Almost at the Finish Line

2014-02-05 13.41.41

Lavonne, Linda, Camala, Heather, Penelope, and her mom, Hazel

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.

Camala puts a pizza in the oven

Camala puts a pizza in the oven

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!

testers eating

Sitting down to another wonderful meal

In a month, one of our beloved members, Linda, is moving to Seattle. We will miss her and her beautiful smile so much!

Linda tosses a salad.

Linda tosses a salad.

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!



  1. Jenn Perry says:

    I really wish I lived on the West Coast so I could participate in your classes!!! Can’t wait for your next book! Miyoko, you’re an amazing woman, and a real inspiration!

  2. Yes! Sounds like a book right up my alley.

  3. SO SO excited for you Miyoko. We are eagerly anticipating the publishing and enjoying all your hard work!!

  4. Connie Fletcher says:

    When can we pre-order this book??? I’m very excited!!!! I love your work!!!!

    • Connie, the book won’t be out until Spring 2015, and I assume the pre-ordering will be sometime before then. But I’m not sure – the publisher does all that! Of course, I’ll keep everyone updated! Thanks for your support.

  5. Nichole Kraft says:

    I can’t wait to see the book, Miyoko! I’ve felt so privileged being one of your long distance testers. Keep writing books so I can keep eating all your delicious food, okay? 🙂

  6. I can’t wait for your book! Ack!! Too much excite!

  7. Wow that looks like so much fun! Your book idea sounds so wonderful. I’ve been on a crusade to stop wasting food and I, too, love to make as much as possible from scratch. I look forward to checking out your book when it’s available. You mentioned remote testers – are you looking for any more? I recently became vegan and always looking to try new things 🙂 take care!

    • It will be a lot of fun. Glad to hear someone else hates to waste, too. The book is being submitted in a few days, so all the testing has been done already. But maybe next time!

  8. otherdimension says:

    Miyoko! so looking forward to your new book!

    Wish 2015 wasn’t so far away and I can appreciate all the hard work that goes into producing a cook-book.

    Have had such great success and fun with the artistian cheese book! You’ve helped me stay vegan!

    Thanks so much Miyoko! You are an inspriation!

  9. I got your vegan cheese book and it’s very exciting, I’ve got some cheddar maturing as we speak! I’m in England, though, so some of the measurements are a bit confusing for me. I don’t suppose there is any chance the measurements will be metric in the new book? Best wishes!

    • Hi, Marika! It is amusing that America is the only country in the world still stuck in the 19th century with measurements, even though our crazy way of measuring in pounds and ounces originally came from England! A German edition of the book is coming out this year, and that will be metric, so I believe that the revised edition (coming out in a year or so) will have both. But in the meantime, I can help you. Here’s a hint: just use a 200 ml. cup for one American cup, and so on. It’s all about proportions, so the yield will be less overall, but the ratios should still stay the same. If it’s in weight, remember that 1 pound is about 450 grams. If you’re still confused and have specific questions, just ask me!