I wasn’t sure how I felt about finding one of my cookbooks at Dollarama.
Dollarama is like any other dollar store. Florescent lights shine down on crammed aisles filled with everything from cheap coloured pencils, wrapping paper, glass vases and gardening gloves. Sometimes useful things. Often soulless things. Always cheap things. That’s why it’s called Dollarama.
It was Ice Cream! that I found on the shelf that day. Sweet ice cream, with its bright green cover and a line up of cones – fresh mint, pine nut and ricotta, strawberry and coffee – displayed in a neat line. Ice Cream! was the second book I co-wrote with Pippa Cuthbert. We tested those recipes, me often with baby Luke in my arms as I stirred custards until they ‘coated the back of the spoon’. We wrote the manuscript, collected the props and styled the images. But there it was on the shelf, fourteen years after publication, stacked in a sea of author-less books.
Imagine the Ice Cream! journey since 2005: the factory, the shipping, the stores, the warehouses, the dust, the closing of our publisher in the UK, the new publisher in the US, the shipping containers, new stores, new boxes, new warehouses, new dust. And now here, on the east coast of Canada, sitting on a soulless shelf under the florescent lights. It was Buzz Lightyear, stuck in the grabber game at the arcade, and I’m Woody, there to save him.
I cracked it open, cringed at the $4 sticker on the back, and began reading my introduction.
“Let’s face it. Serving food to friends is at least partly about showing off. Everyone needs a party trick, and personal, edible creations are on top of the crowd-pleasing list. It’s human nature. The purpose of this book is to make ice cream everyone’s party trick.”
“It’s true, younger Lindsay,” I said to myself as I placed a few copies into my basket. “Despite the harsh lighting, the sad surroundings and let’s face it, my pride, ice cream is for everyone, and should be everyone and anyone’s party trick.”
So in the spirit of ice cream for everyone, a few of you might be getting Ice Cream! as a birthday gift, and there might be remnants of the Dollarama $4 sticker on the back, FYI.