a) Making zines is hard work! Every single aspect of the process is DIY. All of it.
b) Printing costs can get pretty extreme if you’re like me and want to include over 100 photos in yer publication. Color is extra. And well, I can be kinda cheap.
c) I loathe going to the post office.
d) My house is already crazy enough with cats, dogs, kids, husbands, and my work strewn about in the madness. And most of it’s on the computer. I don’t wanna visualize what it would be like if I was creating an entire handcrafted cookbook. On. My. Living Room Floor. Because that’s exactly where all the magic would be happening.
Did I ever tell you I was one of the messiest kids in my art school? It’s true. And I carried that mess out with me proudly on graduation day. I like to keep my kitchen tidy, but when it comes to making art, I have no shame. Everything from the wall to the dog gets covered in some medium or another if I don’t keep it under control. My husband has to
nag lovingly coax me into using proper dropcloths and such when drawing and painting (he was a much cleaner art student). I think he may have a heart attack if I added a zine mess into the mix. Because, you know, zines are art.
But, collecting zines is something I ♥ in a very special kinda way. Most of the ones I own aren’t cooking zines, though–instead they are of the art variety. So Kittee’s zine Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food, which combines her love of art and cooking, really tickles my fancy.
If you are not familiar with ‘Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food’, you should be. This is why:
a) Kittee not only provides you with over 80 pages of Ethiopian eats, but she breaks it down so you’ll feel inspired enough to set up your very own Ethiopian food cart! Or at least start serving some Ethiopian yums more often for dinner. You too can be an Ethiopian cuisine rock star!
b) Kittee’s handmade graphics are strewn about this zine making it as cute as it is useful! Although small, it packs a whopper of an aesthetic punch, with Kittee’s design sensibilities popping up all over. Not to mention, her fun and engaging writing voice is what this zine is made of.
c) This zine is full of tips, tricks, glossaries, and notes that make it seem like Kittee is right there in the kitchen with you telling ya how to correctly pronounce words, how to make your own spicy mixes, and even tossing in some humor to ease your anxiety. I am not making an understatement when I say this zine screams Kittee! Pick this thing up and get reading. It’ll be like you have a new best friend. :)
d) The entire gosh darn thing is 100% vegan and gluten free (that’s xgfx for those who speak the language) and ah-mazingly scrumptious. I’ve cooked up some glorious yums from this thing and man o man are my tastebuds tickled. So far, I’ve tried out: Bakela Dinich W’et (Soy Curls and Potatoes in Spicy Gravy), Ye’miser Bamia W’et (Lentils and Okra in a Spicy Red Gravy), Injera Fakeouts, Timatim Selata (Tomato Salad), Ye’gelbo (Mild Kale) and Dinich Siquar Allecha (mild sweet potatoes). I only wish I had photos to share, but when time is crunched, lighting is bad, and tummies are empty, you just gotta eat.
e) It’s a helluva deal at only 9 bucks a pop (plus shipping). Seriously… go getcha one!
* all adorable artwork in the above photos by Ms. Kittee Berns. *
Check out this Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian flickr photostream for enticing pics of all the yums!