“Mum would make porridge for breakfast every morning. My brother used to run down the stairs every morning to see what colour porridge it would be today – maybe blue or green, perhaps red or purple or could be coconut. Mum made everyday porridge an everyday surprise.”
I haven’t been very active online lately. I started a new job in December, which kept me pretty busy, and when I wasn’t working, I was trying to make progress on the family recipe book. I’d reached that point where I wanted to change projects, but I refused to go back to my old modus operandi. That was the reason it’d taken me five years to write a children’s novel, although I did finally finish that last year. That was the reason it’d taken me eight years so far to create a family recipe book. No more! No more flitting from project to project and crowning myself the Queen of Unfinished Projects. I was determined to finish the projects, and I’d prioritised them, and the recipe book was next cab off the rank.
“When my dad used to get off work, I used to go and meet him and he’d give me a penny to go and get chips at the chip shop, hot chips. We also used to get a ha’penny worth of batter bits – it was all the crunchy bits that had dropped off the fish.”
Well, I finally gave in to popular opinion and agreed to make the recipe book in volumes. It makes it more affordable for people (including me), it’s more practical to actually use in the kitchen, and it allows me to do it in stages which makes it less daunting.
Don’t get me wrong, I do all these projects because I want to, not because I have to. They’re not a chore. But I tend to get bored of a project after a while and start a new one, and some of these projects are important to me and I actually wanna finish them.
“My family always used to have a roast dinner on Sunday. Mum used to do cabbage, which I didn’t mind. We used to drink the cabbage juice which was put in a green glazed china jar on the table with salt and pepper and I used to like that. When she cooked a chicken, she always used to boil up the neck and put herbs and things in and make a beautiful gravy.”
Well, by staying off social media for the past few weeks, I’ve made good progress. The first volume is ‘Meals’ and includes Breakfasts, Starters and Snacks, Soups, Main Meals, Side Dishes and Desserts and Puddings. It’s done. I uploaded it to Blurb, and ordered myself a copy. It should arrive in about 3 weeks or so. Exciting!
I can’t sell the book commercially, because they’re not all my recipes. Indeed, some of them are recipes from famous chefs. It’s a combination of heirloom recipes and family favourites and some of those family favourites are from other recipe books or websites. But it was never intended to be available commercially. Just for family. Just all our favourite and heirloom recipes collated in one place.
You can have a look if you like. Hopefully the preview function is working, I’ve been having a little bit of trouble with it.