20 July 2007

How is the Book Doing?

Many of my friends have been asking me how the book is doing. In fact, my family asks as well. In fact, more or less anyone who's in my circle of acquaintances wants to know how the book is doing. Often, the person really means "How many copies have you sold?" Honestly, I don't know the answer to that question in particular. As for how the book is doing, however, that's a different story.

I'm getting feedback from the people who have bought it, and tried out some of the food in there. People are getting back into their kitchens. They're shopping for cheap ingredients that are readily available anywhere. They're telling me that they're becoming confident in the kitchen. I remember addressing that issue on the Animal Voices interview. Lauren had asked me what I thought of people simply thinking they're poor cooks. To be honest, it's fear. I'm helping people get past their fears of preparing filling foods for themselves and their loved ones.

"I love that I've been given permission to mess around with the recipes and try shit out. It also means I'll cook something from the book even if I don't have all the ingredients, because now I know I can replace/omit/add whatever, whenever."

YES! Exactly! I want you to fuss around with what I've given you, and make it work in your kitchen. I've not only given you permission to do so, I'm outright encouraging you to do so! And this person loved it! S/he made the dressing from the Mixed Greens Composed Salad, and subbed out one nut for another, and it still came out fantastic!

"OK, I made the dry chickpeas and as I was nearing the end of cooking them I started laughing outloud cause it was clear it was going to taste so good. Wow did it ever."

"I made the Basic Kale Soup last night which was super easy and so frickin' yummy! I added chickpeas to it and a lot of parsley...Mmmm."

"Oh my god! Oh my god! I made the Lentils and Chickpeas and I am sitting here eating them cold right now. I added some PB when it was cooking and subbed out some vermouth for the vodka.
Oh my god! Oh my god!
Okay, I feel better."

"Dino, your Quick Garbanzo Soup is a godsend to a sick lazy vegan! It is so good and so easy and the only thing I needed that I couldn't find in the pantry was an onion, which was easy enough to sweet-talk someone into picking up for me. I am sitting here smugly enjoying my delicious meal whilst all the omnis I gave my bug to are choking down cans of vile processed Campbell's crap."

"Dino what I am loving most about is that your basic recipes are actually basic. Sometimes I can handle more complicated recipes, but sometimes I can't. Often as a fairly new cook, when I see the ingredients list and it has 20 items, I immediately feel overwhelmed. My kitchen isn't super well organized either, so I am never sure what I have, or I always forget an ingredient when I am shopping, even when I have the list.
Even I can't mess up the basic recipes. Yum and thanks!"

"Today we made That One Soup Dino Makes, but I had to take it off of the stove just as I got the potatoes added because my partner arranged a surprise picnic party for my birthday. So, hours later I finished the soup, but I didn’t have anything to add to it because I played instead of going shopping. The soup was really extravagant without any additions though. I wasn’t all that hungry after party food that included black bean burgers, strawberry shortcake, and potato salad - I thought I was just going to taste it, but I had a huge bowl.
And I have a lot of leftovers to play with. We froze half of the leftover soup and Tuesday we will add chopped tomatoes, corn, and black beans to the rest of the leftover soup and serve it with lime wedges, and avocado on top -- if I can keep my partner out of it until Tuesday.
It will make great quick dinners after work. I am determined not to eat any fast food type frozen foods or any other fast food during the week. We both work 10 – 12 hour days or longer with our commutes and it is pretty daunting to come home and make dinner after that. But the fast food has too much salt and sugar and other stuff we don't want to eat. We love the cookbook because a lot of the recipes are so easy, and they taste great too!!
We are trying Vizza tomorrow.
Truffle oil is my secret love. I am embarrassed to tell people how much I love it because it seems so extravagant, but Vizza has a truffle oil option. I am so excited."

"I love that the fast and easy recipes are actually fast and easy. I have been crazy-busy but I have still churned out some awesome food in the past few days. If not for this book I would probably be eating ramen for lunch today instead of this awesome cauliflower thing."

In other words, the book is a smashing, resounding success.