The Baking Bible Tour Part 1

We thought it would be interesting and fun to share the many highlights of the book tour--the events, the wonderful people we met along the way, and the fabulous food we ate. This is the first of several postings that will appear most Wednesdays.The first leg of the tour was to Wellesley College near Boston for the Wellesley Authors on Stage series. We got to stay at the Wellesley College Club Building, reserved for alumni and visiting guest speakers. IMG_7103.jpg For dinner the night before, Woody and I chose one of our favorite restaurant from our visit to the Cambridge Culinary School a few years back. "Cragies on Main" is known for their deliciously prepared hamburgers (made with freshly ground beef and beef marrow, cooked in a combi oven and then grilled. They are not even on the dinner menu, but 18 are reserved on a first to ask for them basis. My cousin, Jed, and his wife, Suprawee, who live in nearby Newton, joined us for an order of four hamburgers and lots of good conversation. Craigies.jpg The next day, shortly before the event, I met essayist Daphne Merkin ("The Fame Lunches") and novelist Lin Enger ("The High Divide") who were the fellow authors for the lecture series. We were each asked to present our thoughts on writing our books and the process involved to bring them to the printed page. The event also gave me the opportunity to meet Jane Kelly of Eat Your Books. She and I have been exchanging emails and phone calls since the beginning of the year as the Eat Your Books website indexed all my recipes and writing. IMG_7112.jpg We also seeing Sean Leonard, Director of Recreational Programs at Cambridge Culinary. IMG_7106.jpg My story of "The Baking Bible", which was quite different from the other two authors, as cookbook writing is also technical writing and involves many production steps from testing to style photography to index referencing, not to mention highly essential proof reading to ensure that the recipes work. IMG_7113.jpg My lecture began humorously about my virtually having had no chance what-so-ever to get admitted to Wellesley as an undergrad, but that half a century later I am here as a lecturer to a mostly alumni audience whose classmates I might have been. A book signing session followed the lecture, with a quick exit and a box lunch to make it on time to our next event in New York City. We were thrilled to discover that fellow lecturer, Daphne, needed a ride to New York and so joined us for the trip. We had so much to say to each other at one point we missed the turn off and had to back track, however we made it to The Whisk exactly five minutes from the start of our event. The Whisk is a great kitchenwares and cookbooks store and a delightfully appropriate and intimate venue for our book launch. IMG_7166.jpg IMG_7165.jpg Prior to our trip, Woody made over 200 of one of my favorite cookies from the book, his Pepparkakors. They were served with goat cheese and wine. Pepparkackors.jpg Friends, relatives, and several of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's staff came to join us. Our dearest Eunice, who was our culinary student staff helper from the KitchenAid Epicurean Classic over 5 years ago greeted us with hugs. IMG_7151.jpg We were so happy to see so many of the people who made our "Baking Bible" my magnum opus book: editor, Stephanie Fletcher; book designer, Alison Lew; stylist baker, Erin Mc Dowell, and Natalie Chapman (not captured by Woody's camera). IMG_7159.jpg Alison.jpg IMG_7161.jpg Cookbook writer and longtime cherished friends, Elizabeth Karmel and sister Mary Pat made the book launch extra special. IMG_7164.jpg The evening ended with a short trip to the Neuehouse Artisan Production House to unload our equipment, props, and baked display items for the following morning's event: my Satellite Media Tour sponsored by Davidson's Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs. A special posting of this event, with a videocast link of my appearance via satellite for the San Diego market, is posted here.