluted.

Some time ago, I spent ten years writing for a newsletter called Cookbook Collectors Exchange—and for the most part, I would review cookbooks that the editor of the CCE would send to me. Her husband passed away from an untimely death in 2001 or 2002 and the newsletter folded.

Then someone suggested to me that I might like writing for Inky Trails, another newsletter that focused primarily on penpals and penpal related matters. The problem with this was, I don’t do “brief” very well – give me a topic and I’ll run it to the ground for you. Wendy, this newsletter editor, suggested to me that I needed a BLOG.

“a BLOG?” I asked. “What on earth is a blog?” – So to prove her point she set up the blog for me and once I began to understand how it worked, I was off and running. When I began posting on that blog, my first one, I still wrote a lot about cookbooks. It was a wonderful experience but somewhere between here and the lamppost, I “lost” that blog and have never been savvy enough to understand how to retrieve it.

So, about a year ago, I managed to create a new blog and continued to use the name of sandyscookbookchatter, even though – about a year ago, I began writing and posting my own poetry. I began finding writing poetry again (never very far from pen & ink) and have found it enormously rewarding – and the responses from readers was equally rewarding. I would find their comments on my earthlink page (although I had no idea what the connection was).

About six months ago, I “lost” my wordpress connection and again, had no idea how or why or what to do about fixing it. These sites always ask me questions about things for which I have no understanding. Domain mapping? There’s a whole new vocabulary out there that I understand about as well as I understand how to change ink cartridges (thankfully, my grandson changed my last black ink cartridge). Three year olds know more about computers and printers than I do.
What can I say? I just want to WRITE. I enjoy writing As a young housewife and mother, my free time was spent writing letters to penpals all over the USA; I still have some of those penpals – one penpal in Michigan, and I connected in 1965 (over a love for cookbooks) and another, in Oregon, since 1971, who shares my birthday with me and back in the day we did a lot of cake baking and exchanging recipes.

Still another penpal, in Oklahoma–we met when my husband and children drove to Ohio that summer and stopped off in Tulsa to meet Penny and her husband Charles and their three sons who met my husband Jim and our four sons. I think that was the summer when, as my father was unloading our car for us, kept asking “Now WHERE did you say you know these people in Oklahoma from?”
(Daddy would have been more nonplussed to learn about my two Canadian penpals for the last thirteen years!)

(Trying explaining penpals to your parents in 1971!—it’s probably on a par with teaching someone like me how a computer and printer work)

So, that’s how sandyscookbookchatter was born.
Still curious? I have JUST discovered that the original is still available—I just brought it up and checked out “Before Email” which was posted on June 4, 2016. And all of my cookbook reviews are still online.

Sandra Lee Smith

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