I held my second Books & Bakes literary and food salon last night with another ten people. Mirtha made her Latin menu again, and I baked a red wine chocolate cake with a red wine chocolate glaze. I think the night went really well -- so interesting how different the two groups were and how different the conversation and discussion. This group was a mix of close friends, people I don't see very often but whom I really like, my friend Sally from San Francisco, and a woman whom I'd never met who found the salon through my blog! I felt so privileged to be in all their company and grateful that this small dream came true. I can't wait until next month when we'll be discussing Monique Truong's novel The Book of Salt and eating, probably, a combination of French and Vietnamese food. Although it's quickly filling up, I still have some spots in both groups on February 13th and February 27th, so email me if you're interested!
Interesting fact: The Book of Salt is a novel about a Vietnamese chef who works for Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. When I originally envisioned this salon, I fancied/dreamt of a bohemian type thing with women and men and artists and writers and musicians and thinkers and cooks who come and go. I've always fantasized about being a sort of Gertrude Stein with a monolithic head (physically, not figuratively) and body, married to a small woman who adores me. Ha! So weird that I picked that book and it's about them! I guess there are no accidents.
Another Interesting fact: Monique Truong worked on the manuscript of her book while a resident at Hedgebrook, the place that awarded me a residency in June! I only learned that when I read through her acknowledgements. What are the chances? I think that's a good omen, no?