Brown Eggs and Jam Jars

First things first: I’ve missed this space. Have I returned to stay? I’m not sure, but I had to tell you about my book. My book!
Brown Eggs and Jam Jars: Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites follows a year of seasonal eating on
my urban homestead — with family at the centre of it all. I share more than
one hundred recipes that have a touch of nostalgia, feature natural
ingredients, and boast plenty of love. And because I love being insanely useful, each chapter has
two extra features: one on urban homesteading and one on kids in the kitchen.


Brown Eggs and Jam Jars will inspire you to connect your family and food right where you are in life — from growing your own tomatoes to making a batch of homemade pickles. It’s packed with practical tips and tutorials and features a collection of all-new personal food essays.

For the next week or so, I’m offering a special gift. If you pre order the cookbook (kind of a big deal for book sales) I’ll send you a bonus recipe bundle with eight all-new recipes. Simply pre order the book from any of your favourite online book retailers and then fill out the form HERE.

Want to read what people are saying about Brown Eggs and Jam Jars? Head here.

I’m doing a small book tour and would love to meet you! Here are details:

  • TORONTO: All the Best Fine Foods. 1101 Yonge Street. Thursday, February 12, 5-7PM.
  • VANCOUVER: Barbara-Jo’s Books for Cooks, Saturday, February 14, 2-4PM
  • SMITHERS, BC (my hometown): Two Sisters Cafe, Sunday, February 15, 2-4PM
  • AUSTIN, TX: Métier Cook’s Supply, Saturday, February 21, 1-3 PM.

I’ll be updating this space with additional dates and locations (Brooklyn! Montreal!) soon.

Thank you ever so much for the support after all these years. It means the world to me. Remember, you can keep up with my kitchen adventures over on Simple Bites. I’ll see you there.

Weekend links

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving long weekend, fellow Canadians!

Weekend links

It’s been pure bliss to be back in my own kitchen after our road trip. I’ve wasted no time creating a sink full of dishes, and still the requests continue to come in from the boys for their favourite foods.

Here are a few links I’ve enjoyed this week and a few more reasons to stay in the kitchen a little longer…

Have a wonderful weekend, all.

Summer Bucket List: Make a cookbook

It’s August. That sticky month where summer exhales in a warm breath on your neck, smelling of freshly mowed grass and rich dark compost.

Normally I’d be writing about the latest backyard barbecue or late night canning session, but this summer is scripted completely differently than the last, oh, thirty-four or so. Social events, garden work and home preserving have taken a backseat to my latest occupation: book writing.

I’ve been so busy and completely immersed in this project, that I’ve neglected to share with you just exactly what ate up part of June and most of July.

It’s called Brown Eggs and Jam Jars and is slated for release in Spring of 2015 by Penguin Random House. You can read more about the cookbook on Simple Bites – and even sign up for a nifty newsletter of sorts.

 Image by Tim Chin

While book-writing sounds like I am ensconced all day at a private (and tidy) desk in my sunny loft, dreamily tapping out my food memoirs, what actually is happening is much more frantic.

Any given week could involve pages and pages of list-making-recipe-scribbling-ingredient-brainstorming-headnote-musing, dashing all over the city sourcing ingredients, recipe testing with three kids around and underfoot, eating and testing again, dishesdishesdishes, hurried antique prop shopping with very unhurried shop owners, more dishes, more eating, and then writing, some, but never enough.

Then there are the weekends of the photo shoots, which we are doing one chapter at a time, to capture our family food life directly amid the seasons of this produce-driven cookbook. Again, lists and more lists. Staying up late to iron the linens, buff the props, and clean up my gardening nails – if I’m lucky.

The morning of the shoot comes quickly and I am in the kitchen preparing each dish for its turn in the spotlight, looking for the heroes among the ingredients – that ruby red tomato, a perfect cluster of radishes, the evenly browned bun, and the diamond-shaped grill marks on the featured protein.



Image by Tim Chin

At some point in the day, I’ll rush out of the kitchen, round up my kids, dig feverishly through their drawers for something- anything– that doesn’t clash terribly or have Ninjago on the front (pre-laid out outfits for the whole family? Haha, I wish), scrub their faces, and march them outside to the garden, or wherever we are shooting that day.

I’ll draw a curtain at what happens after that, but lets be honest and admit that a small amount of bribery is offered and a good number of stern words are emitted before the shoot is half over. They’ll thank me later.

I had big plans to hire a virtual assistant, send my kids to day-camps and recruit guest bloggers for Simple Bites, but of course none of that happened. Instead I am fitting this new project into our life, weaving it into the day to day, and giving up other time consuming things.

I’ve relinquished my garden to nature (not entirely by choice, though that is another story completely), I won’t watch another minute of TV until Downton Abbey returns, and I have a tidy set of auto responses written to ship out to inquiries, invitations and opportunities that come into my inbox.

No more. Not now. This is my season to put my head down and write this book. 

It could very well be Christmas before I post here again. It is yet another area where I am giving myself grace to lay aside until time permits. You know where to find me in the meantime.

Time Out

 

The lights of The Strip from the window of my limo, a mesmerizing fountain that moved to the music of ‪Andrea Bocelli‬, sipping bubbly ‪V‬euve Clicquot while touring a private collection of Picasso’s work – last week was just a little out of the ordinary for this urban homesteader.

I’ve just returned from Las Vegas, where Saveur and the Bellagio hosted a group of food bloggers for the BFBA’s awards. What an amazing time.

Catch the story and the back story over on Simple Bites.