I am so thrilled to be featured in Blurb’s “Behind the Book” feature today! How did it all begin? Long before I fed big groups of kids, I fed Elizabeth. She was the first in my family of recipe testers, and like all first babies she taught her mama as much as her mama taught her.
She taught me that I love to feed people. So much that when she went away to college and her baby brother had the nerve to show signs of growing up also, I knew I had to find more kids to feed – thus the Little Flour concept was born. But four years later, as her graduation neared, I found myself distracted again by a desire to feed Elizabeth. This summer my only daughter graduated from college and started cooking in her own kitchen. I had so many things I wanted to tell her as she began this new chapter of life. At first I just wanted to make sure she knew how to bake her own favorite cake. But soon there was more. I wanted her to know how to feed herself well, and I wanted her to know the joys of feeding others. I wanted her to know how to make the cakes and breads and pies that make her happy, but I also wanted her to know that happiness is about more than good food – that the people around her table are always more important than the food that’s on her table. I had recipes I wanted to share, for meals of course, but also for life. I wanted her to start each new endeavor in the kitchen with good flour, but also with gratitude. So I’ve been cooking for her, testing recipes and remembering old favorites. And I’ve been writing for her too, reflecting not just on what to cook but why.
Dear Elizabeth is a love letter with recipes from one generation to the next. The book is equal parts cooking school, coffee date, and care package from home. Lessons cover the basics such as how to boil pasta or scramble an egg alongside reflections on the larger questions of cooking like why to make your own pie crust, where to find the best veggies, when to braise short ribs, what makes homemade bread so special, and who gets the last cookie. The more I wrote, the more I realized that I want all of our daughters (and sons too actually, though that’s the next book) to know these things. And that even those of us who’ve been cooking for decades need to be reminded why we do it every so often. So with Elizabeth’s encouragement and assistance with final edits, the book is now available for everyone, right here for the softcover kitchen edition, or here for the hardcover gift edition. For graduates and mothers of graduates and everyone in between that wants to feed herself and others with joy. And yes, chapters on baking include gorgeous step by step photography (thanks mom!) that will guide readers through the bread, pie and scone recipes that are the heart of Little Flour Microbakery. I hope this is just another way to encourage you to bake and share with those you love!