Since this morning, I have been trying to find more eloquent words than that immediate utterance. But what the hell — that immediate utterance is still the most eloquent I can find. A James Beard award.
Normally, we just keep plodding along, one dish at a time, one set of paragraphs after another. I have a few more pieces about our California trip to share, and I was just going to keep publishing them without mentioning this. But seriously? This is the James Beard awards.
James Beard still inspires me with the work he did decades ago. His enormous curiosity and force-of-nature personality are well documented. But fact is, he was a darned good writer. I keep dipping into my copy of his American Cookery as a touchstone for the cookbook we’re creating, American Classics: Reinvented. (We’re coming up on the deadline for the manuscript soon.) Beard’s influence keeps going, like ripples in the water, in the imaginations of chefs and food writers everywhere. The James Beard awards are a little like the Oscars of the food world.
Danny and I are gobsmacked.
We’re happy for the recognition, of course. But we’re also both happy that gluten-free food as a whole is now recognized as just as worthy of celebration as traditional American cuisine. Danny and I are both proud of this book. The focus we found on everyday food for people who like to cook, for a more balanced recipe list than simply cupcakes and other baked goods, the diversity of flavors from around the world, and the constant inspiration of what’s in season — that’s still our focus today, in every meal we eat. The cookbook we are finishing soon is celebration food, holiday food, food to be shared with your family on special occasions. (Splurge food, to be honest.) It has been a blast to create this cookbook. We’re proud of it too. But daily, we return to the kind of food we shared in Gluten-Free Girl Every Day. There’s more to gluten-free food than cookies.
If you haven’t found yourself a copy yet, you might want to try it.
Whenever someone compliments Lucy on her kind eyes or a new outfit, she usually remembers what to say. But occasionally, I still lean down and whisper in her ear: “What do you say when someone gives you a compliment?”
“Thank you!” she shouts.
Thank you, James Beard foundation. But more, thanks to all of you who have cooked out of our book and enjoyed your meals. We’re going to keep making food for you.
Here we go. We’re heading onto the open road, not sure where we’re going, and doing it all joyfully, gluten-free.
New York, Pennsylvania, and New England we can’t wait to meet you.
As you might know, we recently launched our latest cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day. Thank you to the many of you who have written to say how useful you have found it, how many nourishing meals you have made for your family. We’ve loved seeing photographs of your kids eating avgolemono soup, the biscuits and gravy you have made together, and the entire family seated at a table eating fettucine with kale-walnut pesto and oven-dried tomatoes. We love how much you love this cookbook.
But we never stop working around here. We’ve been working on our next cookbook for months. The next cookbook we are creating is called American Classics, Reinvented. Were taking classic, comfort dishes of the United States and reinventing them, gluten-free. In order to create the best cookbook we can for you, we want to meet you. And we want to experience the foods you love and miss the most in your hometown.
This is an incredible country, far more friendly and connected than the news would have us believe. We want to sit at your tables, shop at your farmers markets, and experience life where you live. And then well convert many of your favorite recipes to be gluten-free, so you can share them with your families for years to come.
Starting September 15th, when we land in New York City, we will be doing daily updates from the road on our website, with photos of the potlucks we will be holding, farmstands and restaurants we will visit, the farmers and makers of good gluten-free foods we will have the pleasure of meeting, and the good food we will be eating. We will also be posting frequent photos on Instagram, updates on Twitter, and recommendations on Facebook and Google+. Follow along with us as we hit the road and share the experience with you.
(And this Wednesday, we leave for 10 days in Italy, leading another culinary getaway with Jovial Foods. We’ll be updating here with glimpses of Roman food markets, pizza made in a wood-fired oven in Tuscany, the festival of lights in Lucca, and suggestions for how to order gluten-free in Italian restaurants. September is going to be one exciting month.)
Here’s the plan.
Were asking everyone who attends to bring the best food of your town to the potluck. Show us how to best represent your part of the country in our next cookbook! If you want, bring the gluten version. (This is especially for those of you who write cookbooks and blogs and can eat gluten.) On one side of the room, we’ll have the gluten foods. Danny will taste every bite and take notes. I’ll take photographs and ask him endless questions about texture and taste! We’ll both ask you questions about why these dishes are meaningful to you and collect the stories.
(Danny and I both know that our recipes will be better if he has tried the original dish. We’re lucky to be a team here.)
And of course, on the other side of the room, there will be a feast for the folks who need to be gluten-free. Danny and I will be making three dishes from Gluten-Free Girl Every Day for every potluck, as well as having copies of the book for sale. We want you to bring your favorite gluten-free dish! We’ll also have the latest and best of the food and cooking products of our sponsors at each of the potlucks. No one will go hungry.
It’s going to be an amazing party.
But for now, we’d love your help.
Starting September 16th, on this gluten-free potluck road trip tour, we’ll be doing 10 potlucks in 12 days, in the following places:
New York City eastern Pennsylvania Hudson Valley, NY Vermont Maine New Hampshire Boston Rhode Island Connecticut the Berkshires
We have places lined up in most of these states and a tentative itinerary of when we will be there. We have a specific place and time for NYC and for the Berkshires. Those are set. But in some of these states, we need spaces. We’re looking for venues and people to help us set this up. All we need is a space. Some kind of big room, community center, someone’s home? We will have all the dishes and glasses and everything we need for serving, plus ingredients for cooking. So we will just need a space, some tables, access to a kitchen and people to share all this food!
We also want to visit a farm every day along the way, to meet and honor the people who make our food. Do you have farms you love you think we should visit? Restaurants that serve great, nourishing food that happens to be gluten-free? Cheese makers? Charcuterie makers? We want to know the best of your part of the country.
We’d love your help with this. And we’d love to feed you.
So, go! Fire away with suggestions and ideas. Feel free to email me at shauna@glutenfreegirl if you don’t want to leave it in the comments section. As venues and times become more clear, we’ll give you exact details in the coming days and weeks.
Danny and Lucy and I cannot wait to meet you.
p.s. Hey folks in the South and the Midwest! We’re coming to you in February and March!
We want to send out a huge thank you and acknowledgment of the good companies that have come forward to sponsor this American Road Trip Potluck Tour for us all.