February 14, 2010
A carton of eggs, some brown,some that lovely Araucana blue. A box of homemade chocolates. A loaf of splendidly crusty bread. A lipstick whose proceeds go to Jane Goodall. A cutting board. They were all gifts that people laid on the table last night after I spoke in Woodstock. It’s that kind of a town. Generous. Open-hearted. Warm.
I was giving a new speech, and they’re always a little rough the first few times. This was maybe more so than usual, because I was trying to talk about how a book changes over time, even for its author. It’s a subject that fascinates me as I discover, a dozen years after writing Tender at the Bone, that I am still uncovering layers of meaning buried deep inside the book.
The audience seemed more charmed than irritated by the unpolished nature of the talk, and they asked thoughtful, interesting questions. Afterward a group of us (mostly writers from the festival), went off to a bar to continue the conversation. That’s always the best part.
Woke up this morning in a wonderful old Victorian inn where Marti Ladd fed us fresh blintzes while she told hilarious stories about the Hollywood folks who’ve stayed with her. She says the blintzes are an old family recipe, and they’re light, with an oddly seductive flavor that comes on at the end. “Can you guess the secret ingredient?” she asked.
“Onion?” I said, realizing that was what I’d been tasting.
“That’s it!” she cried. “You rub the pan with half an onion between each crepe.”
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