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Fund my Next Book: Food and MURDER

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Friends!! I've made my goal! Any donations above the goal will continue to support expenses for this project--travel, research, ingredients etc etc. You're just making the project better by allowing me the financial freedom to actually work on the thing. I'll be accepting donations through Wednesday, April 19th. I am genuinely grateful for your support!

Who am I? Hello Friend-Fans! You probably know me as the author of the popular book Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine. Or maybe you know me from my long-running blog, Four Pounds Flour, or my podcast and live show Masters of Social Gastronomy. You know I love telling human stories through food history.

But TBH, I invested so much of my personal money to create Eight Flavors, it's left me in debt. I need some seed money to get my next project going.

What's my next project? I need to fund my next book proposal. The working title is OHIO 1910, and the concept combines food history and true crime.

I'll be telling the story of a handwritten recipe journal created by a husband and wife from 1880-1910. The journal starts with recipes for the perfect lemon pie, homemade yeast, and chocolate cake. Then, there are chapters on medicine (like cholera cures and PMS aids), beer and wine (root beer, rhubarb wine, blackberry brandy), and finally mushroom foraging.  The recipes in the book abruptly stop being recorded in 1910, because the man writing it was brutally murdered by his son-in-law in a crime so scandalous, it made national news headlines.

As the author, I'll take you along with me as I experiment with these recipes and use them to reveal how a loving, food-focused Midwestern family unraveled--and ended up the focus of a tragic crime.

Here are a few images from the original recipe book:

You can find the original New York Times article about the murder here .  In it, the murderer claims the victims "exercised a mysterious influence over him."

What will your donation fund? In order to sell this idea, I need to write a few chapters of the story; those chapters will be used to pitch the story to a publisher and secure a book contract. I need funds to cover research expenses. Your money will be spent on: ingredients for recipe testing, travel for research, and fees to access historical documents.

What will you get out of it? I know rewards aren't necessary on Go Fund Me, but I'd like you to feel personally involved in this project. For a donation of just $40, I will send you a signed copy of OHIO 1910 when it's published. If you liked my first book, think of this fundraiser as a very early pre-sale. For a donation of $100, I will send you a book and thank you in the acknowledgements of the book. And there are more rewards for donation amounts beyond that. Reach out to me directly if you have questions.

But for a donation of any amount, you'll get a personal thank you note. Because I will be so grateful to accomplish this project with the help of my community when I was unable to do it by myself.

Much Love,



  • Lauren Davis
    • $50 
    • 7 yrs


Sarah Lohman
New York, NY

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