CHEERS TO THAT

dish ed­i­tor Sarah’s new cook­book cel­e­brates friends, fun times and food.

Dish - - CONTENTS -

Iam in­cred­i­bly for­tu­nate to work as ed­i­tor of this very beau­ti­ful mag­a­zine – it is my ab­so­lute dream job.

I started in this po­si­tion at the end of

May 2019 af­ter many years work­ing free­lance as a recipe and pho­tog­ra­phy con­trib­u­tor. Dur­ing that time I also un­der­went some pretty mas­sive life changes as my grown-up sons flew the nest, with my ex-hus­band fol­low­ing shortly there­after.

Af­ter mak­ing it through that upheaval, I self-pub­lished my first cook­book, which I am hugely proud to say went gang-busters. In the past three years I have in­ter­mit­tently worked on my next book, and I’m thrilled to share some of those recipes with you over the next few pages.

Rather than try to de­scribe the premise of Stuck To­gether, I thought I would let my book in­tro do the work for me…

A FEW YEARS AGO I WROTE A COOK­BOOK.

Com­ing Un­stuck was the out­let I needed to share the ex­pe­ri­ence of the after­math of my mar­riage break-up, shar­ing the recipes I cooked for the friends who lis­tened to me, hugged me and let me fall apart in their liv­ing rooms. To show my grat­i­tude to the peo­ple who gave me di­ver­sion, love and pa­tience un­til I could gather my­self to carry on.

I wanted to talk about the process, and my way of show­ing love through cook­ing, in the hope that both the recipes and words would res­onate with oth­ers ex­pe­ri­enc­ing sim­i­lar.

But, the thing is, it doesn’t end there; life goes on, be­comes ‘nor­mal’ again and then what? What hap­pens next?

Stuck To­gether has been in my mind and heart for sev­eral years be­fore mak­ing it onto these pages. It has been an ever-chang­ing, fluid beast as I have nav­i­gated my way through life-af­ter-di­vorce with an empty nest on the side.

At first I imag­ined it as some kind of vic­to­ri­ous ex­am­ple that find­ing new love is pos­si­ble. Or maybe a trib­ute to go­ing it alone and how, ul­ti­mately, we have to rely on our­selves to get ‘stuck (back) to­gether’. Or cel­e­brat­ing the sis­ter­hood of new sin­gle friends sup­port­ing each other on our quest for who-knows-what?

And the truth is – it is all of these things. A stuck-to­gether papier mâché of rea­sons to cel­e­brate life.

Among these pages are many of my favourite recipes, the dishes I have made dur­ing a cou­ple of short-lived dal­liances, those I have imag­ined cook­ing for a longterm lover, and oth­ers that I have whipped up for a mul­ti­tude of din­ners with new and old friends.

Over the past few years my life has changed. I have moved house; started a new job; my dar­ling sons, Pog and Hoob, have re­turned to my new (tiny) nest; and we have bumped around, work­ing out how this dif­fer­ent way of liv­ing works — es­tab­lish­ing the line be­tween be­ing fam­ily and flat­mates. Mean­while,

I have thrown my­self into my work, which has pre­sented a grand and al­lur­ing di­ver­sion from the ab­sence of a sig­nif­i­cant other and the pos­si­bil­ity that there might never be one.

And there it is. The big ‘if ’. What hap­pens if this is it? If I ride solo for the rest of my life? Do I end­lessly chase a re­la­tion­ship via Bum­ble or Tin­der, or re­lax, as I am so of­ten ad­vised to, in the be­lief that some­thing will hap­pen when I least ex­pect it? Nei­ther. Or both – de­pend­ing on which day you catch me.

Is it the end of the world if I end up as a ‘ta­ble for one’? No. Some­where along the way I learned that we re­ally do need to take each day as it comes in per­pe­tu­ity, to cel­e­brate the joy­ful mo­ments, to com­fort each other in the shitty ones, to stick our­selves and each other back to­gether by shar­ing love, tears, laugh­ter and, yes, food.

So here you go then — pull up a chair, let’s have a good old chat, a drink and some­thing to eat to­gether. We’ve got loads to catch up on.

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