On Friday, I received the best birthday present of my life.
After a beautiful day of good food, great friends, and unplanned moments of sunshine, all of it with Danny and Lu, we returned home in the darkness. Danny carried the sleeping kid on his shoulder and I hefted bags of groceries on my arms. Waiting for us on the porch? A package.
After putting Lu in her bed, we raced back to the living room. We had a feeling, from the heft of it, what this was. We ripped it open, then gasped.
Our cookbook. On my 44th birthday — a year I have thought since I was a little kid would be a big one — the first copies of our cookbook landed in our hands.
Oh my goodness.
It is so beautiful.
We saw the photographs as they were being taken. We were involved in every part of the design decisions. We looked at these pages in print-outs, then marked them up with red pens. We have been imagining this book for nearly 3 years.
We still weren’t prepared.
We feel so lucky.
Our cookbook has a real heft to it, a substantial feeling. It’s the kind of cookbook you’ll want to curl up with on the couch, then prop up on the kitchen counter and start staining the pages with food right away. At least, that’s how it feels to us.
We think you’ll like the food in this book. The words, too.
Danny and I both feel gobsmacked by it all.
We were blessed to work with Lara Ferroni throughout the entire process of creating this book. Most cookbooks have photographs taken by a photographer the authors may not know, in a studio in New York, in four rapid-fire days of intense shooting. Instead, we worked with Lara for more than two years, shooting ingredients in farmers’ markets, our hands at work in the kitchen, Danny at his restaurant, and plated dishes that Danny cooked in Lara’s kitchen and I ran to her studio upstairs. This is an intimate, personal book, and we were so lucky to have this kind of relationship with Lara. (And we’re even more lucky that she became our friend throughout this process, too.)
We were incredibly blessed to work with our book editor, Justin Schwartz, throughout this process. He kicked my ass, figuratively. There were moments when I wrung my hands and despaired of the final book. Justin wanted the best for us and he pushed us to do better, give more, be more clear. We are eternally grateful. I’m a much better writer because of his mentorship.
There are hundreds of thank yous we could say, but you’ll read those in the book. In about 6 weeks.
Our cookbook — Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: A Love Story with 100 Tempting Recipes — will be published on September 28th, 2010.
We’ll tell you much more about it, soon. But we wanted you to know that it’s real.
Mostly, today, we are honored and thrilled to share this with you.
In the last week of July, we had a couple of glorious days with our friends Diane Cu and Todd Porter, better known to you as White on Rice Couple. These are two of the most talented, determined, and kind-hearted people we have ever been lucky enough to meet.
Truly, we could write for hours about them and not come close to their goodness.
They were here filming us, in the kitchen, in our garden, at the beach. They asked all three of us, including Lu, to cook together, grab apricots from the counter, have a picnic, and do what we do together every day.
Why were they doing this? Well, you can see for yourself here.
If you enjoyed this video, or you’d like to let other people know about our cookbook, please spread the word. Send this post in an email to everyone you know!
You see, we didn’t write this cookbook for ourselves. We wrote it for you. Truly. We also wrote it for the folks who have to be gluten-free and don’t know it yet. 1 out of nearly 100 people in the United States has celiac, and only 5% of us have been diagnosed. If people know that you can eat well and live vividly, gluten-free, saying yes to your life? Maybe more people will commit to it and find their health.
So we’d love it if you’d help other people see this video.
Oh, and buy a copy of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: A Love Story with 100 Tempting Recipes.
p.s. Diane and Todd put up a post today about making the video with us, as well as an interview they did about us, food, feeding Lucy, and writing a cookbook. If you’d like to see more, go on over there, please.