Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Aspic and Other Concerns

I had a great time with my mother this past Saturday as we finally got the chance to get this project in some kind of order. We went through all of the various recipe cards—including the ones handwritten by Granny Lula—and determined exactly which recipes I should test and include in the cookbook. We added a few that I had never heard of (Mother's Christmas Pudding, Feather White Cake, Carrot Casserole, Toffee Bars) and eliminated a few that we realized were not sentimental or even good. We came up with exactly 100 recipes in 13 categories (Appetizer, Beverage, Bread, Cake, Candy, Cookies, Dessert, Main Dish, Pie, Salad, Sauce/Dressing, Side Dish, and Soup). Daunting to say the least.

As of right now, just over a month into the project, I have tested 11 recipes. I figure I really need to be done with the testing by September 1 in order to have plenty of time to write and design the cookbook. Then my print deadline would need to be November 1 at the latest in order to have the final book back from the publisher by Christmas. So if I have a bit over 6 months to test the remaining 89 recipes; that's about 14 recipes per month. Ouch.

(Disclaimer: I do not do math. I do not do numbers. The numbers you see in the preceding paragraph may be completely inaccurate and I am okay with that. The main point of this exercise is to demonstrate that I have officially bitten off more than I can chew. Ouch again.)

Now, for a few concerns. Firstly, I honestly can't foresee myself having anything to do with a recipe called "University of Tennessee Fruitcake," or "Old Time Tomato Aspic." Not only would my husband file for divorce if I put these in front of him, I'm not sure I could get through making them without doubling over. So the question becomes, do I test everything regardless of whether or not it gets eaten? Seems wasteful. Maybe I can find people who actually like these items—co-workers, neighbors, Minnie Pearl, Daniel Boone, Colonel Sanders...

Secondly, what if I make something that has familial sentimental value, but it turns out to be hideous, something I would never make again and would definitely never put in the cookbook? I might just have to grin and bear it to preserve the historical authenticity of what is shaping up to be a Howard Family History Book instead of just a mere cookbook. I would hate for Granny Lula to roll over in her grave if I failed to include the fruitcake and the aspic.

And finally, the question of time. Isn't this always the concern? How will I have enough time to do all of this cooking and baking, typing of recipes, and compiling of the cookbook, when I have to work full-time, chase a 2 year old and force feed her to eat a healthy normal meal every night, plus perform all of the tasks of the homemaker that I am striving to be, and then have time to sleep, breathe, pet the dog, and, oh yeah, be a good wife. The question of time is a giant question mark in my mind, even without this hair-brained cooking project in front of me. But as usual, I press on.

No time for a pity party...I have to make aspic.

1 comment:

  1. You may discover that the two year old will eat any number of veggies if you put them in aspic! That really is a whole lot of work. Good luck!


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