At the end of April 2016, a few months after my youngest son had moved to Wellington for uni (my eldest was already in Melbourne), my husband also left to explore a new life. Going from being a wife and mother to single and alone in a few months really knocked the stuffing out of me. My husband and I had been together for 32 years, since I was sixteen years old, so when he left it was huge. I came ‘unstuck’ (sounds better than unhinged), hence the name of my book and for anyone going ‘aha!’ you might also note that the title reflects my name ‘S.Tuck’.
I felt like I no longer had any purpose in life, my darling babies were grown men and didn’t really need me much any more, and my husband had moved on. So. I cried a lot. I didn’t eat much of anything, drank a lot of whisky and tested the patience of my dearest friends and family with hours of crying, ranting, and general desperate self-centered-ness. Finally I managed to get my sh*t together enough to have the odd good day, and thought – God, I can’t be the only person who falls apart like this! I need a focus, I’ve always wanted to do a cookbook and I would love to help others – maybe I can combine the whole bloody lot…so I did.
Coming Unstuck is the result – the chapters are slightly mad with ‘start the day right’, ‘sad arse dinners for one’, ‘share the love’, ‘the sweet stuff’ and more. There are dinners that you can make just for yourself (easy, quick and tasty), family-style meals, dinner party fare that isn’t a mission to prepare as well as breakfasts, nibbly bits, fridge/cupboard stuff, desserts and baking.
Not being one to shy away from a challenge I decided I would self-publish (also ‘cos I am a total creative control freak when it comes to my work), and I was bloody over the moon to have Pog (Henry) as lead designer on the book. I created a brief and his design was so spot-on it was like he could see inside my head – and I am so grateful to have had this chance to work with him (and the lovely Hattie who worked alongside him). Of course nothing is ever really a solo effort and all my fabulous team are mentioned at the end of the book – thanks guys!!!