I know. It's a big deal. I've known it was happening for over two months now, but I've been keeping it a secret because, well, FEELINGS:
1. I didn't want to jinx it. But really it was more than that. I've tried and failed at so many things at this point in my career, that I have gotten very good at bracing myself for things to not work out. I had originally wanted Sidesaddle Kitchen (the inception of my tagline RAW VEGAN NOT GROSS btw) to be a wholesale business, selling sweet treats to coffee shops and markets. There were a few problems though: First, I was afraid to charge enough for my products because I was embarrassed that I was selling "yuppie food" that I couldn't afford to buy if I wasn't making it myself. I would sell out at farmers markets and still couldn't pay my rent! Second, I was more interested in telling people how to make it themselves than selling it to them. People would ask me questions at the markets and I would get their emails and follow up to give them my recipes, tell them about how I crafted my signs, or send them links to websites they should be following. FYI this is NOT how you run a business! I made wedding cakes, catered parties, and tried a hundred different things, but was never making money. All this is to say that I became very familiar with the feelings of failure and disappointment.
2. I'm a little scared. And by a little I mean a lot. Wait, am I not supposed to say that? BECAUSE I DEFINITELY AM. What if my recipes are boring? What if my publisher thinks I'm a bad writer? What if everyone hates my book? What if everyone hates me? What if the whole world starts doing #froobs and my #froobs are rendered obsolete? (jk I'd be pumped if that happened!) Really though, my sensitive introverted anxious self is having an anxiety-thon.
3. I'm not actually a raw vegan. I just love raw vegan food. I eat cooked food (GASP!) and that will be incorporated into the book because I think it is just more practical and cost-efficient than eating all raw. And truth bomb here: I also will occasionally eat eggs from my parents' chicken coop and even a cheese stick if one of my adorable nieces hands it to me. I think the introduction to raw vegan food can be hard because it seems very intense and exclusive to outsiders. My hope is that more people will come to see that plant-based diets are not boring, dogmatic, or cult-like, because I see much more benefit for our collective health and environment if most of us eat a plant based diet than if 100 of us are extreme hard-core raw vegans.
4. Criticism Not long after I started doing the Raw Vegan Not Gross series for Tastemade I found myself afraid to say/do/make anything because I was so afraid of the criticism I'd get. People criticized my recipes saying they were too nut -heavy (they were right and I worked on that!) They criticized my voice (sorry haterz - I take after my gorgeous and graceful low-voiced mother and I'm not ashamed of that one!) They also criticized my weight, and, if you're a woman, you probably know that this digs into the deepest crevices of your soul and brings up feelings of shame, hurt, self-loathing, the whole bit -- it certainly did for me. But I decided that if I stopped doing this just because commenters told me my thighs were too big, I was missing an opportunity to offer a new voice. A big-thighed voice.
OK LAURA, ENOUGH FEELINGS.
The point is, I'm writing a cookbook and I am so excited to finally tell you that I want to explode.
It's going to be mostly RAW, all VEGAN, and definitely NOT GROSS, because you know I'm gonna put everything I've got into it.
If you'd like to get updates and be first on the list to pre-order, put your email in here (I promise I won't blast you with pyramid scheme emails!)
photo by Julia Stotz