Welcome to the Recipe Collection
Here you will find recipes for foods that might appear on the pages of my books, but didn’t have a recipe included for whatever reason, such as the Vegetarian Tacos served in How to Bake a Perfect Life. I will also post a recipe now and then that was included in the books. You might also get updated experiments here, such as the updated version of Pomegranate Baklava, and the correction for Abe’s Ass-Kicking Apple Pie, from No Place Like Home.
Hello, friends! Long time no post. It’s not that I haven’t been writing….I have. I have been experimenting with some new forms of work, largely some older young adult novels, which are super gratifying because the readers are deeply enthusiastic.
But I’ve been working in fits and starts on a book that I’ve finally had to admit is just not going to become what I want it to be. At least not at the moment. I rarely ever give up on a book completely, but this one isn’t working right now and rather than continuing to fight with it, I’ve set it aside. This was not an easy decision. I love the characters and a lot about the book, and I hope to one day figure out how to bring it to fruition.
I made the decision in the early fall, then spent quite a bit of time on the road, teaching and retreating with friends. The vistas of autumn trees in the east, and the shimmering waters of Lake Tahoe in the west, and a couple of nights in a storied hotel room in LA gave me space to think, brew, allow other ideas, which I’ve been pushing aside, to audition.
The result is something new, exciting, fresh, and I’m having a ball. More later.
It is no secret that I like to wander. When I was fifteen, I wrote in my journal that I wanted to see the world, write books, and BE HAPPY. I am rarely happier than when I’m out in the world, and I’ve just returned from a ten-day trip to New York City for a little ramble around BEA and also to see my son who lives there, then a whole week at a writer retreat in Montauk, on the very very eastern tip of Long Island.
I’d been a little tired before I left and not at all sure I wanted to go at all. The garden is finally in explosion mode, with aliums and poppies and roses budding and expanding, and I wanted to dig a lot more. The first flight was at 6 am, and I didn’t want to get up at 3 to travel….
And yet. As we drove to the airport, I felt the familiar lift of my heart–setting out to go somewhere at dawn. By the time I was settled in my little European style hotel in Chelsea, the bliss had already settled in. I walked for miles in the city, up to a publishing party where I met some friends, ducking into a noodle bar for some light supper when it started to rain. After several visits to this hotel, I know the shops in the area and the place that has organic eggs for breakfast and that somehow comforts and delights me.
The next day, I walked down to the West Village to meet my son for brunch at Blossom, and along the way, I spied a tall beauty, smoking a cigarette. Everything about her struck me–the turban and her height and her young, young face, and the cigarette, which she was going to hide when I took her picture, but I liked it and asked if she’d mind if that was part of it.
The main reason for the trip was a writing retreat with 7 other authors, at a house we rented for a week in Montauk, which is a beachy little village at the very, very far end of Long Island. I’d never heard of it before the retreat, but it is now one of my favorite places. Check out this view of the beach, on a windy Monday in early June:
We ate and walked on the mostly deserted beaches, brainstormed answers to story problems and business problems and life problems, shared stories of our lives, and filled the well. Our digs on a lake, after a rainy day. The night was so still and quiet and misty-soft that I was drawn outside and it gave me the gift of nourishment.
The sunsets were astonishing.
I was working on a new adult novel (I’m writing as Lark O’Neal in that arena, just so readers will know what they are getting) and have been world building for the next book for Barbara O’Neal. There are peaches and dogs and mystical things I am not at liberty to reveal (also it would spoil the surprise).
Here’s the whole crew:
Back row, Anne Hearn, me, Tina Folsom, Bella Andre; second row, Christie Ridgway, Sara Ramsey, Barbara Freethy, & Grace Callaway. Good times, my friends!
We’ve been tussling over the title of my next book for Bantam, but I’m happy to say I now have both a title and a date! Look for THE ALL YOU CAN DREAM BUFFET in May 2014.
It’s the story of four food bloggers who meet at a lavender farm and discover …well, you’ll just have to wait and see. I will say that I did some of my favorite research ever for this book.