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February 2024

Do you want to be a recipe tester?

My goal is to have each recipe in Table of Gods tested by at least three people. With one recipe allocated per tester, I need 180 testers. Currently, I have just over a hundred.


So, there’s still room to join the recipe testing special forces :) Just write to and let me know what you’d like to test: vegan, vegetarian, fish, meat, baked goods, or beer. I’ll be sending out these recipes in April.


If you’ve already written to me about being a tester, no need to write again, although you’re always welcome to say hi :) Seriously, I do like to hear from you and I read and reply to all emails.

Recipe manuscript sent for review

Since I got the idea for Table of Gods in 2019, my greatest challenge has been the recipes. I’m not a chef. Not even close. But hold on for a second. What kind of cookbook author doesn’t know how to cook?


I would argue that a cookbook author is much better off knowing how to taste (assuming someone else can do the cooking, and in this case, brewing).


Thankfully, my parents have been cooking for business and pleasure their entire adult lives. And my sister is a beer brewer. Still, it took us four years to craft 60 recipes.

From the left: mom, dad, I, and my sister. In the background: Therese (food stylist), and Pelle (photographer).

Historic recipes require a tremendous amount of research. And the further back in time the recipes are recreated from, the harder it gets. Table of Gods starts in Eridu in the 4th millennium BC, before the invention of writing.


Trying to figure out what the Sumerians cooked back then, and how they cooked it, has not been an easy task. I’ve relied mostly on archaeological and botanical evidence.

One of the recipes from the Eridu chapter in Table of Gods.

But even when there are plenty of written sources, as is in the city of Ur during the 3rd millennium BC, they’re mostly fragmented. That’s also true for the first “complete” recipes written in the 18th century BC in southern Mesopotamia.


Add the importance of staying true to ingredients used at the time and place, and it can easily turn into any chef’s nightmare. Try to bake a cake without sugar or baking soda and you’ll know what I mean.

Zigguratu cake from the Assyrian capital of Ashur in the 14th century BC.

I tried to estimate how many hours we’ve put to make these recipes, from researching, to testing, perfecting, and writing. I’m certain we’ve spent close to 10,000 hours on the recipes over the four years of making them.


One recipe underwent 17 tests and a disagreement between me and my mother until we perfected it. During the quarrel I actually fired my mom, who gladly thanked me for the resignation (haha), after which I re-recruited her and we reconciled 10 minutes later.


There’s nothing in the world like a mom.


Sending the recipes to an editor marks a milestone. But it’s no time for celebrations yet. After I receive the edits in mid March, I need 2-3 weeks of adjusting before I’m sending them to all recipe testers for more feedback.

Featured on Nineveh Magazine

Nineveh Magazine wrote a piece about my work with Table of Gods and my YouTube channel. If you haven't explored my channel yet, take a look here. With episodes ranging from myths and cooking to documentaries, the channel has garnered over 300,000 views to date.

By the way 

I considered myself immune to superstars, but I must admit I was starstruck when Jamie Oliver liked one of my Instagram reels.

That’s it for this month. Thank you for following my journey. Your support means a lot!

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