I frequently bang on about Twitter on this blog. I wasn’t one of the early adopters, those hardcore few in Ireland who wandered around the large empty virtual room of Twitter chatting amongst themselves. I joined just before my first book came out, in November 2008, ostensibly for marketing purposes but it wasn’t long before I was hooked.
The thing about Twitter is that it’s a nice place to hang out. Whatever reason you poke your nose round the door, if you get the whole virtual cocktail party thing, you’ll soon find yourself sliding round the door to join in one of the fascinating, or silly, conversations going on around you. Over the past three years I’ve made friends, found a new way to do my job and found out about more about the city where I live, all through Twitter. I’ve live tweeted my way through several trials, found new opportunities and many new connections, not to mention some great nights out.
I could wax somewhat evangelical about that little blue bird for the rest of this post but this post has a purpose. One of the things Twitter is best at is bringing people together. It underpins how the whole thing works after all. One of the best examples of this I’ve seen jumped out of the Twittersphere this week into a bookshop near you.
About 18 months ago Jane Travers came up with the idea of putting together a Twitter cookbook in aid of charity. It started gently, almost like a game. Every day or so Jane would send out a challenge. In 140 characters using the hashtag #tweettreats she asked for recipes for pasta dishes, or sweets treats, or quick and easy dinners. The Twitter enthusiastically complied – hashtag games are a very popular way to pass a long evening and everyone knows the Twitter fixation with lunch plates (heavy sarcasm there before someone picks me up on that old cliche!) But this was more than your run of the mill hashtag game. This was for charity – and a damn good charity at that. Jane announced that proceeds would go to Médecins Sans Frontieres.
This was something everyone could get behind and it’s great to see that so many did. There are recipes there from writers Like Ian Rankin and Joanne Harris, TV personalities and actors like Dara O’Briain, Richard Madeley, Lou Diamond Philips and Paula Adbul. The recipes range from the severely mouthwatering-sounding Cthulhu Crumble from award winning author Neil Gaiman, to the jokier Mrs Fry’s Saucy Surprise (“Smear lovingly and beat feverishly until fully hardened. Whip to a frenzy then drizzle before taking a cold shower & preparing your meal”) from “Edna Fry”, the much put upon “wife” of broadcaster & global national treasure Stephen Fry and author of Mrs Fry’s Diary.
There are over a thousand recipes and 140 celebrities not to mention cooking advice and cooking tips from chef Marco Pierre White, who also provides the foreword. There seriously is something here for everyone with recipes to suit every pocket, every mood and every occasion – and did I mention it’s all for charity?
Full disclosure here, I do have a recipe in there (a very nice and easy pasta dish, if I do say so myself), and Jane has very kindly put a celebrity star by my Twitter name. Also the book is published by the O’Brien Press who published my most recent book Death on the Hill but don’t let that stop you rushing out to grab a copy. In all honesty it’s a great little book with some truly mouthwatering recipes that I’m itching to try. I don’t usually do book reviews or plugs here but Tweet Treats is a worthy exception. It’s an example of the best Twitter can bring and deserves to do extremely well. So what are you waiting for?…