Christmas Eve we decided to make it a lobster feast. My son, Tyler, and his wife, Colette, live in an eclectic neighborhood in San Francisco’s Inner Sunset. There are several Chinese markets where fresh fish are still swimming in tanks, live Maine lobsters are clawing the glass sides of their cages, and geoduck clams have extended their, um, units searching for I don’t know what. I mistakenly called it a “piss clam” because of the, um, unit. But that’s a different sort of clam.
Yes, it really is called that. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Piss+clam.
Anyway, we were there for lobsters. Did I mention that this is a Chinese market? No English is spoken. In our case, we were able to communicate by smiling, pointing, and Tyler’s hand imitation of a clacking claw. We happily walked away with four fat and sassy lobbies.
The menu was simple due to the richness of the main course. We started with some fine champagne and salmon caviar with blinis, to be followed by our special, authentic Caesar salad which was one of the featured recipes in “It’s the Parsley,” the cookbook I put together for Tyler and Colette’s wedding in September of 2014.
As I gathered the ingredients for the tableside preparation, I casually asked Tyler, “Where are the anchovies?”
“Anchovies?!” He smacked his forehead and grabbed the book. His eyes scanned the ingredients list, and sure enough – NO anchovies!
Although it clearly says to smash the anchovies against the side of the wooden bowl, there are no anchovies listed in the ingredients.
I wrote the book! How could there be no anchovies? That is what makes the Caesar salad a Caesar! I know that. True Caesar aficionados know that. Now what? It’s 6:50 on Christmas Eve!
Tyler grabbed his jacket, “I’m going to the Chinese market. They’re open ’til 7:00. Everyone else closed at 4!”
And out the door he went. Thinking ahead, he called the market hoping to get somebody who spoke English to get a tin of anchovies and put them by the register. He spoke to a lady who did speak a bit of English.
“We close 7. We close 8 minutes. Happy Birthday!”
Tyler’s phone dinged and the message from Colette, who was working at the hospital until 7:00, said, “Look in the pantry. We have two tins of anchovies on the middle shelf.”
Now that our meal was complete, I slowed down enough for the reality to sink in. I forgot to put anchovies in the book! And now that I think about it, I also forgot to put the eggs in the broccoli ring recipe. And the can of tomato paste in Nonnie’s famous spaghetti sauce.
NO! I did not. It was the formatting of the publishing company. YES! I’m going to blame it on Blurb.
I am mortified. I spent a year on this book – gathering photos and recipes, writing the stories to accompany the recipes, and proof reading over and over. Blurb has text boxes in their formatting and if a word touches the line it gets thrown out. I wrestled with this for many hours adjusting the font size so nothing got inadvertently eliminated. I thought I got all corrected before printing. I was sure of it.
Okay, okay, out of forty recipes there are three errors. That’s less than ten percent. But. To me, unacceptable. What can I do? Recall? Nope. If you have a copy of “It’s the Parsley” take a fine-point marking pen and go to page 9. Write one 6 ounce can of tomato paste under ingredients. Go to page 31 and add one can anchovies. On page 39 you can either get a magnifying glass and read the original Family Circle recipe and see that there are four eggs, or you can write that in on the ingredients list.
I wrote this book from the heart and with great effort. I’m just now confessing to the errors. If you happen to find more mistakes, please contact me. I’m still going to blame it on Blurb!