Tweettreats is a project to collect 140 character Twitter recipes, with the aim of compiling them into a book. All proceeds of this book will go to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders).
I, dear reader, was as excited as you when I heard about Tweet Treats. I assumed it was something along the lines of Tesco Clubcard points, where I got treats for every ten Tweets I sent. Imagine my disappointment when I found out it was just a book written by some woman named Jane Travers. Admittedly, it did sound somewhat intriguing, so in the interests of goodwill and all that, I decided I better find out what it was about.
Derek: Okay. First off. Are you sure this Tweet Treats doesn’t involve some kind of incentive for tweeting? Like free entry to Dublin Zoo? Or a subscription to Woman’s Way?
Jane: Afraid not. The only incentive for tweeting was for me – I got to live on Twitter for months on end and legitimately call it “work”.
Derek: Right. Well, I suppose you should tell us about the book then.
Jane: Isn’t it obvious? Doesn’t the tag line say it all? “140 characters, 140 celebrities, recipes for every occasion”? Well, if I must spell it out… Basically, it means that all the recipes are 140 characters long (or less). That’s about 25 words on average, in case you’re wondering. 500 people from around the world donated recipes to Tweet Treats, and 140 of those were celebrities. That’s, like, 28% celebrity, baby! And finally, there are recipes for every occasion. Like breakfast. Or dinner. Or that thing in between, what’s it called, oh yeah, lunch. Or cakes. Or desserts. Or parties. Or cocktails…
Derek: So you figure you’re going to make a mint off this baby, yeah?
Jane: Hell to the yeah! Squillions! Ka-ching!
Only, I was a bit short-sighted about the money thing and decided to donate all my royalties to Medécins sans Frontières. That’s right, all. Not some. Not half. All… That takes a special kind of stoopid.
Derek: Okay, so let’s say I can’t cook …
Jane: You can’t cook.
Derek: No, I meant … oh, nevermind. Let’s say I can’t cook. If I can manage to make, say, Keith Barry’s recipe, will I then possess his uncanny powers of mindbendyness and wizardry?
Jane: Um, yeah. Sure. Hey, if I can be dumb enough to give all my money away, why can’t you be dumb enough to believe that?
Derek: Right, let’s take a look at a few of these recipes then. Paula Abdul? Paula Abdul! Of ‘American Idol’ and “Straight up now tell me, do you really want to love me forever?” fame!? What kind of bribery do you have to indulge in to get Paula Abdul on board? A signed photo of Simon Cowell?
Jane: Ok, this is where I get soppy and pathetic. I love Paula! She was so nice when she heard about the project, got genuinely interested in it and told all her followers about it (and that’s a lot of followers!) She gave a recipe and then kept checking in periodically to see how the book was going. She follows me on Twitter now, dontcha now. I haz arrived.
Seriously though, I hit a low point when I was in the middle of collecting recipes and hounding celebrities where I thought, “what the hell am I doing? I’m not going to be able to finish this, I’ll let down everyone who’s helped, all the celebrities who’ve contributed, the charity… I’ll be a laughing stock.” That day Paula popped up in my Twitter timeline and asked how the book was going, told me to get a move on. Knowing that someone as incredibly busy and popular as she is would remember the project and keep encouraging me gave me the impetus not to give up. I’m really grateful to her.
Derek: Let’s take a look at her recipe: “GreenShake – fresh kale, lettuce, cucumber, spinach, blueberries, peaches, kiwi, almond milk, stevia. Let it pirouette in blender till smooth.” Let it pirouette … the woman dances even when she’s making a smoothie!
Jane: I know! How awesome is she? Actually, one of my favourite things about this book is the fact that peoples’ personalities still manage to shine through their recipes, even in 140 characters or less. Paula Abdul’s recipe is a good example of that.
Derek: Next recipe from those great Irish rockers, The Script. “Brekkie Bagel: Whip egg in small bowl, thinly slice ham+tomato, add 2 the egg stick in microwave 4 2mins, put it between bagel!” Nice. How’d you get this one? Woke up in a trashed hotel room with the band, in a pool of your own vomit, and asked, “What’s for breakfast?”
Jane: Yeah, ‘cos I’m just that cool. *Gazes at middle-aged self in mirror, adjusts bottle-end glasses and plucks grey hairs*
Actually, like every other celebrity in the book, they were just cool about it. Once they heard about the project, they contributed. The amount of genuine good will that this book generated still amazes me. I really hope that, now that it’s out in the world, it continues to strike that chord with people and makes tons of money for Medécins sans Frontières. They deserve it.
Derek: And on that note, I’ll leave you with the last recipe. This one is by @glinner aka Graham Linehan and sounds like my type of recipe: “@glinner Special: Order take-out. Step 1. Order Take-out.”
Jane’s Tweet Treats blog tour continues at the blogs mentioned below. Click to embiggen: