I had the opportunity to meet this inspirational Maltese woman who finds the time to cook and blog with a full time job. Currently working on the Letter R for Rabbit, Emma tells me all about her cooking expeditions, and how her blog has evolved from a recipe per letter into a mini venture where she offers her own unique food products at artisan markets. She also shares with me some tips on how to organize a big Christmas lunch which keeps people eating from 12 till 6 pm as well as reveals her hamper-filled Christmas plans.
Throughout her gastronomic journey Emma has merged her design and architectural skills with her culinary talent to create food that not only tastes good but also looks just as appetizing. With the help of her partner, Matthew, who designs her packaging, Emma takes vivid photos of her cooking and creates a very stylish blog. This year she’s preparing a deconstructed lasagna for Christmas lunch – How’s that for architecture?
For every letter, the tech savvy blogger scouts around food blogs for delicious recipes to try out. She then adapts the recipe to her own cooking style. Emma chose to follow the alphabet as she wanted to create a different and challenging blog. The sequence has created mouth watering suspense for her readers and she often receives suggestions as to what to cook next.
Emma’s first success was at Patches Fair where she sold her very own savory jams including sun dried tomato jams and onion chutneys. The unexpected response from customers encouraged Emma to create gift packs for Mothers’ Day and similar events. Undaunted, Emma then tried her hand at catering parties for friends. Her first event was a birthday party hosting 60 people, a crazy venture which turned out to be one of her biggest achievements so far.
As the end of the year approaches Emma’s attention has now been drawn to Christmas time. She’s preparing Christmas hampers filled with gingerbread biscuits, orange scented cranberry sauce, peanut butter and pretzel chocolate truffles. She’s received so many orders that she stopped taking requests weeks ago.
If that hasn’t made you hungry enough, for the second year in a row Emma will cater for a Christmas meal for all her friends. She usually spends 2 days cooking for the big event and gets a little help along the way.
‘I’m busy planning this year’s Christmas meal. I really exaggerate and make things difficult for myself. We’re around 20 people and I make a 6 or 7 course meal. ‘
How does she manage all this? The trick she says is in the organization.
“You have to be a control freak otherwise you won’t enjoy the day.”
Firstly, Emma plans the menu for her Christmas lunch. Next she writes down the ingredients and organizes the food items according to shopping aisles in the supermarket.
Shopping done, Emma minutely plans her cooking tasks for the 3 days leading up to the Christmas meal. She further breaks down the final day into a timeline according to what to cook first. Undoubtedly, the tech savvy cook has an app on her iPad called ‘Timer+’ which she uses to time all her cooking.
Future plans for Emma’s Kitchen Project? Emma tells me that things seem to happen on their own so she’ll go wherever they take her. However she does dream of one day having her own shop stocking all her homemade food.
Check out Emma’s blog and her Facebook page. It will surely whet your appetite.