Easy Cooking from Nina’s Kitchen is a recipe book, yes, but it also reads like a story book, every recipe comes with a memory or story that I have around that particular recipe. I don’t think my stories are unique, I think most people with an Afrikaans background will have similar stories. So if you read it and it evokes those wonderful childhood memories in you, cherish them and share them with your children, how else will your family’s legacy live on? Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think I could write a book, let alone a recipe book, but I guess if it was meant to be part of my journey here on earth, it was bound to happen. May I share the process with you…
I think the fact that I was blessed with a happy childhood, filled with food memories, helped a lot! The stories were always there, I had to just unleash them! It was quite a lonely journey at times, after all writing a book is not exactly something you can discuss with everybody or share online, so every day it felt like I just eloped into my creative cave, only to surface at night when I had to start the family meal! In my mind however, I never surfaced from that cave so I think my family at times experienced me as “not interested” or “otherwise occupied”, but I pray they will forgive me! In February last year, my family went to Knysna on a waterpolo tournament and left me at home to finish my book. On their return, my son had an aortic aneurism and you can imagine what happens to ones creative juices in times like these. Three of the chapters in my book, I wrote with the help of Ritalin and the grace of God ….. it never crossed my mind that I could ask for an extended deadline…… (I will however never tell which three it was!)
May I at this point just say….. if you think a teacher’s red pen on a Gr 12 essay is bad news, I pray you never have to deal with a chapter to proof read that has gone through the scrutinizing eyes of the proof readers. Oh my gosh, if your self esteem is not good, this will send you over the edge. I did learn so much from this process and I think my writing, my spelling and my ability to format recipes have improved quite significantly. I could never have done it without the amazing team at Random House/Struik. Always ready with words of encouragement, praise and recognition! Linda, you and your team are truly amazing! Thank you so much!
Annelize Luckhoff and Helen Henn
I think we all have recipe books with many little scraps of paper with recipes written in mom or granny’s handwriting and I wanted to capture “that feel” in Easy Cooking from Nina’s Kitchen. After just 1 meeting with Helen Henn, the designer from Random House Struik, she knew exactly what I wanted and slowly and with so much care and patience, she created what you hopefully have in your hands today. Like Herman Lensing so rightfully commented………….. “an heirloom ( ‘n erfstuk!)”. Thank you Helen!
What will a cookbook be without drool worthy photos! Donna Lewis needs no introduction and she is the much sought-after photographer for Taste Magazine, Fresh Living and Sarie and trust me, she knows all about drool worthy photography! She was my first choice for a photographer and the day she became part of this creative machine, was one of the happiest days of my life. In true Donna fashion, she would start each shooting day with: “Come on people, let’s make some magic” and then preceded to do just that. Thank you Donna, for putting my dream in visual form for everyone to enjoy!
Yvette Pascoe, the food stylist came on board, thinking she will help with cooking, cleaning and assisting. Yvette, or better known to my husband as the asparagus whisperer, you made magic for Donna and I could not have done it without you, yet your humility and passion for the industry is something I will cherish forever. Thank you!
The day I walked into Annelize Luckoff’s house for one of her stunning mosaic artworks, I saw a bowl of fruit on a cupboard in one corner of her kitchen and knew instinctively: “This is where I want to create this dream!” The problem was, how to ask someone if it will be ok to take over their house for three weeks….. with props, food, cooking, people, stylists, lights etc? Without hesitation I asked and without hesitation Annelize said “YES”! Annelize’s house is something to behold and everyone who attended my Market Day book launch will agree, you can spend an entire day just drinking in every beautiful corner of that house. Annelize was like a mother hen, quietly going about her own business, but come tea time, she would stop the entire crew for a tea break on her beautiful stoep. Tea served in beautiful vintage teacups and Morning Glory muffins to die for. Amazing! Easy Cooking from Nina’s Kitchen is what it is, because of you and your family! Annelize, you and your family have written in my heart forever and I cannot wait for the next book and to use the other beautiful items in your house!
How can I even begin to think that I could do this with any one of you! Des, you and the children are my anchor and safe landing space and “Thank You” does not seem enough, but I am forever grateful for everything you guys do and mean to me! My greater family…… I am so grateful to be a part of this amazing institution called “A Family!”
This book was not written with foodies in mind. Easy Cooking from Nina’s Kitchen was written for the novice cooks, the insecure cooks, the aspiring cooks and the time-is-my-enemy-cooks. The recipes are easy, affordable and made with ingredients that are easily available. A book that you will hopefully use daily and a book that will become an heirloom even in your home! My favorite recipe in the book is without a doubt the Roasted Pork Belly, simply because it is so easy and simple, yet so flavorful and delicious!
Easy Cooking from Nina’s Kitchen is available at all major bookstores, yes, even Woolworths!
Also available in Afrikaans as:
Maklike Etes uit Nina se Kombuis
You can order online at: