Slow cooker doyenne Phyllis Good has published more than a dozen titles, including revised editions of individual volumes in her hugely popular Fix-It and Forget-It series. To date, the series has sold over 12 million copies. Now, out with her first new cookbook in three years, Good has moved beyond her famous tagline, if not her favorite kitchen appliance.
Her latest, Stock the Crock (Oxmoor House, Sept. 5), is the first title she has published since the assets of her original publisher, Good Books, were purchased by Skyhorse in 2014. The title, while still championing the benefits of cooking with a Crock-Pot, offers variations for the way people eat today, from gluten-free to vegan.
When Good first began publishing cookbooks for two decades ago, she was entering a market hungry for recipes for slow cookers. Her early cookbooks contained as many as 600 or 800 recipes, with no photographs. Today's cooks want fewer recipes and color photos that illustrate each one.
With this in mind, Stock the Crock features 100 "must-have" recipes with 200 variations every type of eater.
“My intent,” she said, “was to be more selective and to customize [each] recipe. When you invite dinner guests, you have two questions: 'When can you come?' and 'What are your dietary restrictions?'” The recipes in the book therefore offer suggestions for swapping ingredients and tips on making dishes gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, Paleo-friendly, and less spicy. In addition to an index by main ingredient, a separate index helps readers find the 90 out of 100 recipes that are gluten-free; the 60 that are vegetarian and/or vegan; and the 41 that are Paleo-friendly.
Although Good refers to her first Fix-It-and-Forget It cookbook as “an accident,” because the original book was created to fill a hole in the Good Book publishing schedule, her latest has been in the planning stages for a while. Like her previous books, the recipes in Stock the Crock are crowdsourced from friends and home cooks in her community. Each recipe is attributed, including her own.
Good wanted Stock the Crock to be, above all things, "approachable.” That means quick, easy-to-follow recipes for busy people who want to feed their families, and their friends.
It’s too soon to tell whether Stock the Crock will mark the start of a new series. But both Good and Oxmoor House are putting a lot of energy into creating momentum for the book, beginning with an announced first printing of 100,000 copies.
On September 16, Good will kick off a book tour at her local independent, Aaron’s Books in Lititz, Pa. Next month, as part of Oxmoor’s “Crocktober” print, radio, TV, and blog campaign, she will appear at the fall regional trade shows for the New Atlantic and Northern California Independent Booksellers Associations and the Heartland Fall Forum. Additional bookstore stops include Anderson’s Bookshop in La Grange, Ill., and Book Passage in San Francisco.