Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Cook the book with a Kitchen Gypsy

The most gorgeous gaggle of women landed on my doorstep the other night and they were carrying dishes that looked so familiar... 

They were descending on my doorsteps for a modern-day book club:   San Francisco Bay Area bloggers were about to "Cook the Book".

With blushed faces and scarlet lips, each young lady was as pretty as the last and every platter they held contained something delicious.  This was a party to celebrate my new cookbook, Kitchen Gypsy: Recipes and Stories from a Lifelong Romance with Food, and we couldn't wait to sink our teeth into each recipe.

I welcomed them into my studio kitchen and for the next few hours, we cooked, drank wine and tasted, while I shared stories about the people, places and flavors which have inspired me throughout my culinary career. 

I showed them how to make the crostini with anchovies,mint and almonds that I learned in my culinary adventures in Provence from my winemaker friend, Amy Lillard of La Gramièreand the questions began.  "Tell us about chapter 4, getting a fly in a bottle of wine!", they asked.  

As I proceeded to tell them story after story, I could see the excitement was contagious.
Photo by Thomas Story, "Kitchen Gypsy" (Sunset, 2012)

I made Arroz con Pollo, which harkened back to my days after college while living in Boston, and placed it on the table amongst the many dishes they’d brought.  Dana put the finishing touches on her Little Gem Salad with Pickled Cucumbers, Toy box Tomatoes and Green Goddess Dressing.  As she brought it to the table, there were a lot of "oohs" and "ahhs".  

There was the familiarity of my great grandmother Lettie’s Lightning Cake that Karen made.  She’d picked the strawberries from her garden and even made the strawberry jam.  Brittany asked, ”Why is it called a Lightning Cake?”.

“Read the story!” I said with a laugh.  “It’s as quick as lightning to make is what my mother always said.” 

“Another glass of wine anyone?”.

“I was so nervous making my tabbouleh” Lauren said.  “Cooking for Joanne Weir!?  That’s scary!”.

A few others jumped in. “You were scared too?”  said Rebekah.

“So was I!” I said.  “Imagine me entertaining 12 bloggers who love food, love to cook and are great at writing about it.  I was nervous too.  I hope my Arroz Con Pollo is good!”.

Camera’s snapping a very full table. 

“Come on, let’s eat!” cried Rena.  

"This book was a labor of love and so was this meal." I said.  "Thank you for sharing the evening with Kitchen Gypsy".
Needless to say, it was a delicious night.

Bon Appetit!
-the "Kitchen Gypsy"

Hungry for more?  Get your copy of Kitchen Gypsy 
and cook the book with us:

Delightful Crumb - Stacy Ladenberger   

A Side of Sweet - Kelly Huibregste 

A&B Style - Rebekah Carey

Susannah Chen (Williams-Sonoma digital editor and personal blogger for many sites)

Farminista's Feast - Karen Pavone 

Kampala Wines Blog - Lauren Barnard

Pacific Heights Wine and Food - Teresa Rodriguiz

PureWow - Allison McCarthy 

Tablehopper - Dana Eastland 


Unknown said...

Hats off to our gracious Kitchen Gypsy hostess for opening your home and your heart to all of us. Thank you, Joanne, for sharing your wonderful culinary journey and recipes in this new cookbook. I will treasure it, and our evening together, always.

Susannah Chen said...

Had such a blast with you, Joanne! Thanks so much for having us. One for the books!