My Name Is... Linda Engel

Local health cookbook author

Ryan Dunn
rdunn@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 4/28/21

About me My father was a big gardener and my mother was an amazing cook. My dad would come in the house in the mornings with an armful of vegetables and say to my mom, “Do your magic, dear.” We …

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My Name Is... Linda Engel

Local health cookbook author

Posted

About me

My father was a big gardener and my mother was an amazing cook. My dad would come in the house in the mornings with an armful of vegetables and say to my mom, “Do your magic, dear.” We would sit down to these amazing, delicious, healthy, fresh meals at night. So, that lay the foundation in me for both cooking and gardening.

Family meals for me growing up were so fun. We would sit for hours at the table with everyone telling stories, and meals were nurturing and healthy and happy. I’ve tried to recreate that in my home.

I was born in New York and raised in Southern California, and I went to college in Northern California where I got a degree in general agriculture. My desire was to have an organic farm, and that was in 1979, so that was quite a while before the big organic movement.

But life took my in other directions. For 20 years, I worked in international sales and business, and when I got tired of traveling, I transitioned to a writing career doing technical and marketing work.

Finding home and family

I moved to Colorado in 1991 when I was recruited by Head Sport, which was headquartered in Boulder at the time. I’ve been here for 30 years now and have been in Arvada for the last nine years.

I love this community; it’s home. The best thing is we have a big backyard with a garden that’s 550 square feet. I lived in an apartment that was smaller than that for many years, so it always gives me a chuckle.

Along the way I took in foster children. I have three foster girls and when I got married in 2007, my husband brought along a daughter, so I have four girls and seven grandchildren. This is my family. To me, it’s beautiful.

Enjoying life

I can’t stand to see people hurting. It’s all about healing, and I find the same thing when I plant seeds; it’s about watching them grow and blossom and provide beautiful food for me. So, the cookbook, in a sense, has brought together my experiences in life and who I am.

It’s my traveling, it has different cuisines, and you’ll find pesto from Italy, chimichurri from India or taquitos from Mexico. It just has a diversity in it. And it’s about growing things. And there’s stories from my grandchildren that are hilarious that are in there. And I also do some food art.

So, it’s about fun. Enjoying food, enjoying life. As a technical writer, I’m a very linear thinker. But writing recipes — a good recipe — involves an art to doing it in the proper order so that you don’t confuse the cook. I did a little bit of research on how to write recipes and followed that. I wanted to make it a very simple cook, so my recipes are very simple and easy.

Writing the manuscript for a cookbook is one thing, but getting it published is another. I decided to publish it myself because I’m a do-it-yourself person. So, I set up a publishing company and there’s a lot of things that go into that. All of that work was actually harder than writing the cookbook.

The reception — for what little promotion I’ve done — has been really good. What’s been really fun for me is that people who bought my book, they’ll buy another copy, and then they’ll come back and buy another copy for a friend or a family member, and then another copy… so I have neighbors and friends who have bought six or seven books. And that’s been a lot of fun.

I’d like to find local stores to sell it, because even though it’s available online, I’d like to be available locally because I like to support local businesses. But with COVID-19, I haven’t been able to get out, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to get out there.

If you know someone we should cover in My Name Is …, or if you would like to be featured in the segment, contact Ryan Dunn at rdunn@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

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