“IN 2012, IN A FORM OF SELF-ABANDONMENT, I STARTED THIS FOOD BLOG. SEVEN YEARS LATER, I AM ABOUT TO PUBLISH A BOOK ABOUT THIS JOURNEY.”
I sat here for hours struggling with how to begin the sentence. Stranger things have happened in this world I’m sure, I mean I could swear I saw a sea creature that looks like a glowing condom on the internet, but from where I stand, it doesn’t get more inexplicable than what I’m feeling right now.
It began in 2012. It was just about two years into our miserable six years-long residence in Beijing. In a form of self-abandonment almost, I started this food blog.
With no enthusiasm or objectives, setting out more to be a concession than a declaration, I did what I thought was throwing the white flag to all my other grander ambitions in life, that I was going to be that person, “a blogger”, a non-job made up by people whom I judged, past tense, to be minimally interesting that they had to put themselves on speaker. It wasn’t brave. It wasn’t inspired. It was never expected to arrive anywhere. I was standing on the edge of a cliff. And I took the extra step.
The least of what I saw coming was that seven years later, I am to publish a book about this journey.
So yes, a Lady And Pups Cookbook. The Art of Escapism Cooking – A Survival Story.
This book is about my time in Beijing, what started it all. If you are kind of new here, then yeah, no, I didn’t enjoy that. This book is an self-reflective examination of how I retreated to my kitchen as a place to evade from my unpleasant realities. What was wrong, what wasn’t, and answers that I am still unsure of today. It’s honest but also contradictory, opinionated but nonetheless a personal truth. An internal monologue, despicably self-serving and personal, almost to a fault. Because for me this is more than a cookbook. It’s therapy. It’s closure. It’s my attempt to draw a conclusion to what was a very difficult time of my life, to put the unsettlement to rest. You may find it funny. You may find it bitter. You may even find it obnoxious at times. But it was what I had to say in the way that I had to say it, screaming and kicking, uncensored, crude, to boil my emotions down to something better than the ingredients of its making, a consommé of the nasty bits of my experience. If you find that it resonates, I’m glad that you know you are not alone. But if you don’t, then there are 80+ really fucking good recipes with it.
The book will be officially published in October but pre-order is available now. Here is a recipe preview, of page 288 if you want to be precise. I formulated the recipe list when I was still living in Beijing, but most of the book and recipes were written and shot after I left. It is spoken in retrospect, a memoir if you will, where I am better equipped to find humor in past tense. I know I have been away from this blog for quite awhile, but from now on I will be posting more regularly again and continue to share sneak peeks.
I know I should be beating the drums right now. But really, I just want to say Thank you. You’ve made a very strange thing possible in my life. Now go buy it, too.