The BBCs #GreatBritishTakeOff. This blog is free and always will be.

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In light of the BBC announcement that they are removing a lot of their recipes from their website, I will be publishing all of my recipes in full on http://www.cookingonabootstrap.com in the future. This includes 220 recipes from both of my books and around 100 more Guardian recipes. There are also recipes from Waitrose Kitchen and Sainsburys, the Daily Mirror, restaurants I have consulted for and others that will go on too.

It’s a big job but an essential one.

I learned to cook on the dole using free recipes online and for the BBC to reduce this vital service is an abomination. (Apologies to all of my friends who work there, but I just don’t understand this.) I hope I can go some way to filling the gap left for free, instructional, simple recipe resources and cookery guidance, which is vital for so many people.

I was always advised by my publishers not to give too much away, and I always defied them. Despite over half of my first book being available online, it was a bestseller. Because those that can buy cookbooks, generally do.

I consider my work to be a service first and foremost and most of you don’t know that most of my work is completely unpaid. I do what I do because I know it has value – and that value is strewn across my walls in hundreds of thankyou letters and cards from people who have learned to cook, reduced their bills, managed to knock something up from the cupboard when their benefits were suspended.

I would rather be bankrupt than a mercenary asshole, I will never forget where I came from, and this blog is free and always will be.

Jack.

Instagram & Twitter: @MxJackMonroe

Categories: Blog

60 Comments »

  1. I believe the bbc have been forced into removing soft content from their site as it’s harming the interests of commercial companies. I’ve heard the expression ‘it’s been Murdocked’

  2. Good for you Jack, I have your first cookbook. Got it on loan from the library first and then went out and bought a copy. I love it and right now I am going to make chickpea and carrot falafel. Norma.

    On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, COOKING ON A BOOTSTRAP wrote:

    > Jack Monroe posted: “In light of the BBC announcement that they are > removing a lot of their recipes from their website, I will be publishing > all of my recipes in full on http://www.cookingonabootstrap.com over the next > few days. This includes 220 recipes from both of my books and ar” >

  3. Hello! I admire your work and the way you always find the means to succeed. I suggest that you add a donation button on every page to encourage your readers to contribute something to your cause.

    Also you might want to publish your recipes through your own mobile app and receive some income via ads.

    • Agreed! You are doing such wonderful work, Jack, and those of us who can afford to would like to throw a few coins in your metaphorical hat.

      Some weeks I can afford things easily and some I can’t, and on the harder weeks I’m always turning to your book and your blog to find something I can make quickly and cheaply.

      • I couldn’t agree more with the two other posts above. Add a donation button and I would chuck some in when I feel I can. I work as a Health Trainer and constantly direct people to your blog and encourage them to use the library to loan a copy of your books (and on the odd occasion I have handed them my own copy and let them keep it, I’m on AGCJ copy 3 now).
        If it wasn’t for the ability to do that I’m not sure how many of my clients would be able to adapt to a healthy, budget friendly and easy to follow way to cook at home. I have argued the toss with people for saying ready meals are cheaper based on a print out of your posts before!
        BBC are getting more and more private firm as the days go by, still claim they are license payer funded and prosecute/send threatening letters mind.

    • Not sure about a donations button – if you can afford to spare a few Β£’s why not buy an extra book and give it to a library or a food bank. Jack is still getting income from the sale (and the plr from the library) and it would help people. Good banks could either pass copies on or have them there for people to look through.

  4. Thank you. You will never know how much all your hard work is appreciated by and means to lots of us out here. Actually you do, and that’s so very apparent. If only those with principles and heart were valued more than pound signs this world would be a much nicer and happier place. Big love and thank you again xxx

  5. I admire you for making that decision – even though I appreciate it will be a lot of work for you. Your moral and social values are intact and exemplary – not sure about the BBC’s though!

  6. Very well said and thanks for the warning . found a recipie on BBC website this morning that was brill . was going to book mark it but I have written it down instead . so far I have bought all your book’s which are amazing but really appreciate that you put them on your blog . I haven’t always been able to buy cookbooks so even though I now can It really helped when it wasn’t possible . keep it up you are a crusader !!!!

