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.
Dearest! You where one of my first food blogs! and still on the top of my list. Your wit is what got me hooked. And strawberries. Thanks for sticking with it! *blowing kisses from Sweden
Ahhh I have all the feels now, Joy. I’ve followed you for so long (that sounds so stalkerish, which, I suppose, is kinda true). My now-husband and I talk fondly about getting to meet you at your first book tour – joypleasehelpme.com still exists, I believe lolololll. I make your french toast for my 2 kids (they’re the only ones who can have dairy these days, lol) who didn’t exist when I shared my mother-in-law woes and fear about little humans. You’ve helped me navigate the kitchen in a relatable way and I finally don’t dread dinnertime. I’m so glad we’ve been growing up together and can’t wait to see what the next 9 years bring!
I’ve not read all the posts you’ve linked to here before. I’m enjoying the wisdom, the wit and tearing up a bit as some of your wonderful words hit home.
I’ve been a lonnnnng time reader (6 or 7 years?) and love you the most! Thank you for teaching us how to bake and giving us yummy recipes and good reads! You’re a boss. Much love!
I’m so happy I found your blog all those years ago, Joy! Thanks for everything!
So beautiful, Joy! I’m glad the book tour was everything you described. Happy for you. xox
I just got the new cookbook and can’t wait to choose my first recipe to make from it! Wish I could have made it to one of your signings! Hopefully for the next one. ;) Much love to you Joy!
Hi Joy! Such a great post! I was thinking about your blog and cookbooks this week. My husband bought me Over Easy for my birthday present. Now I have all three of your books! And then Friday night I made your mushroom omelets for the two of us. When we were dating he would get so jealous (in a joking way), because I would talk about your blog all the time (and your podcast too): “Guess what Joy said?! Guess what Joy made?!” But his favorite cake recipe ever is your Texas Sheet Cake, and I make that single girl melty cake all the time, even though I am not a single girl. And he loves your food too (French onion pasta!), and the omelets were so delicious. So I guess we’ve grown up with your blog and your cookbooks too! Thank you!
I saw you in Philly and it made my entire week! I’m nearly done with school, and I’m filled with stress and worries, but that was such a lovely day. Thank you so much for coming to my city!
Love this. Thanks for sharing your life with us, and for the words of encouragement. The internet can be a harsh place, but it’s nice to know there are places and communities here and there that are just the opposite. We can do this, we can keep going. Congratulations. :)
You’re a good egg, Miss Joy. xo
#cantstopwontstop #pleasedontstop (my family would be hungry and I would be sad!)
CAPS LOCK LIVING!
You are so great. It’s been fun being one-sided e-friends all these lovely years.
High-fives back atcha. You rock, and brighten our days.