recipes to share with the people you love
In October 2017 I published my first cookbook, Coming Unstuck. I wrote it in the aftermath of my marriage break up – left with an empty nest and no purpose the words and recipes flowed onto the pages as I found a reason for being in communicating my experience. I shared recipes for one, that I created once I got my appetite back, sweet treats and healthy bites, and meals that I cooked to gather my friends who had supported me, and to show my gratitude. I finished the book feeling proud and full of hope for the future.
This book has been a different beast entirely. It has taken me three years to put together, as I have experienced the on-going life of a middle-aged singleton. As I started Stuck Together, I felt that anything was possible, that love, and a relationship were conceivable (and I still do). The book reflected that sense of joy. As time passed I realised that although possible, this outcome was by no means a given and the book changed, it became a recognition of the fact that ultimately we are in control of our own dreams and emotions, successes and failures, and that we must rely on ourselves to get stuck (back) together. Later the mood of the book changed again as it became a tribute to new-found single friends battling the same experiences, a shared sisterhood of uncertainty and triumph.
And here it is – all of those things, because they are all true – like life is a papier mache of experiences and opportunities, so is Stuck Together – a book for the messy reality of life, complete with euphoric moments and disappointments, stress and laughter, energy and lethargy, love and loss.
Within its pages you will find delicious weekender breakfasts, nibbles and cocktails to get the party started, and loved up dinners for two. There are fancy feasts to share with friends and simple solutions for afterwork, delicious sides, decadent desserts, and my naughty little secret fridge and pantry secrets.
In the last few years I have moved house and started my current job as editor of dish magazine, both of my grown up sons have returned home (with one still here), and I have dated. I can confirm that dating in your 50s is in some ways no different to in your teens. Rushes of excitement and lust, beautiful first kisses and hands touching, shared laughter and vulnerability. It is also completely different, it is about hair colour and waxing, makeup and soft lighting, and despite how that sounds, scars and wrinkles and being confident in your own skin. It is too much time spent waiting for tardy text replies, it is ubers and dinners out, walks of shame and skipping along, laughing with happiness.
These last three years have been a roller coaster. And here I am, looking forward to the next three with a (slightly more seasoned), sense of hope and excitement. I have hope for you too, that Stuck Together will provide you with recipes that bring you joy for years to come – for whatever part of the rollercoaster you are on.