1500 people on the waiting list!
You are now 1500 individuals waiting for Table of Gods. This means a lot to me! Writing a book is not always fun. But when it gets hard (which happens more often than not), I think of you! Knowing that real people are out there waiting to read my book is empowering. If you want to give me more motivation, tell someone you know – who loves history and food – to sign up at tableofgods.com
Below: me and my little sister Diala.
2 meetings with Assyriologists
I e-met Nicholas Postgate and Salvatore Gaspa. Both of them are known names in the field of Assyriology and Near Eastern food history. I learned a lot speaking to them – but I also realized how much I know after so many years of researching this topic. I sent all my recipes to Professor Gaspa and got helpful feedback confirming that I’m on the right track with some ideas for improvement.
5 more recipes
We added five more recipes in July. Sasqu porridge from Mari. Assyrian pea soup from Nineveh. Tinuru bread from Ashur. Ghee from Uruk. And flatbread with cheese and anchovies from Eridu. We’re soon reaching 50 recipes. But not all are done and ready to be printed. Making a recipe is a long process of researching, writing the introduction, discussing various ideas with the chefs (my parents), cooking it (sometimes over and over), and finally letting someone other than family test it.
2 new YouTube episodes
I doubted we’d have time to create two new YouTube videos in July. But we did, thanks to my sister, who does the editing. One is about the Assyrian Queen Semiramis. A woman so influential that Shakespeare wrote about her 2,000 years after her death. The other episode is a short movie about the Babylonian epic of creation – Enuma elish. I’m not going to spoil anything, but it’s a riveting story about how the universe was created, the great war between the gods, and how humans came into existence.
Current status and goals for August
“Be prepared: When you have 90% of a large project completed, finishing the final details will take another 90%.” I laughed when I first read this quote by Kevin Kelly. Table of Gods was publishable already two years ago. But I was certain I could improve it with more time – which I have. I’ve never been more excited about the book and can’t wait to release it – although it scares the shit out of me. The plan is still to complete the book by December 2023. And so far, it’s progressing according to plan. In August, I aim to finish writing all the recipes so that I can return to the travel guides that every chapter starts with. That part of the manuscript is already done and waiting for my first edit :)
Books I read this month and some recommendations
Sapiens – a must-read for anyone interested in history and humankind. Hobbit – I can’t recall how many times I’ve reread it, but it’s my favorite fiction book and much easier to start with than The Lord of the Rings (if you want to enter the world of the great Tolkien). Tasting History by Max Miller – a book with many short stories from history connected to food and recipes (although some stories are so good, this cookbook would do well even without recipes). Peak – a book about how anyone can do extraordinary things with deliberate practice, focus, and consistency (a tough read but highly recommended if you like optimizing your performance). The Sopranos Family Cookbook – a cookbook not only for Sopranos fans but for anyone who enjoys reading lighthearted cookbooks with more than just recipes. Enuma elish by Ola Wikander – I read it to be able to write the manuscript for the YouTube episode.