11.35am, and I’ve finished up my small task for the morning. The plan is to spend the rest of the day on marketing and idea generation for the Gujarati Cookbook - A little bit of this, A little bit of that - that my mum Laxmi and I produced together a few years ago.
As a creative, idea generation is the most exciting part of my business as I imagine it is for any creative and when you add in food - something most of us are consuming several times a day, then we’ve got some exciting times ahead.
So I sit here on my deck on a sunny Brisbane day and reflect on how the idea for the cookbook came about and believe it or not. The name of the book was where it started, as many Gujarati and non-Gujarati Indians know the phrase - a little bit of this and a little bit of that as our mums, Ba’s, grandmothers, and elderly ladies in our family are forever using it when we are curious about what goes into a special recipe of theirs or why a dish taste so good. Because we all know when you try to emulate it - it’s never quite the same. It’s like mum has a secret spice she’s not telling you about. And perhaps for some, there is. But as I discovered for my mum Laxmi Ganda - the secret spice was simply a little bit of love... or what she would call; patience.
My brother, sisters, cousins, kaka’s, kaki’s, phoy’s, mama’s and all the other Masi’s, mama etc. names that come with being part of an Indian family will tell you whenever they come to my mum’s house she is always in the kitchen. And she will always have a stash of food in the fridge or pantry to share; Chevdo (Bhuja or Bombay mix) is always in the pantry, along with fafra, ganthiya, and if you are lucky, Banana puri and Chakri… some of my sister’s favourites.
I digress, back to how the book came about, I recall telling a friend of mine that one day I’d love to put together mum’s recipes in a book, and I’d name it ‘A little bit of this, a little bit of that’ my non-Indian friend at the time, didn’t quite get it. But I did, and that’s all that mattered. I then started sharing my other with a few people, and before you knew it, the next time I would catch up with them, they would be like, “so how’s the recipe book coming along? You know I want a few copies for myself and my family?” Mmm sounded like I needed to start being accountable for my ideas and putting my words into action as I had an interested audience. It reminds me of the difference between an idea and those who do it. I have a friend who has all the brilliant ideas in the world, and I’m like, you should research and do it - I think it’s great! Yet whether it’s fear or something else, they never seem to put it into action, then sure enough someone does, and he is like ‘hey I had that idea’ - ideas are great, but ideas do need to put into action to be able to share with the world otherwise that's all they remain as - ideas.
Share with the world. So how am I going to share this cookbook? What recipes would go in it? Where would we print it? How many pages? What about photos - do we even need photos - wow! I finally realised I had committed to no small task here to produce and sell a cookbook.