  7. I really admire that you share recipes that are easy, affordable, etc. to help make healthy eating/homemade food more accessible and help people get by on little money. It’s an inspiration to me to make my recipes mostly straight forward, quick and affordable. Thanks for all the recipes you share. πŸ™‚

  8. Jack, well done for taking this stand – and a heartfelt thank you for doing this and all the work this will entail. You have been an inspiration to me. Keep on cooking.

  9. You are inspirational. My pension is quite sufficient for my needs but now I’ve started doing a supplementary shop alongside my normal shopping and depositing it in the Food Bank box at my local ASDA or Tesco. Morrisons only has a box for pet food???? Best wishes.

    • my morrisons at kirkby in ashfield have a food bank donation box as well as one for hungry animals in rescue kennels

  10. You’re being a little unfair, Jack – this is not the BBC’s choice, but the fragrant Whittingdale’s edict.

  11. Agree. A donation button would be great. People then have the option to support you financially if they can afford it and your work would still be available for those who can’t at the moment

  12. When I had no money and small mouths to feed (including one who was gluten and dairy free) I used to borrow cookery books from the library. Being able to find recipes online is brilliant, especially as libraries are not necessarily accessible nowadays.
    You’re right that those who have the means will buy the book. I have a copy of your first book and I refer to it often. I also bought the e-book version of your second book but it didn’t work on my Kindle (the problem is with my Kindle, not the website) so I’ll be glad to see the recipes!

  13. Thank you for all the recipes. I’ve enjoyed using many of them now. PS I also enjoyed listening to ‘A Girl Called Jack’ on R4. How far you have come – and you’re still so young. Look forward to finding out what Jack Does Next. πŸ™‚ xxx

  14. What’s happening to the BBC is sad but not unexpected, it’s being wrapped up to be sold or part privately funded like Channel four, we don’t have news ‘reported’ anymore it’s like watching the sun newspaper being read out, I feel for the staff being coerced into providing an awful product. It;s getting the same treatment as newspapers from me, not in my house.
    Thank gawd for people like you Jack! a shining light over corporate greed.
    FYI carlospc1970 App idea above is a darned good one, we want you to be able to continue doing what you do so you need to earn a crust to do it πŸ™‚ xx

  15. BRAVO! I can’t believe a publicly funded body like the BBC is doing such a thing… Thank heavens for wonderful people like you, Jack.

  16. Thank you. Your blog helped me to feed my partner, daughter and myself during the worst period of our lives. After giving up my job to nurse my young son through treatment for a brain tumour, my partner who had recently taken redundancy to work from home, lost his work contract. My son passed away and we were left grieving and devastated in a quagmire of red tape and not qualifying for benefits (nobody seemed to understand the words “income 0” ?!). I basically learned to budget, shop, grow my own herbs and cook from your blog. I can’t ever really thank you enough.
    Gratefully, Syreeta x

    • So sorry for your loss. Couldn’t read and not reply.

      So horrible to hear that during such an awful time red tape just added to your problems rather than gave you some financial stability at least.

      • How kind of you. I guess my point apart from thanking Jack, is that you never really know the story behind a benefit claim. Among other things my experience has taught me that, and also that kindness is precious and should be acknowledged and nurtured.

      • I would like to second that – so terribly sorry for your loss. I hope things are getting a bit easier now. The benefits system should be there to add support not hinder. It goes to show that no one knows the reasons behind anyone ending up where they are and we should help not condemn. All the best to you.

  17. I’ve got a darn sight more cookable recipes from AGCJ and A Year.. than I ever did from the BBC, I bought both books, gave AGCJ to the County library, and I’m a Bootstrap library/schools backer.
    I’m not wealthy. However I have enough to be able to do these things and not suffer.

    It is a nuisance that they are going, and I really don’t approve, but in the great scheme of things culinary you count more than the Beeb’s online recipes do.
    We had a wonderful resource of childhood memories of where I grew up on a BBC Wales website.People exiled from the area to all over the world adored it, it brought us all together again.
    Until the Beeb took it down. Budget cuts.

  18. Longtime lurker here, I had to comment because your post has moved me to tears. It’s an incredibly noble and charitable gesture, not to mention a phenomenal amount of work, and it comes from a place of such generosity and kindheartedness.

    I wish there were more people like you in the world.

