For a solid year (and more, if you count the months of planning and preparation), my life has centered around cooking all 963 of Ina Garten’s recipes in 365 days, and documenting the process along the way. I knew the end would arrive, but it wasn’t until very recently that the end was near enough for me to feel ready to ask the question, “What’s next?”
Today, two weeks from the end, having asked and answered the question about what looks life after Ina, I am ready to share with you my plans for what’s next, both personally and professionally. This is a very exciting post to write, and I hope you can feel my glee and exhilaration as I write these words!!
What excites me personally at the thought of ending the Ina In A Year project?
Primarily, I am excited to go back to cooking when I want to cook instead of when I have to cook. I am also excited to cook from my collection of beloved non-Ina recipes. I cannot wait to feel the freedom to open other cookbooks or put menus together from different sources. You know I love Ina, but being tied to only Ina recipes for a solid year was a challenge. I can’t wait to pull out several of my long-lost favorites and dive back in!
I am also excited to have more margin in my life to begin practicing hospitality in my own home. When I started the Ina project, I genuinely thought that having to cook all this food would facilitate more opportunities to share it with people, but surprisingly, that was not the case. I think the scope of the project mixed with the scope of my full time job and my role as a wife and mother really made my assumption next to impossible. There were a few occasions over the past year where we shared the food with guests in our home, but this was the exception. I have so much more to share with you on this process of relearning hospitality at home, so stay tuned for that. But in the mean time, I am excited to have more space to create space for others.
What excites me professionally post-Ina?
Moving beyond my personal excitement, I am overjoyed to continue offering you some of my favorite developments from the Ina Project. By far, the most unexpected and most rewarding byproduct of this project is the community that has developed over the past year both online and in person. This is the real gift I have received from Ina In A Year. As my community of followers began to grow, I realized how much I treasure my audience and delight in the process of offering content that provides an opportunity to engage in hospitality. In fact, I like it so much, that I have decided to keep it going.
What will this look like? Three new awesome developments are coming your way!
Did you enjoy the weekly Ina Lunches at Hurley House? Me too. Good news! They will continue, only with a new name! No longer “The Ina Lunch,” they will now be known as “The Lunch Party!” The Lunch Party…it’s like a dinner party, but at lunch! Just like the Ina Lunches, I will cook and host a weekly three course meal, and you can purchase tickets to attend. The menu will be magnificent, the table will be beautiful, and the opportunity to sit and enjoy a meaningful time of connection with others is yours for the taking.
My staff and I cannot wait to continue this superbly meaningful event. The memories and tactical lessons that have come as a result of these lunches, not to mention the amazingly delicious food, are worth every second of effort. To gather eight people around a table every week, to prepare a three course meal for them, to make the space beautiful and inviting, and to engage my heart in creating space where people feel loved and cared for, this is my passion and the mission of my business. The Lunch Party will be where I put hospitality into action, and it is where you can come and experience it first hand. Tickets are live! Click here to attend a lunch this fall.
Did you enjoy watching me cook in my home kitchen, learning about mussels, ice cream, and chicken livers? Me too!! In fact, I loved it so much, I have decided to dedicate a brand new social media platform to this endeavor! Currently, as you know, all of my content has been under the banner of Hurley House. Beginning immediately, I am going to restructure this into two channels. Hurley House (@hurleyhouse) will continue to be a place where you can see what is going on in our Fort Worth bakery, find out what’s for dinner, buy tickets to events, see our bakery case, and stay in the know regarding what we sell and offer in the physical location of Hurley House. Katherine Sasser (@katherinesasser) will be a new channel where you can continue to watch me cook in my kitchen, hear my thoughts on a range of topics including everything from hospitality to my favorite lip balm, and watch my kids’ adorable antics I am really excited about this new horizon, and I hope you will join me on both channels and stay connected.
I saved the best for last, so hold on to your hats. Starting Thursday, October 3, I am launching a weekly live video on my new Facebook and Instagram channels (@katherinesasser) where I will answer your hospitality questions. It’s called the Hospitality Hotline, and oh my gosh, it’s going to be so fun!! You have questions, and I have experience. So let’s hang out and talk about everything!
We have set up a place for you to submit your questions, and any topic is fair game! From dinner parties to school lunches, roasting chicken to reheating leftovers, managing stress before a party to navigating difficult conversations in the middle of Thanksgiving…I want to talk with you about it all! Every Thursday at 10:00, I will go live on both FB and IG, and for around 20 or 30 minutes, I will answer questions.
You can submit your question before hand, or you can submit your questions during the live video.
You can watch live on either platform in real time, or you can watch it later from an archived blog post.
This idea has been brewing for a long time, and now that I have completed my cooking marathon, it’s time to bring it to life. My hope is that the Hospitality Hotline will not only be a helpful resource for you as we learn to create space together, but also a way to continue to grow a community of people who want to engage actively in hospitality. I cannot wait to get this up and going and to see what develops along the way!
Knowing what’s next, looking at open horizons, feeling excitement to begin a new chapter, these are exhilarating realities in my life. Thank you for being a part of all of these new developments! I can’t wait to share them with you!