Day 1: This is Happening.
Wow. I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, well-wishes, and encouragement that have followed since I announced that I am doing this cookbook. I am incredibly humbled by your enthusiasm. But most of all, I am thrilled that many of you said you were inspired. That makes my heart sing - because that's exactly what I hope you take away from my tiny steps of faith. Be inspired - whatever you dream up, you can do. Getting to this place of action has taken me years, and has required facing some pretty big fears. And the journey, really, is only beginning...cannot wait to see what the next five months bring!
Of course the ironic thing – as I'm receiving all of these digital high-fives – is that the work is only just starting. And there's a lot of it. I bought a spiral-bound journal (pictured above) for all of my cookbook scribblings: lists of potential recipes, testing notes, timelines, and all sorts of random notes and bits of inspiration. I'm still trying to put together a master plan of how to tackle everything in the next five months – testing schedules, shooting schedules, etc. And making time to blog every day! I'm not the most organized person, so honestly it does feel a bit daunting. But every step I take, I'm met with another open door, so – planning aside – I'm just taking it a day at a time and trusting that everything will turn out the way it's meant to.
My partner in crime in this big adventure (besides my darling husband) is my good friend Signe Birck. That's us in the Polaroid above – looking a tad dishelved – after our first day of shooting for the book. :) Signe's an amazingly talented food photographer from Copenhagen who's been living in NYC the past few years. (Check out her website - it's gorgeous!) We met through a crazy set of circumstances that can only be summed up as providential. I'll tell the whole story one of these days (it's really good). Signe and I have been working together for two years, often collaborating on The Yellow Table, as well as projects for other publications. She's a dream to work with: we share a very similar food aesthetic and we have talked about doing a book together pretty much ever since we met. When I told her about my vision for this project, she was instantly on board. I couldn't imagine doing this book without her!
Given Signe's travel schedule, we had our first shoot day a couple of weeks ago. We are still figuring things out with props (exciting news on that to come!) and trying to find our perfect set-up (i.e. a surface besides the yellow table), but for this first shoot, we just had to make do. Signe literally had to stand on the yellow table to get overhead shots of the food! Luckily, my apartment gets great light, which is a good thing given that Signe only shoots with natural light.
Our first day of shooting got off to a rocky start (I may have had a mini meltdown...it's a long and not exciting story), but amazingly once we got going, we created some of our best work yet. It's so fun to work with someone who practically reads your mind. I'll think to myself "oh let's use that blue and white striped cloth for this shot" and she's already ironing it. And she says the same thing about me. We knocked out four recipes in four hours (miraculous) and celebrated with some bubbly as we went over the pictures. It all seemed very real at that point!
So what's going to be in this book, you may be wondering? The Yellow Table Cookbook will be full of simple, (mostly) healthy recipes that can be shared around the table with family and friends. Like, on a random Tuesday night. I want this to be an every-day go-to book. One where the pages get smudged and oil-splattered. The recipes will use fresh, seasonal ingredients that are easy to find in most grocery stores. The ingredient lists won't be intimidatingly long, and ideally - for most of the recipes, they can be prepped in about half an hour. Many of the recipes in the book will be favorites from the blog, and the other half will be brand new. My kitchen is laughingly small, but fortunately I have a little dishwasher: it's going to get a lot of use the next few months...!
Come back tomorrow – I'm sharing a new recipe for pumpkin madeleines and will let you know how you can be a part of The Cookbook Diaries!