Book tour: segment 12!

The farmers’ market tour recapping treks on to Northampton Massachusetts!

As noted in my previous tour segment post, I arrived to such fine hospitality in Northampton. Flowers in the window, case in point.

Beyond my fabulously thoughtful hosts, Ilana and Matt, the days I spent wandering around and doing events in this city were charmed.

Let’s start with Monday, a day off from tour events. I delighted over my gluten-free waffle breakfast at the Roost, a lovely cafe owned by new friends. Later that morning I sat contentedly enveloped in the comings and goings of Ilana’s circle, meeting and parting with prior-till-then-strangers who felt like old friends. I proceeded to wander around Noho after first popping into the store where the next evening’s event was to be held, sticks and bricks.

The latter part of the afternoon was spent harvesting Ilana’s peppers for a pickling project, and then later gathering ingredients for gluten-free pie crust to enter the Tuesday Market Pie Contest the next day.

All hipstamatic photos provided courtesy of Ilana Panich-Linsman

While out on the hunt for whole allspice berries in friends pantries, Ilana picked up two curious picklers, Remy and Ezekiel, to hang out and help with the pepper pickling and quick pickled carrots process. (Remy pictured below.)

We returned our picklers to their home to find their brother, 13-year-old Lucien, making the finishing touches on night one preparations for his pie contest entry. We deemed each other friendly competitors and discussed consommé (which Lucien totally knew what it was and how to make it). I so enjoyed the evening of eating and conversation in the company of these inspiring young humans.

The next morning I baked pies. Two pies. One to take to market for the pie contest (because there was a gluten-free category; I just had to) and the other to share with friends at the evening signing and demo event.

Pulled the pies out of the oven just in time to get to market and set up my pickling demo and bookselling booth. [Yes, I’ll definitely be posting the recipe for my pie crust in the next couple months, and there might even be another video with Hilah Cooking with us showing you how to do it!]

After an excruciating eon, the moment arrived that any pie maker anticipates…

Cutting into your beauty to see how it ‘stands up’. The market manager, Ben, judged the gluten-free entries. The first prize winner made a lovely streusel top apple pie, but the runner-up prize, a grocery satchel full of local apples from Apex Orchards, went to me! My first ever placing in a pie contest.

This, of course, did nothing whatsoever to deflate my enchantment balloon with Northampton. LOVE this town! [I called my Boston-born-and-raised girlfriend to ask her if we could move to Noho; she said no.]

The sticks and bricks event later that evening couldn’t have been any sweeter. Liz is a diva genius when it comes to repurposing old materials and creating beautiful decor accents and functional furniture. (Liz pictured below outside her studio and shop).

I showed everyone how to do a small batch of fermented pickles, in this case green tomatoes. You can use a jelly jar/wide-mouth jar set-up, or a regular-mouth jar and a freezer bag filled with water or brine to weight your produce in the salt water brine.

We shared potluck snackies and wandered around Liz’s shop getting to know each other better.

If you missed the sticks and bricks event in Northampton, Liz has a handful of signed copies for sale in her shop. Go snag one!

After the party we popped upstairs to Liz and her family’s apartment where I ooh’ed and aahh’ed over her hip home-ify’ing tactics. In fact, I’d planned to show you Liz’s uber-creative TV disguise method here in this post, but I think that deserves an entire post in its own right.

I met such amazing, inspiring people in Noho. Stay tuned for the next segment featuring my base camp of awesome, aka the From Scratch Club ladies in the Capital Region of New York.