What a luxury it is to read a good book. What could be better? Here's what. Being able to read that book in the author's home/writing studio while lying in an amazingly comfortable bed and after finishing the book, being able to discuss it with her after she feeds you an amazing dinner. The stuff of fantasy you might ask? You might be right but it actually happened to us. All thanks to Erica Bauermeister, author of The School of Essential Ingredients.
To begin with, the book is to be savored like a good meal. It not only tells the tale of a cooking class but also examines the subtleties of both good food and human relationships. In getting to know Erica you immediately recognize someone who is aware enough to have created the characters in her book. She treats them with the same kindness that she treats her friends and family even if she has just met the friends for the first time.
As you can see from the pictures, the view from the bed made it nearly impossible to leave particularly on gray Port Townsend, Washington mornings. Being able to escape into the cooking school class only made it
less likely that we would be up before noon. Melisse said it made her feel like we were imitating John and Yoko's bed-in, snuggled into a big fluffy cloud.
When asked if the book made me feel like eating, I replied that, no, it made me feel like cooking. Creative cooking at that time was tricky because we hit the road right after I finished the book. But inspiration struck in one campground. We had been doing one-pot meals so I found our instant mashed potatoes in Ruby G's closet and right next to it was
a jar of Trader Joe's pesto. Adding them together made a wonderful meal. This creative process was inspired by my reading.
Finally, having dinner in Seattle with Erica, her charming daughter, artistic nephew and his girlfriend was the icing on the cake. Discussing Erica's book, characters, process and inspirations over tea was, for us, a high point of our trip so far. If you are looking for a delicious book to get lost in, look no further and know that the author is authentically as warm and wonderful as her writing.
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