The weekend after the quake and tsunami hit Japan, I received an email from Stacie Billis of One Hungry Mama, asking if I would be willing to take on the project of putting together a charity cookbook for Japan. Within 48 hours we had Marc Matsumoto of No Recipes on board and the three of us cranking. Since that time we’ve amassed an entirely unpaid team of volunteers, including an incredible group of talented recipe contributors.
I’ve been dying to write about the project, but haven’t wanted to jinx things. But now it looks like we’re a train barreling down the tracks towards our destination: a cookbook. The Peko Peko Cookbook is a collection of nearly 50 family friendly recipes from inspiring food bloggers and cookbook authors, and when it is released, 100% of the profits will directly benefit efforts in Japan. We feel so inspired and blessed by the generosity of our contributors and all of the people who have stepped in to give a hand, including our publisher, Blurb, who generously agreed not to take their traditional percentage from the profits.
“Peko peko” is onomatopoeia in Japanese for the sounds that an empty stomach makes. It’s a common way to indicate, “I’m hungry!” especially for little ones. While our number one goal is to raise as much money as possible for the children of Japan, the creative impetus behind Peko Peko is our belief that food is a common language that brings people together. Our hope is to use food to spark meaningful connections between everyone involved — the organizers, contributors, sponsors and donors — to the people of Japan.
We hope that you will join in the conversation. Come and visit us on our book website as we share sneak peaks from the book, and some of the stories about our brothers and sisters in Japan who have already suffered so much horror, and have so much yet to overcome. We hope that you’ll sign up to be notified when the book is available (sign up is in the right side tool bar on the website) and buy your copy. Whether or not Japanese cuisine is something you’re familiar with, we hope that you’ll feel our love for the country, it’s culture, people, and cuisine through this book, our tribute to Japan, and fall in love with it yourself.