I am a very lucky girl. I have this super cool friend, her name is Corey, and she is pictured above with none other than Dorie Greenspan. It was fitting that I met one of my idols while on a San Francisco adventure with Corey. Corey introduced me to Dorie. In fact, I have been using Corey’s Baking book all this time. How bad am I? I borrowed it and never wanted to give it back. I love that book. I cook from it all the time. I even wrote notes in it. Everyone that likes to bake (or is not sure how they feel about baking) should own that book. Corey is such an awesome friend that not only did she willingly make a long trek, go to a cookbook signing, sleep in a bit of a sketch hotel, (it was super hard to get a hotel room in San Francisco) and take the train back by herself, but she bought me my own Baking: From My Home to Yours. And Dorie signed it for me. I will treasure that book forever. Every time I open that book I will think of two women that I love and admire.
Corey and I left the kids with our respective hubs and hopped in the car and made a pit stop in Berkeley. 4th Street is an adorable street with cool shops and Bette’s Diner. I have walked passed this cute little diner a few times and either it was packed or not time to eat, but I have always wanted to try it. The host was an adorable German man (who Corey charmed with her conversational German) and even though there was a 40 minute wait, we were seated in less than 2 minutes. It felt like being at home in New Jersey. There was scrapple on the menu and some serious Lox and latkes. I left a very happy, not to mention full, girl.
We did a little shopping and then headed to Omnivore Books on Food to go to the cookbook signing and meet Dorie. Do you remember that sweet little book shop from You’ve Got Mail? The perfectly quaint shop with exquisitely edited selection? This is the cookbook version of that bookstore. This store is a place that I could happily call home. I love cookbooks and collect them. I wanted to stay there all day and sit on the floor and browse through cookbooks. The owner, Celia, sells vintage cookbooks. These books are treasures. My mom has some of these books in her basement and next time I am home I am going resurrect them. There are many events at this store and this month alone, Tyler Florence and Madhur Jaffrey will be there to read and sign. Not to mention the other notable cookbook authors coming to her shop. If you are ever in San Francisco, please do yourself a favor and visit this store. As Rachel Zoe would say, “I die.”
We arrived early to the signing to snag seats, and met some wonderful people. The thing about food people that I love so much, is that there are just so nice. I sat next to complete strangers and within minutes I knew so much about them because everyone can relate to food and eating. We chatted about favorite books and recipes and by the end we were all friends.
Then Dorie arrived with her perfectly adorable husband Michael. I am at a loss for words to describe what Dorie is like in person. Adorable. It really and truly sums up her appearance and her infectious personality. She is a teeny, tiny wisp of a person, yet her energy is big. She came into the store and knew many of the people there. She greeted them warmly with hugs and genuine happiness to see them. Dorie told us a little bit about her new book and how it came to be. It is a written love affair with Paris and the food that Parisians eat in their own homes. She tells a great story and had the captive audience in fits of laughter throughout. The funny thing is that I feel like I know Dorie. I will take her books to bed with me and read them like a novel. Most recipes have a story behind them, recipes can be very personal, and she shares herself in her books.
Here is Dorie showing us a french cheese tray. She did a reading and told some very entertaining stories about “cutting the cheese”. The twelve year old in me, found herself giggling every time she said it. I am an embarrassment to myself. But I now know, that “cutting the cheese” in France is not to be taken lightly.
Dorie and Bree. I was very tempted to not share this picture with you because it is a horrific picture of me. I felt like a giant next to Dorie and my face is three times the size of hers. And it looks like I raided my Christmas tree and put it around my neck. Oh well. I love Dorie so much, that I posted an ugly picture of my very vain self, despite my narcissism.
I must say that Dorie is patient. Very patient. You see, Corey and I, well, we are new to the whole cookbook signing thing. We were standing in line (making friends with very lovely people- one gave us a great dinner recommendation and the others were warm and easy to talk to) and a notepad was being passed around. We must have looked like newbies because one of the very lovely women, must have sensed our confusion and told us to write the name that we wanted signed on it. We have our turn with Dorie and we Corey has mistakenly had her sign the wrong name in the book. Dorie scratches the name out and then in the confusion writes the new name incorrectly. We got a good laugh with her and left in love with Dorie and with Omnivore Books on Food.
Locals, go check out an event at Omnivore Books on Food, here is there upcoming event schedule.
Here are a few of my favorite Dorie recipes: