As many of you know, The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes, is finally out. It's been the culmination of a year's worth of cooking, taste testing, hyperventilating, eating, doling out Indian food to anyone who came to the door (including a homeless man who insisted his stomach would not handle my chicken curry and opted for the yellow lentil soup instead). It's been a huge learning experience on how to write a cookbook and edit recipes - and how to manage my time to not get overly obsessed at the expense of the two little reasons I started this process in the first place: my girls.
This week has been terrific for news and press. It started Monday morning with an interview on Martha Stewart Radio. Tuesday was a stint on WLS ABC-7. Normally, Linda Yu and Sylvia Perez anchor the 11 but that day it happened to be my buddies Ben Bradley and Karen Jordan. (Ben was the first one I spoke with when transitioning from Bloomberg TV to local CLTV and Karen I know from out in the field.) It was really a warm reception and everyone there was so professional. The kicker was my old photogs from CL - Carmaine Means and Colin Hinkle happened to be walking into work around the same time. Man, I miss shooting and editing packages with those two!
Last night, I had the opportunity to hang with Phil Ponce on the set of WTTW - talk about the book and show off the masala dabba I designed myself. As I sat in the Green Room waiting for them to call me up, I had a chance to chat with the other guests: Rich Whitney, the Green Party candidate for Governor and Blair Kamin, architecture critic at the Chicago Tribune and author of a new book himself. The one thing that struck me is that regardless of where I go - regardless of people's political or religious views - they are loving Indian food. Everyone had something good to say about it or want to learn more on how to make it. It's a cuisine that has hit its groove.
Remember, it wasn't always that way. I grew up in a very blue-collar community outside of Philadelphia. One of my neighbors once told me she would not play with me because I smelled like curry. So, I don't take this surge of interest lightly. It really means a lot and it also shows me that we've come a long, long way in this country when it comes to people's spice thresholds.
Today's Chicago Reader piece is really hilarious, entitled Singla, meet Ebert. I got a true laugh out of it this morning when the reporter, Mike Sula, sent me the link. One of these days, I hope to have the honor of meeting the legendary Mr. Ebert. In the meantime I'll live vicariously through this piece.
Funny thing, a ton of people are congratulating me and telling me that I should be so proud. Sure, I am to a degree. But my bigger high comes from all of the unsolicited comments from regular folks working hard to keep it all together who have tried my recipes and say there were finally able to eat Indian hassle free at home for the first time in a long time. These are the comments and feedback that I am most proud about -- so please keep them coming. Remember writers are some of the most insecure folks out there - we need constant postive reinforcement! And TV folks - forget it. Even worse.
Tonight I head to the Food BlogHer conference in San Francisco. I'll be speaking tomorrow on a panel. Can't wait to bring you the latest and greatest as I finally start to breathe new life into this blog again! My only concern about this weekend? Apparently, the girls are excited that now they'll get to have cookies for breakfast with dad. Hmmmmmm....