Carving in Stone

Compiling the recipes into a book is more challenging than I previously thought. I’ve mentioned that quite recently. But part of the problem that I was having when I was going through my manuscript was finding the little details and measurements that weren’t quite right, and needed fixing.

I can erase this later, right?…

How could I have made such mistakes before? When I wrote them down the first time, didn’t I know what I was saying? It’s a mystery how so many recipes could have been off by a tablespoon of butter here or a few cloves of garlic there.

It wasn’t until I finally tested a revised recipe for myself that I realized what was going on….

So to explain by way of an analogy, how many of you have seen the Blues Brothers? It’s a fabulous movie (easily my favorite musical) and it has, among other greats, the song “Think” by Aretha Franklin in it. The one thing that always bugged me about this scene though was how bad her lip-sync was in it. Check it out:

It’s not that she doesn’t know the words, it’s that she has trouble lip-syncing to herself because she always sings a song differently. Every time she sings it. She couldn’t remember how she sang it in the recording, and wanted to go where the mood took her when she was performing it at that moment. I’m basically the same way when I cook.

OK, so let’s get one thing straight. I’m not comparing myself in related talent level to Aretha Franklin. On a scale of 1-10 in our respective fields, I rank about a 6.5. Aretha is somewhere around Avogadro’s Number.

“Meh, whatever looks like a cup…”

The point of this is to say that I’m not the type to always follow a recipe super-close, as I like to adapt, grow, change and fluctuate what I’m doing based on what I have on hand and how I’m feeling. A cookbook is the exact opposite of that. It’s in print and forever out there as the “final” versions of these recipes.

Will I ever be happy with that? Back in my days of working for World Wildlife Fund, when I was a web designer, I never had to worry too much about what I posted being permanent. If there was new information, or (God forbid) a typo, changing it was no sweat. Nothing was carved in stone.

This book is the exact opposite of that. I need these recipes to be perfect, and to work for everyone who uses them.

Which is why I’m recruiting anyone who would like to be a tester for my recipes! Contact me if you’d like to try out some recipes ahead of time. I’ll be sure to mention you in the book as a tester, and hey, what better way to beat the book to press, right?

If I know you all like the recipes, perhaps I’ll be OK with finally committing it to paper. 🙂

Chef Matt

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