Monday, January 30, 2012


I'm back from my book tour, during which I hit bookstores from coast to coast, and met women like this nice lady, who bought my book for their niece/daughter who lives at home/lives in New York. (Thanks to Sherry Virtz for snapping a few pictures while I read in Chapel Hill.)

Now it's back to the "real world," which is a one-bedroom in Brooklyn, where I co-habitate with a boyfriend and a cat who I'm allergic to. Time to get back on my regular asthma medication schedule!

I made my New Year's resolution "learn to cook," and yesterday was the first opportunity I had to put this into practice. (I even got this for Christmas, so I can cook in style.)

While browning onions for vegetable stock, I splashed hot oil on my face, and later cut my hand on the lid of a can of cannellini beans, but other than that I escaped from the kitchen mostly unharmed. I'm using Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, a huge green hardcover that I am very much in love with because I can hear Mark speaking to me, the cooking moron, in a very gentle voice, telling me it's all going to be okay.

On vegetable soup: "You start with a flavorful base and add the best produce you have on hand: How can you go wrong?"

How can you go wrong indeed? Unless you splash hot oil on your face.

I made Pasta e Fagioli soup (with homemade stock!) and Roasted Quinoa with Potatoes and Cheese.

Boyfriend (surprised voice): This is actually good. How did you know how to make it?
Me: I followed a recipe.
BF: You just read it?
Me: I just followed the steps in order.
BF: Good job.

Thanks, Mark!


Greetings from Texas! said...

Hot oil in the face is never good. Perhaps wear a mask next time you cook?? Because that's not weird. Just finished your book. Loved it!

Leigh Stein said...

Thanks! Good idea re: mask. I have a panda mask, do you think that will work?

Jonathan Hyatt said...

Hey! I can't find any way to e-mail you privately. So, I have to write here. (Very embarrassing to be gushing about your book on FaceBook).

Anyway, I hope you don't mind.

I finished your book last night, and it was wonderful. I mean, like getting sucked into a rip-tide and not knowing which way is up - I felt happy, sad, depressed, young and vital (I'm old and well, a parent).

Your characters employers reminded me a bit of me, BTW. That was kind of scary ...

Anyway, I and my friends are on Scribophile (no, I don't work for them!) if you want to hang out and critique some not-so-talented writers. Tell them Ash Timor sent you.

I'll be looking out for your next novel!

Leigh Stein said...

Thanks, Jonathan! I'm glad my book resonated so much with you, and thanks for taking the time to say so.