Up until an hour ago, I was having one of those posts starting with a sentence I'd write and erase, and re-write. Not anymore. Obviously. Here are three sentences I have not started over. Yet. So much I have to say and about the same I'm still trying to wrap my head around.
First, it may sound like a broken record, but if I don't say this a gazillion times, I won't say it enough: for all your emails, tweets, facebook notes and messages telling me how much you are learning from the book... Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. To hear you say that you are inspired by its content, its approach, its voice, leaves me humbled and honored. It's been giving me a smile on my face and a skip in my step this past month and a half that the book has been out.
It's always a bit of a struggle talking about Plate To Pixel. I want the book to do well, for all the people who have worked hard on it. I was proud of it when it was just a PDF on my laptop. I am even prouder of it now that I read your messages. I am excited to see it in your homes, to get your "before" and "after" shots. I am even more excited for the space left within for more details, for a sequel.
I am however completely left uneasy when a friend comes to the house with a copy to be signed. When my mother-in-law sends her aqua-aerobics group to buy a dozen copy at the bookstore or when my husband beams with pride when someone says "I heard Helene's book is out" and he picks up a copy from the coffee table.
It's surreal. It's awesome. It's weird. I have no idea whether to smile or run. So I usually sit there and take a deep breath, inhale the moment and silently thank the person across from me for the time they are giving me.
I've been doing this for weeks now. Almost two months actually. It seems like an eternity and it seems like yesterday. I know. It's cliche. Well that's fine. It's corny. That's fine too. That's perfect actually. I can do corny. That I know. I just don't know what authors are supposed to do. I have never done this before. "Breathe" "Take it in", "Enjoy"...Yes. I do that. Then a couple of trusted friends, my editor also, mentioned I should have a book release party, a book signing, a book tour. Ugh. Oh.
I did have a party. For close friends in town, around a good dinner and a few bottles of Champagne. It made more sense to do it that way. They had been there during the writing, the rare moments of frustrations. I wanted to thank John for always making me something tasty to eat when I was too preoccupied to find my way into the kitchen. I wanted to thank Fanny and Patrick for pouring me a glass of wine and mandating I'd take a break. I wanted to thank those friends who made fatigue disappear and mended my soul with their kindness.
I even made tartelettes to celebrate...
And then the book was out, shipped off to you and I went back to work. Shooting, writing, styling, shooting some more. That's my element. Then about 2 weeks ago, I was staring at my Twitter feed when it hit me. Here were three bloggers who were discussing the book and getting excited to learn from it and by including me in their exchange, it really hit me hard on the head. I got quiet again. I wanted to shout "thank you!". I did. But I wanted to shout it again and shake someone's hand and give them a hug too for letting my work be a part of theirs.
The words book tour and book signing were reiterated by dear friends again. So yes. After taking the book on a little christening of sort in Sante Fe late April, I am officially taking the book around the US, little by little, one workshop at a time. I am writing it out loud so I can allow myself to say "I wrote this book and I think you might find it full of great pieces of information." Yes! Again. I found that I am much more comfortable giving a workshop as I take that baby out into your worlds.
So...I am kicking things off this weekend with a book signing in Charlotte, NC on Friday the 17th from 1.30pm til 3pm or so at Amelie's Bakery. Big thanks to Taylor for getting it organized! If you are in the area, come say "hi"! Would love to meet you and thank you!
Next month, I have the great honor of returning to Evo 11 in Park City Utah as a speaker on July 7th-9th where I'll do a food photography workshop. And while this is separate from a book tour, the wonderful Rachael and Jyl, the founders of Evo, have suggested bringing a few copies for a giveaway. While I am still working the number with my editor, I wanted to extend a warm Thank You to the Evo 11 team. Woot!
Separately from the conference, when I told my dear friend Maria that I would be in her neck of the woods again, we started talking about doing a book release event of some sort for Plate To Pixel. A few emails later and because it is a technical book, the concept of a Book Workshop Tour came about.
So...The Plate To Pixel Book Workshop Tour(!) will indeed stop in Salt Lake City, Utah, on July 6th! The 4-hour workshop will be held at the Market Street Grill at Cottonwood, from 10am til 2pm. There are 12 spots available. It will be completely hands on and I want everyone to be able to benefit from one another and get as much out of it as possible. So yes, a small group is ideal.
UPDATE: The workshop is full and registration is closed. Looking forward to meeting you if you signed up!
If you are interested in attending, shoot me an email at photoworkshopslc @ gmail . com and I will send you a packet with the class description, class fee and how to register and secure your spot. That's not all though! The wonderful Heidi at Foodie Crush who literally put this whole thing together on her own, is sponsoring one person to attend the workshop for free! For a chance to win a spot at the workshop held in Salt Lake City on July 6th and brought to you by Foodie Crush and Market Street Grill, head on over to Heidi's site and follow her instructions.
But this coming weekend, it's Charlotte first! In the next week, I will be putting up a page dedicated entirely to the Plate To Pixel Book Workshop Tour with an ongoing list of the cities I will be traveling to, doing workshops and signing books.
Here is a tease of an awesome two day cooking and food photography workshop I will be doing with Squam Art Workshops, in New Hampshire in September. More details soon!
In the meantime, let's have some pies, shall we? Tartelettes. Bien sur. White Peach Tartelettes With Rosemary Sugar. Shared with friends because they taste better this way...
White Peach Tartelettes:
If given a choice, I will rush to grab white peaches without hesitation. They remind me of those we get back home. Some are white inside and some have rosy tones instead. Their peach flavor is bit more subtle than the yellow varieties but just as juicy and delicious.
Makes eight 3.5-inch tarts
For the crust:
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup corn flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1 stick very cold butter
1 large egg
1/4 cup ice cold water
For the rosemary sugar:
Mix together 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary.
8 small sized peaches - white or yellow
Prepare the tart dough:
Sift together the millet flour, corn flour, potato starch, sweet rice flour and salt in a large bowl.
Cut the butter into very small pieces over the dry ingredients and quickly work it in the flours with your fingertips until you get large sandy pieces.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, add the egg and water and start working the dough from the outside toward the inside of the bowl, quickly moistening the flours and gathering the dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate one to two hours.
Butter and four 8 mini tart shells. Remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes. Roll the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to about 1/4 to 1/8 thick. Cut out circles a little larger than your tart shells and place them inside the tart pans, flush the borders with a sharp knife. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the sugar and peaches. For the sugar, just rub the rosemary into the sugar to release its natural oils. Set aside until ready to bake.
To prepare the peaches, peel them, cut them in half, remove the pits and cut into thin slices.
Assemble the tart by placing peach slices in a decorative patterns inside the shells. Sprinkle with as little or as much rosemary sugar as you wish.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F and position a rack in the middle. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the shells start getting golden brown and the peaches release their juices.