March 1, the deadline for my new book, fast approaches! Yes, I’m getting a little nervous and stressed, even though the book is in fairly good shape. Still, there’s a lot of tweaking and refining to do to bring it to fruition. The Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples (Ten Speed Press, 2015) has been a marvelous book to write, and a big chunk of the reason is because I’ve had a lot of help.
This “help” comes in the form of my kitchen angels. In early November, I realized that I had a lot of ground to cover in testing recipes, sometimes multiple times, to complete the book. While I have some wonderful folks around the continent testing recipes, I realized that I needed preliminary help getting the recipes ready for the testing stage (sort of like cleaning your house so your housecleaner can clean). So I reached out to some students and friends. And the response was enormous. Since then, every Wednesday, several beautiful ladies (and one time, a handsome man) come to my home where I hand them a stack of recipes. And then they get to work.
It’s so much fun that it’s no longer work. It’s turned into something we all look forward to on Wednesdays – cooking together, eating together, laughing together. Probably much as women did in the past. But instead of cooking to feed the men or the village, we get to plop down ourselves and feast. And feast, we do!
In a month, one of our beloved members, Linda, is moving to Seattle. We will miss her and her beautiful smile so much!
My remote testers have also been indispensable in giving me great feedback, which I hope will ensure that the recipes are”tried and true.” A bit about the recipes themselves and why it’s been so fun creating them — I’m a gal that likes to cook from scratch, as you may well know. Everything. And that’s what the book is about — making your own staples. But I’m also a gal who hates to waste. Anything. Make a stock from veggies, and then what do you normally do? Toss out those “spent” veggies. What does this book do? It turns those veggies into something else (everything from pate to veggie dogs). And so it goes with many of the recipes in the book, often giving you double bang for your culinary buck. I get as much excitement coming up with these sub-recipes as I do the master recipes themselves! Less waste, more taste!
Oh, but gee. In just a few short weeks, I will be turning in my manuscript, and then I’ll be busy on the next project (more on that later!). I’ll be relieved to have gotten it done, but I’ll miss our Wednesday testing parties. It has become a joyous day for all of us, and each week, our bond has grown stronger. Well, I guess I’ll just have to write another book so we can resume our Wednesdays again!