Well, I didn't make that final pre-Christmas posting, so here's a New Year post--better late than never.
I'm plugging away on the edits--my editors at Ten Speed (Meghan Keefe and Copy Editor Jasmine Starr) are doing a fabulous job whipping the manuscript into shape, catching all sorts of things that I thought were clear as a bell, but I was wrong!, as they gently showed me. We're working on the recipe tweaks now and it may be more than just a few weeks before I get back the clean copy to send out for a final round of testing. So new testers, please be patient with me. I will try to get you a couple of basic recipes to test and send you questionnaires and FAQ material sometime after January 15th, but it may be a while after that before we get to the final round of testing of the tweaked versions. So if you want to join in the fun, write to me after the 15th and I'll bring you new testers up to speed; old timers, it will probably be another month or so beyond that before I can send you the revamped, tweaked versions, for those who want to try them.
Amazingly, there are still a dozen or more of you still testing, and I'm happy to keep sending out pre-tweaked recipes to those already on the list. I'm sure there are also many from the original group who are totally burned out on the testing process; a few, as I reported a few months ago, even dropped out because the failure of some of these recipes to perform properly so frustrated them to the point of losing confidence in their baking ability. I hated being the cause of that, I can tell you, and totally sympathize with their frustration (my confidence was rocked more than once too). But all of you, even those who tested only one recipe, have contributed mightily to making this an important book. And if you're burned out, imagine how I feel--I've been working on this project for over two years, and think about those early crock pot mash breads from last February with burnt fingers and all the horror stories I heard about. Hey, we've come a long way!
My back is well enough to allow me a few hours a day at the keyboard, but I'm about to hit my quota. Time to get up and stretch and do a little physical therapy. Thank you again, all who have sent greetings and sympathy notes. They helped me get through this. Some of you shared your own physical travails and now I'm even more impressed with your collective dedication and perseverence, and feel honored to have had you on the team.
May 2007 be a year of peace and fulfillment for us all. And, as always, may your crust be crisp and your bread always rise!