The “E” key on my computer keyboard is nearly worn off. My pots and pans are no longer sitting in the sink, soaking for hours, before I give them a good scrub. I have, for the moment at least, clocked out of the kitchen.
Last week, I turned in the manuscript for the first Cowgirl Chef cookbook, “Cowgirl Chef: Cooking in Paris with a Texas Accent” (Running Press) — which you can pre-order by clicking here — and after a week of not being able to sleep at all, I’ve done nothing but.
It’s been a wild ride. People tell you that it’ll be like this — an endless whirl of ups and downs — but until you go through it, you just don’t know, really, what this means. So I’ll tell you. It means that some days, nothing you make will turn out right. Your cakes will be dry, your chicken will be chewy, and your ace-in-the-hole appetizer, well, it’ll be the biggest disappointment of all — it will be bland.
Then, just as suddenly, everything will flip back to the other side, like keeping some cosmic culinary balance sheet in check. Soufflés will rise and puff just as they should, sauces will whisk up without so much as a hint of a lump, and flavors will come together in perfect harmony.
Exhausting. Frustrating. Exhilarating. And through it all, recipes get written and rewritten — then rewritten again.
It was the toughest thing that I’ve ever done, and I loved every bit of it.
Seems like whenever I needed a little help, someone appeared. My pal Stephanie, now in Bordeaux, helped me stay on track by making a spreadsheet of the chapters and recipes, without which this book would not have been finished. An entire community of folks back in the States joined in on the testing. Their comments and observations helped shape the book from beginning to end.
My mom, who is my biggest inspiration, was a constant sounding board and my chief baking tester. I couldn’t have done any of this without her. Nor without all of you, who have cheered me on from the sidelines, assuring me that you’d carry me over the finish line if I needed a little help.
So this is my way of sending a very big hug to everyone who has written and sent good wishes along the way, or has simply wondered what on earth happened to me, and took the time to send a personal email — I’m so grateful for each and every one of you, and just wanted to let you know that I’m back in my boots, and will be posting regularly again soon.
We’ll be doing the photo shoot for the book here in Paris next week; after that, I plan to get back into the kitchen and have some fun. Hope you can join me.