Transverse Myelitis Association
Volume 4 Issue 1
March 2001

Page 26
TMA Cookbook: A Request for Your Recipes and Your Stories
Pauline R. Habib and Sandy Siegel


Pauline and I are going to write a cookbook. My sons who have fond memories of my hot dog casserole will be rolling on the floor in wild hysteria when they read that line. Okay, get up off of the floor, you two, and let me finish. Actually, we are going to be asking all of you, the members of the TMA, to write this cookbook. And we want this to be so much more than a cookbook!

First, we would like for you to send us your favorite recipe. We would like for the recipes to reflect the wonderful diversity that exists in our TMA membership. Our members come from every one of the fifty United States, as well as from Puerto Rico and other territories. If your favorite recipe reflects the culture from your region of the country, please identify that for us. If your favorite recipe reflects your ethnic and/or racial heritage and traditions, please include that background for us. We also have members from all over the world and reflecting enormous cultural diversity. We need for you to send us your favorite recipes from your cultural traditions! Please be creative in writing your recipes. You may have specific ideas about how your dish should be served; include that information. We are all proud of who we are and the traditions in which we have been raised. Please feel free to embellish these recipes with your pride and your personalities.

If you make your favorite dishes as I make mine, we are going to ask you to make your recipe before you submit it to us, and really measure what you are putting into that bowl. Please use the traditional recipe style in your submission. Provide us the name of the dish and identify its origins (the regional and or ethnic or cultural source). Specify the ingredients and the proper amounts (provide it in the form of a list); and be sure to identify how many portions are served from this recipe. Then tell us what to do to prepare the dish. If your dish contains an ingredient that is indigenous to your region or country, and you think it might not be available everywhere, please describe the ingredient and suggest what you believe to be a more widely available substitute. Use whatever standards of measure are customary for your country; we will have to create a conversion chart.

We are going to ask you to submit only one recipe. We have many members and we want for every person in our membership with TM to submit a recipe. If your child has TM and they have not yet prepared a meal, please have your family submit the recipe for your child. If they have a favorite dish, that would be a great recipe to submit on their behalf. If they do not, or if it comes from the corner pizza parlor, have the whole family make the decision.

We would also like for you to send us a picture of you and your dish. You may also include all of the other members of your family in the picture. If you allow everyone into your picture, be sure to identify who you are among your clan. If the picture is going to be of sufficient quality to be published in a book, be sure Dad has his glasses on when he focuses the camera, make sure the flash really goes off, and please take the cover off of the pot, so we can see what you've actually made. If you need to send more than one picture, that is fine.

We want for this cookbook to be about so much more than your favorite foods; we want for this cookbook to be about you. We want you to tell your story and we want to tell the world about how TM has effected your life. Along with your recipe, we want you to submit a short biography. You are going to need to keep this to a few pages. You are all fascinating people, really. Everyone has a story. Where were you born, where do you live. Describe your family. Tell us about yourself. And then tell us about your experiences with TM. When did you contract TM, how old were you, how were you effected, did you have a recovery, and if so, how much, and how has this experience changed your life. Okay, write as much as you want and Pauline and I will just have to do some editing where needed.

We want for the recipes to be provided by persons with TM (or by the family on behalf of a child with TM), because we want to tell the world our story. We are going to offer them a very interesting and incredibly diverse selection of the world's great dishes; and we are going to tell them about how such a diverse group of people has come together as a community. What has brought us all together is TM; we are going to tell them that story also.

Your submissions are going to have to be written in English. If you need a translator to assist you, please let us know. We have volunteers who will help you translate your recipes and stories into English.

This book will not be written tomorrow. This is going to take Pauline and myself a long time to compile and write. But we are going to do it; and we are going to do it with sufficient quality that we can attract a publisher to print and promote it. It is certainly a story worthy of telling; and it will have readers interested in reading it. Be patient with us; this is not going to happen overnight.

We need for you to make this happen. We will allow you a little time to get your information together. If we are not receiving your recipes, your stories, and your photographs by the summer, we are going to come looking for you.

All of the money raised from the sale of the cookbook will be used to support The Transverse Myelitis Association. Please mail your submissions to:

Pauline Habib and Sandy Siegel
1787 Sutter Parkway
Powell, OH 43065-8806

Feel free to send the submissions electronically to:

Sandy Siegel: srulyosef[AT SIGN]

If you send the photographs as scanned electronic images, please keep copies of the photographs in the event the publisher requires the actual photo image in the publication and printing process.

We would like to thank TMA member Phil Burcham for sharing the wonderful idea of a cookbook written by our membership! Pauline and I are very excited about learning about all of you from your stories. We are also thrilled about the idea of trying out all of these recipes. Thank you for your contributions. Together we are going to make a difference in our fight against TM!

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