Sometimes I’m sure I’ve wandered into a parallel universe. I am an accidental writer—I wrote my first book because I thought it needed to be written, and I never really expected to write another one. But to quote Eddie Izzard’s line from The Riches, “Life’s a river. You go where it takes you.” I am thrilled to report that I am writing a second book.
A chance encounter on an elevator led to a book contract with a major organization. The book has been in the works since last January and I have been working on it in earnest since September. I’m sorry to leave you in suspense about the publisher, but I promise to fill you in on all the details at some point in the future. Let me just say that you will be pleased when you find out. The reason I am breaking my silence on the subject is that I would like to enlist your help. I am now working with deadlines. I don’t have the luxury of making each recipe over and over until I’m 100% confident that it will work, first time, every time. I also need to know that it will turn out the same in other kitchens as it does in mine. I am asking for volunteers to serve as recipe testers.
Here’s the system: I will send you a set of recipes and you may choose which ones you want to make and evaluate. You will need to follow the recipe precisely. If there is an obvious mistake, or if you have questions, you should contact me before you start. I’d like you to commit to testing at least one recipe a month; of course you may do more if you like. There will be an evaluation form to fill out for each recipe. This should be done as soon as possible after you make the dish, while your memory is fresh.
Some examples of the kind of questions you will be asked:
– Were the instructions clear and easy to follow?
– Was it difficult to find the ingredients?
– Did the recipe make the correct number of servings?
– Were the weights and measurements of ingredients and the serving sizes accurate?
– If a headnote is included, did you like it?
– Did you like the dish and will you make it again?
– Do you have any suggestions or comments about the recipe?
Don’t think you have to be an accomplished cook in order to sign up. After all, the people who buy the book will include some who have never made anything more complicated than toast. If you are analytical and methodical, that’s a plus, but not a necessity. One more thing: you will have to agree to keep the information and the recipes confidential until after the book comes out.
If you want to join me in this exciting adventure, send your e-mail address to email@example.com and I will contact you with further instructions. (Sounds like a Mission Impossible opening doesn’t it? “Your mission, should you choose to accept it….”)
© 2008, Judy Barnes Baker