Two weeks passed after I clicked on the delay … then 3…. And a month later, here I am. Finally rises into the air to jump and say Hello, I missed you!
Hello Hello! How are you? I’ve missed you! I missed being here, writing to you!
What have I been doing in the last month while uploading new recipes? Just one thing:
Working on the cookbook!
The vortex of the cookbook
This cookbook writing business consumes everything. At least, that’s for me. I live and breathe it, 24-7. It’s the first thing that comes to mind when I wake up, it’s the last thing I think of when I go to sleep.
That’s all I want to do! I just want to cook, write, explore, experiment, do brainstorming.
We call it the “cookbook whirlpool.”. An appropriate name for this phenomenon, it is Nothing It sucked me in a way I had never experienced before. I have been involved in major projects in previous social life. But nothing ever drew me in like that.
It’s a weird feeling! In a wonderful way. But also, a scary way. To think that I will create something engraved in print forever *, that there is Not a chance Fix everything as soon as it is printed, demanding 100% accuracy above all, not to mention the desire for a level of ridiculous tasting that will make you want to try every recipe in the book …
* Also, as my mom keeps reminding me, ME photos will also be anchored in print forever … Hint, hint, get back to exercise !!🤯
You can not be everything to everyone
I’m completely new to the business of writing this cookbook, but from the beginning it was clear what was the hardest thing – choice The recipes. Here on this site, there is no limit to the number of recipes I can share over the course of my life.
But a cookbook? Consider all sorts of things that publishers need to consider, like book size, paper quality, hardcover versus paperback, all of which affect the price – and all of that means limiting recipes. The first 120 recipes suggested by my publisher, Pan McMillan, Went up to 200 (that I was greedy) and just from last week, now pulled back to 160 (roughly).
More sides and all sorts of bonus extras. Again, I’m just greedy. 😇
יYou can not be everything to everyone. A wise reminder from my publisher to keep the cookbook focused on the type of food that is the heart and soul of RecipeTin Eats. An oppressive border I have the number of recipes I can include in the cookbook … 😂 #Gredy!
Oh, and put notes like It Also helps prevent me from worrying!
Your posts keep my spirits up!
All this has been said and done, telling you how much I enjoy making this cookbook, there are more days than I want to admit I am stunned. My family and friends are worried that I have set the bar too high, that I will never be happy.
My immediate reaction – me Should High aim. Because unlike this site, a cookbook is not free. If people pay good money for it, I do Should Work harder on it!
so yes. I work too hard. The days are too long. I work most weekends. Because I want!
And even though I try to keep a completely cheerful face in control in front of my team, some days I lose my confidence. And on days like these, I find great solace in re-reading the supportive messages you have taken the time to leave. I can not tell you the number of times I did it! Sometimes, it’s just the push I need to reset.
And of course, the suggestions and requests! We actually put together the feedback for usable data to help guide which recipes will be in the cookbook! (This is the accountant in me, I just could not resist).
So thank you, again, for taking the time to leave these messages. Although it may seem small to you, it made a big difference to me! ❤️
A peek – behind the scenes!
And to summarize this last chapter in a cookbook – a little behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on at RTE HQ! Unsurprisingly, lots and lots (and lots) of delicious food!
In fact, the master list of cookbooks shows that we have tried 94 recipes since we started the cookbook in early October. Many of them have been created several times.
Do the math … it’s a lot of cooking !!! 😂
Plenty of successes, but also quite a few failures! Well, did not fail. I have had some completely inedible disasters, but for the most part they are simply considered “unworthy of a cookbook”, like these:
In case you are wondering about the above dishes that look completely edible:
Vietnamese Coconut Caramel Fish – Getting this perfect sauce you see is pretty tricky. I struggled to recreate the results. Too dangerous! Pushed.
One pot of chicken and risotto – an attempt to “throw and bake” risotto without mixing. Not good – risotto is cooked unevenly under the chicken. Think it should start on the stove, like this recipe.
