I got back to Philadelphia earlier this afternoon after a week spent hanging out with my sister and her family in Austin (it was a magically good trip and I miss my nephew like a pain). I’d been home for all of fifteen minutes when I headed out again to swing by my editor’s office. Kristen had emailed on Monday to say that she had a few copies of the new book in. I’d been itching for days to see it in person and couldn’t wait any more.
Last time, when I got that first copy of a book I’d written in my hands, I swore like Tony Soprano for a full five minutes. Kristen had to pull me into her office and shut the door to contain my salty words. This time, I didn’t feel moved to let loose a streak of colorful verbiage. Instead, I held it in my hands and felt deeply satisfied.
One of the things I’ve learned over the past few years is that when you write a cookbook, you are capturing a moment in time. Kitchen habits and preserving practices naturally evolve and so as perfect a technique as an author thought they were sharing, it may not remain their preferred approach for all time. I already do a number of things differently now than I did when I wrote Food in Jars*. And while I know my ways of being will continue to develop, I really, really love the moment in time that I caught for Preserving by the Pint. I hope you all will too.
*For example, I don’t use a thermometer nearly as much as I once did to determine the doneness of jam. I rely far more on how it looks and sounds these days.