Messy, intuitive and fun-my cooking process

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New Perspective
Juan and I – Our first meeting
My process

Creating my web page – where it all began and who helped me along the way. This process can be daunting unless you have the right people to join you on your journey. I’m a messy person, very often inspiration just comes from looking at an ingredient. One thing leads to another and before I know it, we’ll be sitting down to a delicious meal and I’ll say “oh my goodness, this is delicious, what did I do?” I’d frantically grab a pen and any available piece of paper and write down the ingredients just to get them out of my head and down on paper. They felt safer there. I’d given them a place to stay where they wouldn’t be forgotten. This was my process.

Often in the moment of creating I was never aware of my thoughts. Pairing of flavours is often purely experiential. Tasting as I went, dashing to the fridge, pulling out another ingredient to balance the dish was how I did it. My tastebuds would be my guide. My flow-zone was messy and lacked structure and coherence. I lacked the ability to recreate consistently. When people asked me for a recipe, I very often wouldn’t be able to tell them because the process happened intuitively rather than cognitively.

Change as you grow

JK

I realised during lockdown this was how I cooked, this was my process. Sharing our daily meal on facebook required more structure. I would take a photo of all the ingredients that I intended to put in to the meal. Then I realised through the actual cooking process I needed something else that I hadn’t photographed at the beginning. This is not Hollywood, this is me in my kitchen, not going to do another take with a second lot of ingredients. My budget was tight and frugal. I would tell everyone at the beginning of the post to watch out for the “surprise ingredient” that suddenly appeared ten steps in.

what’s in a name

This had to change if I was going to write a cookbook. Accuracy and consistency is paramount. The cookbook idea has been shelved for now. It created too much stress and anxiety and I want to love my process not hate it then pack it in. This is when I decided to concentrate on my web site. I went on line to search for my domain name. In fact Darryn, Sarah’s fiancee sent me a link to domains.co.za with the question “Where can we put a 2kg order in? Not finding freshkitchen.co.za???” Now this is weird, because when I went to search for my domain name that very day on 24th April 2021, it had expired the day before. I mean what are the chances of me googling that name the very next day????? For some reason I was not able to purchase it though. I was hasty and excited. It was a glorious Saturday morning. We had just finished our run and I was amped up and eager to buy this name. I called them. I found out there was a 30 day grace period for the existing owner to renew.

Patience is not a virtue of mine

Needless to say I waited patiently in the background, ignoring the name completely. I thought if the current owners know I’m interested, they will renew their licence. There is a record of enquiries noted against the name that the owner can see via reports on the system. At midnight on 23rd May I purchased Fresh Kitchen URL. Exactly 10 years after I started my facebook page I now had my living cookbook platform. I was set and ready to go!

Let the work begin

Crikey! it felt exhilarating to own my own domain name. Now I had to load content. I had to understand what hosting meant versus managing my domain name. I was clueless about site building, web hosting, SSL Certificates, terms and conditions, SSD Cloud Servers, data security and the list goes on and on about my cluelessness. It wasn’t pretty at all. I felt completely overwhelmed. All I wanted to do was cook, create, style and photograph it. I’m fiercely loyal, but before I get to that stage I start with researching people I want to work with. My background digging and review-checking lead me to New Perspective Studio. I was impressed with what their clients had to say about them, but the final hook for ME was how Juan responded to one negative review. Let’s face it, we can’t please everyone 100% of the time, but what we can always do is handle the expectation of others graciously. I arranged to meet him face to face at one of my favourite coffee shops. I was nervous, excited and scared all at the same time, the butterflies where having a party in my tummy and I’m sure there was tequila involved.

I’ve never been one to shy away from technology, but meeting with Juan made me realise just how little I knew about this web page building stuff. Ultimately I had to provide the content for his team to build my page. I came armed with many questions and he tried very patiently to help me understand the process. I am a visual person and I needed a kiddies story book full of pictures to help me digest this monumental curve of learning. We agreed on the starting point and have grown from there.

I like to be in control to ensure I understand what’s going on, after all this is MY PAGE. I wanted to have ownership of the functionality and the back room stuff. We worked together with training wheels and google drive to get started. Eventually we took off the training wheels and I am free to do as I please. He is still here in the background giving me encouragement and support and plenty of praise. I am so grateful that we are a good fit. He truly made me feel very safe and supported. He is exceptionally professional and qualified, and his quote was within my meagre budget. If ever you have a need for his services, be sure to give him a call. I highly recommend New Perspective, they certainly gave me that to ensure I could realise my dream-come-true of starting my living cookbook that will be here as my legacy for my future generations to come. Sarah can pass these recipes on to her children and if she ever feels like connecting with home all she need do is click on www.freshkitchen.co.za to see what’s cooking, or baking or fermenting.

Join the Conversation

  1. Juan Preuyt says:

    To be fair you took the challenge head-on and nailed it. You’ve done a brilliant job in learning all this “stuff”. We created a good-looking site, we always do :P. However, after you figured out how to put things together you made it a truly unique website. One that gives a genuine vibe not just about cooking but your love for sharing with others. When I look at the websites you told me you admired now, I don’t see them as superior, only that they have had more time. Years on your +- 4 month-old baby, but in terms of content, this Fresh Kitchen is as real as it gets, and in the long term that’s always going to be the winner.

    1. Oh wow Juan Thank you so much for all your help. I really appreciate you and how passionate you are about what you do. I am looking forward to a continued working relationship with you well into the future. You rock!

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