23 March 2008

An email exchange with a fan:

A friend of mine who bought the book emailed me about a soup recipe that I have in there. Here's how it went down:

Dino,

Just got your cookbook yesterday, FINALLY!!!!

So, today I went to the store and am planning to make the aforementioned soup, but I noticed in the recipe you said something about it being "condensed." But I don't see anything about adding water to it or something when you serve it... so what exactly does that mean?

I hope I don't sound really stupid and ignorant.. I'm not much of a cook (yet) so I'm kind of nervous, I just hope this comes out ok! (Well no, I hope it comes out spectacular, but yeah). So if you could clarify that for me it'd be really helpful
Thanks!!!!!!!!!!
-S


So here I am, thinking "Wait, what does she mean?" Then I flipped to the recipe in question, and it looks like she's right! I never did mention how much to dilute it. For the record, it's "how much ever you want."

My response:

Nope, not stupid at all! I sometimes add extra water to thin it out to my liking, and sometimes I'll leave it alone. The point of it was that you're supposed to adjust to your own liking. I also left tonnes of wiggle room, so that you can pitch in some of your own favourite vegetables and flavourings when the soup is done cooking.

So if you're in the mood for a more thick rich stew, leave it as is. If you're in a pinch, and have last minute dinner guests show up on you, add an equal amount of water to the pot, and thin it out that way.

Come to think of it, most of the recipes work that way. You start with your basics, and adjust up or down, depending on your needs.

Thanks for asking!

Dino


So then she responded back:

Thanks for responding so quickly!!! I can't wait to make it (and probably the banana nut bread) for Easter (well, we're not exactly "celebrating" Easter, but I have the day off, so yeah )

I made the basic broccoli this evening, but with lemon instead of lime (cuz i had no lime), and it came out sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo spicy ... So now I see what you mean about preferring stuff spicier than most!!! I'll probably make them again but a little milder, b/c other than the spiciness it was quite yummy.

Anyways... I'm still so excited to try making all these things-- I've always just sort of subsisted on basic things like PB+banana on rye, brown rice with salt and curry powder, or plain edamame... But today at the store, I brought your book in with my while I shopped (and hopefully other customers saw it!!) and I bought all this produce I'd NEVER had before.. Yay!!!

K enough rambling.. thanks again


O_O! My cookbook is being used in celebratory fashion! This is too many kinds of cool. And yes, in the intro, I do mention that all the recipes, although they've been adjusted to suit most people, will tend to have a much higher level of heat than most people are used to. If you're not used to spicy foods, sub out a mild paprika for cayenne or chilly peppers. There's absolutely nothing wrong with adjusting flavourings to your liking.

OK. So she went ahead and made said soup. Here's what happened:

All right, so I made the soup and it was absolutely AMAZING!!!!!!! I've never made something that seemed so "professional" before (I know to you, it's really basic and all... but just humor me!) My mom loved it too! (For the first half, before adding the water, she was convinced I was going to burn our kitchen down-- but everything turned out fine )

I also made the banana bread which was also amazing! And so ridiculously simple to make, I love it! As a variation, instead of 2 cups of flour, I did 1.5 cups, and then 1/2 cup of oat bran, to make it more "healthy" (or at least to make myself feel like I would be eating something more healthy). I also added a little maple syrup to the mix because I love sugar

Anyways..... my mom said she's really impressed w/ the cookbook.. so.. yeah.. Thanks again


Wicked cool! I'm so glad that someone enjoyed it this much. Hopefully, she'll be able to add this to her regular repertoire, and adjust the stuff to her own liking. :D