Posted 05 October 2003 - 10:10 AM
Some of your recipes are demanding of your readers. Even the cannelé recipe on your website calls for bees' wax -- not something many readers are likely to find in their local supermarkets. The cassoulet recipe takes more time and effort than many would put up with. You can look at many threads on eGullet (e.g. this one) that proclaim or bemoan time pressure and the need for shortcuts in cooking.
I don't find the length or complexity of your recipes a problem at all, and I enjoy reading your recipes for the richness and authenticity they convey. But I wondered what kinds of reactions you have had from readers and editors? Have you ever been under pressure to slim down, simplify, substitute, either because of lack of available print space or an editor's view that readers will never put up with a complicated recipe or one requiring unusual ingredients.
"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le goï¿½t de ce qu'elles sont."
Posted 06 October 2003 - 07:17 PM
Thanks for your very kind posting.
I'm pretty sure that if you go to a farmer's market and find someone selling homemade honey, you'll find a good source for bee's wax. It's cheap, lasts a long time and really makes a difference. Unless, that is, you opt for using Nordicware's mini molds.
I've been very lucky with my editors through the years. Generally they they indulge me. If a magazine "dumbs down" my recipes, I stop writing for it. In this regard, I was fairly surprised when egullet was dividing up the magazines, that no one chose FOOD & WINE. They've been wonderful with me, and I'm proud to have a regular column there. As for "people who bemoan time pressure and the need for shortcuts in cooking," they can always go for the simpler recipes in my books. And, hopefully, on a holiday or weekend when they have time to cook, they'll try a more complicated recipe and appreciate the difference in subtlety and depth. There are plenty of books on quick and easy cooking available; I totally respect those books, and have also chosen not to duplicate them. Certainly, this limits my sales, but then I have people who write me who've made my cassoulet once a year for the last 20 years. Their praise is like sweet music to me, and makes up for any loss of sales. Sometimes cooks will turn up ay my signings with tattered food-stained copies of my old books. I'm just as happy (if not more so) signing for these loyal fans as I am for purchasers of my latest book.
Posted 08 October 2003 - 07:23 AM
Posted 08 October 2003 - 01:08 PM
I can't believe I was so brazen. Forgive me.