And as you can imagine, with a lot of cooking come a lot of dirty dishes. So many dishes !!! I got into the system of using a large tub to keep utensils out of the way, and dealt with them at large loads each time. And strangely enough, all of a sudden, Dozer showed interest in helping with the rinsing … 😂
Also, a professional food photographer experience day!
I plan to make most of the pictures for the cookbook but I will not be able to manage them all because of the tight schedule we are working towards and the huge number of pictures (yes, each recipe will have at least one picture!). So some of the photos will be taken by a professional food photographer and food stylist.
Since I’ve never worked with a professional before, my publisher thought it would be better for me to see how a photo day goes. In elation as the quasadilla is cut to reveal the perfect cheese smell.
Tin Meal Recipe, Going Strong!
And in other news, an update on RecipeTin Meals (RTM)! This is my philanthropic arm where we prepare homemade meals to cater to the vulnerable in Sydney. I started this during the last COVID locks in Sydney in August 2021. I have a full time chef and Kitchenhand who work in RTM’s commercial kitchen in King’s Cross, Sydney city, preparing meals that are divided 6 days a week.
We have spent the last few months ironing out everyday operational issues and things are going smoothly these days. Meal output has increased to at least 150 per day plus desserts most days! That 2 people can produce so much in one day all the time amazes me.
I’m excited to see my recipes cooked on a huge scale !! (PS I share RTM’s weekly meal plan Instagram stories every week. You can just make it for 5, instead of 150 😉)
Receiving donations, pending!
And to those of you who have been so kind as to find out how you can support RTM, thank you for asking! We do not yet accept the status of our official charity entity that will allow me to receive donations legally. So for now, the revenue from this site continues to fund RTM, and that’s exactly how I intended it to be in the first place.
To me, the sense of responsibility I feel for ensuring that 150 meals go out daily is too great to risk relying on uncertain external funding. I wanted to establish a baseline that I knew I could support myself. And from here, I plan to grow even more hopefully with the support of the community, government and generous corporations (oh, boy, I plan to pick up memberships next year! 😂)
Click on pause until January 2022
And so, with the much longer update than expected (I told you, I missed talking to you!) It probably does not surprise you when I say I do not see myself sharing new recipes until the end of January 2022 and that’s when my manuscript comes to my publisher. I really can not fit it – at least, not without compromising on the cookbook which is not even a distant option.
So, suffer with me! I’ll pop in every now and then to let you know how I’m doing. And I plan to breathe new life into recipes I’ve shared in previous years that you may have never encountered by bringing them to the home page.
I also have you covered for Holiday season! Not new recipes, but I have ideas for other ways to have fun with you at the holiday get-together!
I was going to sign with this picture, and leave you with this picture of peaceful happiness as I tick off another successful recipe. But in fact, it’s a complete fiction …….
This is how I really react to a successful recipe:
Do you know this saying about food so good that it makes you dance happily?
There were a lot of happy dances around these parts!
Stay healthy! I will be back to share new recipes in early 2022 as soon as the manuscript of my cookbook is sent. 100% Promising, Pinky Swears! – Nagi x
What would be a cookbook update without an update on Dozer’s life ?? 😂
Dozer, as you may have guessed, is dizzy with excitement at the increased volume of food that surrounds him at all times. Very very good food in it !!
Life outside the kitchen also stays pretty good for Life of Dozer. Regular beach meetings…
… and there was the Recipe Cup in Melbourne Yakitori Barbecue party … (he won the best dress by stealing my fasiner)
The project manager Dozer is also a regular visitor to the construction site that was once a house, and will probably be my house again in just 7 days !!! Hard to imagine, looking at these pictures taken over the weekend! (I have complete trust in my builders. It will happen!)
I’m also happy to report that Jeff, the local who lives in the dog park, went through the COVID locks just fine. He remains as one of RTE’s regular taste testers, and Dozer is still shameless, begging to taste some of the food I gave Jeff not 2 minutes ago!
However, I am sad to report that all the additional taste tests Dozer has recently done go straight to his ass. The vet advised him to carry a small COVID podge that needed to be moved.
Do not worry Dozer. You still look great, just a little more convoluted! 😂