Excerpts from KosherEye's Interview with Pam Reiss

Author of Passover - A Kosher Collection

What is the development process when you create a new recipe?
Some of my recipes are things that I've been making and tweaking for years.  They may be based on something my grandmother or one of my parents taught me years ago, something that I grew up with but then made it my own. Other recipes take more work.  I spend days and days making lists of flavors that I think will work well together. Then I refine the lists and eliminate items or expand on them; then it's into the kitchen to test them out.  Some things work right away, others take numerous attempts until I'm satisfied with them, and some of them are disasters that don't work at all.

The book was self-published--correct?  How did you find that experience?  Would you do the same with your next book?
Correct.  Self-publishing this book is quite different from the first book.  I'm learning a lot as I go. But this time I'm the writer, along with some help from my family, the editor, photographer, designer, publisher, marketer, salesperson, etc.  It's been a lot of work and the work continues, but I'm happy with my decision to go on my own because with all the hard work also comes the ability to do things my way.

Would I self-publish again?  I think I will. I'm still learning, but I've learned so much that I can take to the next book and the theory is that the next time should be easier.

Are you thinking about the next book?  If so, what is the subject matter?
I know that there will be another book, after I take a break, but I don't know what it will be.  Originally I thought the series of books would be soup, salad, sides, entrées, etc. But over the years, between the customers in my store that ask questions about Passover and the feedback I got on Passover recipes when I wrote a column in my local newspaper, I realized that a lot of people were looking for a new Passover cookbook.  I need to figure out what else people are looking for -- maybe I'll find it is salads or maybe it will be a multi-holiday baking book. 

What are your 3 favorite recipes in the new book?
Hard question! If I have to choose. . .  Pecan Flan, Mexican Strata (with salsa and guacamole) and Herb Roasted Cornish Hens.

Will you be having a "traditional" Seder based on family favorites? For some people, it just isn't Passover Seder without the same family menu.
We often have a traditional Seder one or both nights - though one of the best-received Seder dinners my mother and I served was a rib-eye roast, chicken souvlaki, lemon roasted potatoes and a big salad!  I love to have a traditional Seder one night with a less-traditional Seder the second night.

Do you have a Passover "Kitchen Tip or Secret" to share with our readers. 
A number of my recipes are recipes that I've converted from year-round recipes to make them KFP.  Thickening soups or sauces with a couple of tablespoons of cake meal for example. When you do this in baking, you have to reduce the amount of cake meal in the recipe because the cake meal absorbs more liquid than regular flour does (for every cup of flour, about 3/4 cup of cake meal).  For instance, my regular Almond Chocolate Chip Komish recipe calls for 3 cups of flour -- the KFP version uses 2 1/4 cups of cake meal.

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