Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day or, as it’s known in my house, happy cookbook-writing deadline day. I admit the former is rather catchier!

Back in October, when I first set myself the 14 February deadline for having my cookbook drafted, it felt like I had given myself a challenging but achievable goal. I mean all I needed to do was finalise one recipe on each of the 117 days available and I’d be set. Right? You can stop laughing now.

Do I have 117 recipes? Hmm, definitely probably. Have I cooked them all – well that would be a no. Can I publish then without having cooked them? That would also be a no.

And, just to amuse you further, the thought of photography somehow hadn’t even drifted on to the outermost edges of my consciousness so, even those that are tried, tested and true need to be done again to be immortalised on film. Hey, I’m a words person so visual is not a big thing for me, but really, a cookbook without pictures – no I don’t know how I missed it either.

All of which sounds a bit negative because actually I am totally thrilled with what I have achieved.

  • A theme for the book agreed upon driven by the actual recipes – in non-fiction as in fiction once you start writing you can end up going in directions you didn’t expect.
  • Over 100 recipes and a head and notebook full of others to try.
  • A wonderful batch of test cooks who are stress-testing my recipes after I’ve assured myself each one should be fool-proof for a cook with only two pans and minimal cooking experience.
  • A number of the recipes up on the blog already for people to try – a true taster for potential readers!

Is the book ready to publish? No, but if I’d written fiction I’d be about to enter the editing stage not getting ready to publish. My editing stage may include a lot of washing-up and shopping but as a stage it’s just as vital. And, yes, I do need to do the word editing piece too.

So, the next few weeks hold some mammoth sessions of cooking and photography – and maybe buying yet another freezer or making the neighbours very happy. Then a week of making all the adjustments to the recipes that will come out of the test cooking and finalising the foreword.

For tonight though, I’m raising a glass to what I’ve achieved. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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