The GM often says. Reading the Cafe Pongo cookbook I'm reminded of all the reasons I don't. The book embodies everything I fear about a cookbook I might write. Like us, they are in a rural area, a local favorite that's been "discovered" by tourists. They have affordable prices and are cooking food far from the avant-garde. I'm sure the restaurant is charming and I have no doubt the food is good.
The book however is amateurish, the writing poor and the dishes if not boring, are more what I would turn to the Joy of Cooking for. If it were self-published it might be a nice memento for someone who's visited the restaurant and wants to take a piece of it home. But Simon & Schuster put this out. In the text the author thanks the Simon & Schuster editor and friend of the house who made the book happen.
The book has nothing to say other than "Hey, I've got a quaint restaurant in the Hudson Valley." And that's exactly what I wouldn't want a book with my name on it to say.
However, I have been, since we opened, readying recipes, adjusting amounts for home use and thinking about what I'd like to say. This blog was intended to be a testing ground for my desire and ability to write. Increasingly though I've spent little time on writing, both on the number of posts as well as the content. I've reverted to a more anecdotal, prosaic style. "Just the facts ma'am".
I over commit. And details get dropped. Little things go undone. With the GM doing the most important work either of us could be doing (mostly) at home with our son things have been unraveling a little bit. Last night trying to get home after a busy for the season night, every time I turned around there was another little thing looking at me. I finally had to leave, deciding to finish this morning, even though we're getting ready to leave for SF.
Menus to change and print, special party instructions to give to the staff, changes to the POS, instructions to the new dishwasher, who not only doesn't read at all, can barely speak Spanish. My Mayan only extends to some dirty words and few other phrases like "nica hana" (come to eat). He'll get one more weekend and if he doesn't improve we'll have to say hasta la vista. Wine to inventory, art to deliver to SF, and can I tell you my office is a crappy mess? I need bookshelves badly. And soon. Our son is almost mobile and then forget it. I'm already envisioning pages flying out my Art Culinaire's.
So in keeping with the frenetic pace I set for myself, I've got to go. It's true I should write a cookbook and maybe one day I will. First though I've got to get someone with Simon & Schuster to fall in love with our quaint restaurant.