They say that, if you ever want to make something happen for yourself, just start casually dropping it into conversations. Just saying things aloud is half the battle sometimes.
I have had a dream for many years to write my story and to put my favourite recipes in what will be known as the Relish Mama – Recipes from a shared table and the Relish Mama kitchen cookbook. At the end of the last year, I decided to tell people that I really wanted to do this. I really needed to make this dream happen. So I told a few more people. Then a few more. Then I put it out there in our newsletters and…then, oh shit everyone knows, so I guess I better follow through.
It is a brilliant method. It has been my biggest motivator. I am now working towards a deadline which is exactly what I needed. I am so excited by it and am enjoying the process more than I could ever tell you. It is one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done in my life. The writing is taking up many, many hundreds of hours and that is really okay: it is a labour of love but now I have come to the pointy end. I want to self-publish so that the book really can be my heart and soul, rather than be swayed or steered in a different direction. The costs of paying for art direction, printing thousands of copies, distribution, photography, marketing, freight, postage, styling, staff, food costs and food preparation is huge (to put it mildly). I am sincerely not asking for donations but I guess I am asking you to pay it forward. To perhaps buy your copy of the Relish Mama cookbook in advance. Buying it now will mean that, in December, we ship you your cookbook and there are plenty of other rewards via our Pozible (crowdfunding campaign) too. Please check these out here.
I used to be afraid of asking for help. I used to try to do it all on my own. I guess I am older and wiser and I know that we all need each other in life and that it truly is okay to ask for help. To get the supporters behind you. I need this now more than ever.
Here is just a little snippet of the introduction to my book. I want to give you a true taste and essence of what will be a beautiful and heartfelt book. I cannot thank you enough for your support.
With love & thanks,
Photos courtesy of Tamara Erbacher & styling courtesy of Lucienne Bowden / Curious by design.
“Food and gatherings were such an enormous part of my childhood. I fell joyously in love with entertaining and throwing parties when I first left home. I relish opening our door and sharing our table and a special meal with others. I love the celebration of honest everyday cooking and that is what my food is all about. When a meal is shared at our table or around our bench, the hectic pace stops! Not only do we enjoy the food and it’s many flavours but we stop and enjoy each other and all of the unique and incredible things that make us family and friends – how grateful I am that we came to find one another. Sharing food in this way brings a very special richness to my life – it is what makes me…..well me.
‘Relish Mama’ all began early in 2009. I took a deep breath and pressed ‘send’ on an email to a very small group of close friends and family. In this email, I confessed that I had a little dream of teaching people to cook, to share my favourite recipes and style of entertaining and to share a table with those that might want to come. I remember feeling incredibly nervous once that email left me and launched itself into cyberspace but within seconds I heard the infamous ‘ping’ sound of my inbox and it was my Sister who was the first to reply “I’ll be there and I am so proud of you”. More ‘ping’ sounds followed and my first cooking class had sold out. I was overwhelmed with both relief and happiness. The nerves had left me and I felt surrounded by love and support. I was more than proud that I was true to our family motto “It’s just 20 seconds of embarrassing courage and 20 seconds of bravery”. This moment of courage and bravery changed my life. I did a little happy dance with Michael and our daughters (a dance I will never forget).
I have met and cooked with thousands of amazing people over the years. Many of our guests have returned and returned again and many have become such incredible supporters and friends (we even teach some of their children now) – how cool is that? I am forever grateful for the love we receive….for the guest who left one night and rapt an arm around my waist and said: “I’ll be back with as many people as I can get to come because this was one of the best night’s of my life”. Can you imagine ?? Sometimes I pinch myself…..one email…..thank heavens for that one email.
I have had voices in my head telling me to write this book for way too long. It has been a deep yearning but I have wondered…who would buy my book? Is it worthy of sitting on the same shelves as some of my favourite food heroes? We all have our insecurities and our reservations and then I met someone recently who touched my heart and her words to me were…….”You know….you just know….. you have to write this book. I feel you have to first work out though who this book is for”. Instantly, I felt the tears and I felt completely at peace….completely comfortable and yes, I knew with a force that I just had to write this book.
I write this book for all those who love me & for all of you who believe in me but more than anyone and more than anything…..this book is for my three absolutely amazing angels and the sweetest and most encouraging husband a woman could ask for. This book is for you and I hope that with this, you always feel your Mother’s love (a wife’s love) within each of these recipes and with each of these celebrations and you will remember fondly, as you grow, many that you enjoyed with such gusto at our table – amongst the laughs, the tears and the love – golly, I love you.
I want you to cook these recipes again and again. I want you to fall in love with them. I want you to share them. These are my favourites because they all have a story and a memory. Share them at your table, at your kitchen bench, on your back lawn ……for it is with those that you share where the magic truly begins!
I write this glancing up at the note above my desk that has always told me:
“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try”.
This cookbook was re-released May 2019.