The cookbook series 2015
January is the land of plenty in terms of resolutions for the new year. Even if we all sometimes get tired of going through the same process every year, there is no hiding away from looking back on the year that has gone and thinking ahead to the next one. I usually don't do so much of the looking back as the looking ahead. You have already had a year to think about the good and the bad, the done and the not yet done. Looking ahead, however, is a great opportunity to right the wrongs of the past and to set yourself new goals. You might fulfill them or you might not, but there is nothing more attractive than a blank page - especially if you are an idealist.
Us idealists have to be careful with overfilling that blank page. We have to learn to live with smaller lists of things to do and lower expectations, if only to feel better with ourselves at the end of each week. With that in mind, this year one of our resolutions is to learn from the mistake of being over ambitious last year and coming up with a realistic schedule for a project we started last year and which we hope to do right this time around.
The Project? A cookbook in the shape of a monthly correspodence.
The participants? A friend who lives in Barcelona and both of us.
How did this start? We met Mariló, a teacher and mother of two during the summer of 2013 while on holiday and we instantly clicked. We liked the same things, had a similar sense of humour, but as with all love stories (which is what this is starting to sound like), the end of summer came and she had to go back to Barcelona and her lovely family and we had to return to Madrid. Thanks to our beloved (and sometimes too addictive) whatsapp, we kept in touch. We talked about all kinds of little things: travel plans, shop finds, her daughters and, more often than not, cooking. "What are you making for supper" was one of our favorite questions. We would tell each other what we were going to make, send pictures of the final dish and the success with the diners. We even exchanged quite a few recipes. You have to take into account that this friend of ours has daughters who eat beets and quinoa at the age of two, so the recipes she was making at home for the little ones could interest the most avid foodie. After some online correspondence, one day we realized that we had to put it all on paper. We decided we would get identical Muji booklets and that each month, we would write down three recipes based on a theme we would all decide together. Our initial idea was to share the simple recipes we made at home all the time. Nothing too fancy, just the type of things you really make for supper on a weeknight when you don't have much time to cook or shop. Our obligations didn't only consist of writing the recipes and sending the booklet by mail, we would also have to cook the recipes sent to us by our counterpart in the project. Doesn't it sound perfect?
Why didn't it work last year? As I was saying, we started off following the rules: sending the booklets before the 15th of every month, we started making the recipes, but then somehow the 15th became the 28th, then we decided to write two months worth or recipes at a time after not making the deadline. Once, we even went on holiday together, cooked one of the recipes of the booklet together but somehow managed to forget exchanging booklets at the end. As soon as you get sloppy, there is no way to get back on track and that is what happened to us.
Why will it work this year? This year we have decided to learn from the mistakes, the objective of three recipes per month has been reduced to two, the booklets WILL have to be sent before the 10th of every month, the dishes WILL have to be cooked, and we will use this page as motivation to force ourselves, not only to cook them, but also to share the recipes here. Thus, "The Cookbook Series 2015" has begun. Let the game begin!