Beyond the Kitchen

We’ve Grown Up Together

We’ve really grown up together… which, is a weird thing to think considering I was supposed to be fully grown when I started this blog 9 years ago at the age of… 26 or 27. Math is vague (a VERY false statement, but true for my brain at the moment).  

This year’s book tour travels have been  a very happy, nearly overwhelming brain-bender for me.  In large part because you, those of you who have come out to signing and demonstrations, are incredibly generous humans.  Generous with your time and energy and enthusiasm. 

So very many of you have told me about how you started reading my blog when you were in high school… and now you’re finishing nursing school.  You’ve told me that years ago you made a boy you were dating the Chicken Pot Pie recipe you found on my site and now the two of you are getting married.  You’ve told me how you’ve taken my recipes away to college, into your first kitchen, into aany kitchen at all to help you through law school and med school and makeups and breakups.  Let me just say… you are impressive and resourceful- baking your way through the ups and downs.  

What I realized somewhere between the Seattle and Portland book tour stops is that dang… we’ve really come a long way together.  High-fives all around.  

Very often before I start talking at a book signing I try to disarm people, to break all the stares and seriousness with some laughter. I encourage people to ask me questions about cats… mine or theirs, relationships… mostly theirs, and baking… every sort. I do warn that, at best I give mediocre advice, and… with at least a few chuckles, both you and I are at ease.  

At one of my last signing in Philadelphia, a sweet young man (he was 25… I was nosey and asked how old he was) asked me for relationship advice.  “For me or you?” I asked, which I now understand to be a ridiculous question.  “In general.” In GENERAL!? Good Lord.  What do I know?  The words “Do it all the way” came out of my mouth.  Love like you don’t know that it might hurt sometimes, or eventually, or at all.  Love big and fearlessly.  And he looked at me and I marveled at how steady he was with eye contact.  I signed the book to his long distance girlfriend in Colorado and I mentioned them cooking together so basically… they’re married now.  

This advice translates to just about everything… do it big-ly and fearlessly.  That’s what I’ve tried to do here for the last good-many years and I’m so thankful that you’ve joined me in it.  From what you tell me, that’s how you’re living your life too.  I’m proud of you. I hope you’re proud of you.   

As a friendly and pretty embarrassing reminder, here’s some of my growing over the years on Joy the Baker.  This is basically the equivalent of posting my middle school school picture sooooo- you’re welcome / I’m sorry:

On Turning 21.  Lessons on rum and jerks. V. important. 

Things I’ve Learned in 30 Years.  In every situation, consider the likelihood of skinny-dipping.  Act accordingly.  

I Accidentally Saw A Picture of You  The trolls really had a love-fest over this one thankyouverymuch.

What It’s Really Like.  Answer:  harder than it looks.  

This is 32.  Hm… so even 4 years ago I knew that I couldn’t pass for 28?  But… how about now?  Maybe, now?  (That’s delusion talking and I’m currently ok with it.)

I truly am thankful for you.  

More soon,

Joy