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