  19. may the force stay with you…….even as an old bugger of 71 your blogs have made me think…
    ‘and when the great scorer comes at last
    to write against your name
    s/he puts not how you won or lost
    but how you played the game’

  20. Bravo, thanks Jack. I have your books and still love your blog. I have used the BBC website many times and feel very upset at the news they are cutting recipes. Keep up the good work xx

  21. As many others have remarked this is a huge and generous piece of work you are embarking on and I add my thanks. When I became unemployed ( redundancy) last year, your blog and a very tatty 2nd-hand copy of AGCJ were vital in feeding myself and the 3 not so small mouths who depend on my kitchen. I thank God for you. Please know that what you do not only makes a difference, it is THE difference for many. I start a new job next week, but I will not abandon this way of healthy mindful cooking. Instead of expensive pre-prepared rubbish, I plan to spend my extra cash on a few donations to my local food bank. I hope that makes you smile.

  22. Oh, thank you BBC! Your inconsiderate action means I have just one space to check.

    Jack, if organizing people to help with this is viable, sign me up.

  23. Thank you Jack, your book and recipes really helped me when my husband left me and our children and I was struggling on a very tight budget. I am so glad there will be free recipes for those that need them as lots of recipes described as budget are anything but. I agree you should put a donate button onto your website for those people who can afford to send a little, in the meantime though as things aren’t so tight for me at the moment I have just nipped onto Hive and ordered your second book. Keep up the great work πŸ™‚

  24. Paper cookbooks on the shelf are invaluable for anyone who can afford them but your attitude to sharing your work online is a huge bonus and much appreciated.
    Thanks so much for all your extra efforts to compensate for this tiresome BBC decision, too.

  25. I agree with all of the above–and it is criminal the way this current government is destroying the BBC (CBeebies is also in line to be dismantled or cannibalised to support commercial broadcasters). Thank you, as always, for doing the right thing, Jack. You are a star and your food is delicious. I’d also support a donation button–for you or for those you feel need it the most.

  26. Thanks for the heads up about the recipes being removed from the BBC site. I’ve just printed out all the recent ones my computer can remember I’ve visited.

  27. Well done Jack – that is no small piece of work there! You have a caring ethos. In fairness to the bbc though from what I have read (and it’s not exactly all over the Internet atm) I think this has been foisted upon them rather than it being their decision. We don’t exactly have the sort of caring government that would think about how a decision might affect the public rather than other businesses. Sad times.

  28. I think it is a bit fear mongering to say that the are removing recipes from the website full stop. The only recipes being removed are ones from Olive magazine. Yes it is unfortunate, and I have noticed a few of my favourites gone but overall there are still hundreds of free recipes still available.

    • Unfortunately this is separate to the Olive magazine thing which is a copyright issue. This is due to the Gov review of the BBC and to ‘reduce the BBC remit’. Sadly not fear mongering.

      • My apologies Jack, I am miss-informed. I tried to search for news updates about the issue before commenting but could only find the Olive magazine story. I would have no clue about what was proposed if it wasn’t for you highlighting the issue. Again, sorry for any accusations. What the BBC are thinking is beyond me, they should really just become private as they are no longer offering the tax payer an efficient service. I appreciate all that you are doing, and your subsequent promise of free recipes, although I have been gifted all your books as well πŸ™‚

  29. Well done Jack! and a huge thank you, for your generosity,the great example you set for others, and your wonderful recipes that have helped me stretch my pension.
    I wish you all the love in the world you deserve it .
    xxx

  30. Thank you. I appreciate the effort that you will be putting into this, and don’t really understand why the BBC site is shipped recipes. I have bookmarked recipes in the past which vanished – I now print favourites, although that option isn’t available for everyone.

  31. totally agree Jack, even if all your recipes are online I will still buy all of your books, even if it’s just to support your awesomes. Can’t wait for bootstrap!

  32. After listening to ‘A ‘Girl Called Jack’ on Radio 4 ( which I found both moving & laugh out loud funny) I looked up your blog for your soda bread recipe – it really is as good & easy as you say. I’m trying to reduce our spending & eat less meat & dairy & your blog is very helpful. We have just had Ham pea & mint casserole using up some ham that was a day past its sell by- so tasty! I’ve just put some mushrooms that we’re getting a bit past it in the slow cooker as per your suggestion in A-Z. The 2 vegan recipes I have tried have also been excellent!

    I agree with the suggestion of the donation button, although I can afford it I am not planning on buying any more recipe books as my cook book shelf is groaning, but would be happy to show my appreciation with a wee donation to your blog every now & again.

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