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8.28.2011

Ohio

I am writing to you today from my friend Ben’s dining room. If you’ve been around for a while, you might remember that he used to live in Seattle, where he was like a Kramer to us, but he moved away for a job. Now he’s in Ohio, and for a week, so am I.




I needed to get some work done on Book 2, and I missed my friend, so I rolled the two into one and called it a writing retreat. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but turns out, it’s like summer camp - only there are no counselors to keep us down, and instead of doing archery and riding horses and gathering around the campfire to sing “Down by the Old Mill Stream,” we sweat painfully over our computers eight hours a day, and then Ben puts The Twist Goes to College on the turntable.




Here’s the schedule. Late each night, we set a time to have coffee the next morning. Then I go to my room, and Ben goes to his. We yell goodnight. We sleep. When the correct hour comes, we meet in the kitchen, where Ben makes Americanos and English muffins. Then he walks the two blocks to his office, and I go to mine, the aforementioned dining room. I untangle the cord to my headphones, put something on repeat (mostly, it’s been Temple of the Dog’s “Hunger Strike”), and smash a mosquito with my copy of Bird by Bird. That book is even more useful than I had given it credit for. A couple of hours later, Ben comes back for lunch. Because it’s very loud here on Planet Hunger Strike, I don’t notice his arrival until he walks into the dining room and I scream. We make lunch. After that, we go back to our desks and work until early evening, when he goes for a run and I go for a walk. At 8:30 pm, no earlier and no later, I make a round of Negronis. Then we cook dinner, and then we do it all over again.




The current tally of mosquito bites is 13, and I’ve added about 3,000 7,000 words to the manuscript. If everything goes the way I want it to, the former should hold steady, while the latter hits 6,000 9,000 (Updated at 6:55 pm, Monday, 8/29). I go home on Wednesday.




In any case, no matter where I am, I keep a running list of things to tell you, and today, August 28, this is what’s on it:

- More sage advice from Anne Lamott, found via someone on Facebook. Wish I could remember who. Thanks, Emily!

- Inaki Aizpitarte is a fine-looking man, a very fine chef, and he’s got style. (Don’t miss the handwritten Q&A at the bottom of the page.)

- Speaking of France, Bill Buford wrote a wonderful piece on Lyon for The Observer. A great read.

- The team at More & Co. are friends of mine, but I think I’m still allowed to say that I really like their blog.

- Why do I always forget about “Cover Me”? Man.

- I went to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams yesterday, in Chagrin Falls! It was AMAZING. I’m a giant fan.

- When I was in the late stages of writing my first book, I listened to the Into the Wild soundtrack on repeat every day. Especially “No Ceiling.” But I was surprised to find that I can’t listen to it while I write my current book, because it takes me back to the way I felt when I was writing the first book, which is not the same as the way I feel when I am writing this book. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it made me sort of happy.

And to those of you who were visited by Irene: I hope you’re alright. I’ve been thinking about you.

Have a good week.

109 Comments:

Blogger Dee said...

I just started reading your first book. I want to rush right through, but I'm forcing myself to savor it. It's THAT good. :-)

Looking forward to book #2.

12:38 PM, August 28, 2011  
Anonymous mike said...

Welcome to our neck of the woods. Hope you enjoy your stay and get a lot written. Looking forward to the new book.

12:40 PM, August 28, 2011  
Anonymous lifediving said...

I enjoy your appreciation for the versatility of Bird by Bird :)

12:45 PM, August 28, 2011  
Blogger Emily said...

I think it was me on facebook. because it popped up in my reader right after i started reading birb by birf at your suggestion. I tagged you and felt like a total groupie for doing so. But I'm glad you like it. Enjoy your retreat!

12:46 PM, August 28, 2011  
Blogger Emily said...

ps - I just started reading Heat by Bill Buford not more than three nights ago...the universe is full of small overlaps, isn't it? Thanks for sharing!

12:47 PM, August 28, 2011  
Anonymous JackieDee said...

I just moved to Ohio yesterday!! Jeni's is #1 on my list of things to do/see. I am so jealous that you got to go! So far Ohio is exceeding my expectations. Hope it continues to treat you well!

12:50 PM, August 28, 2011  
Anonymous Sue said...

Jeni has a brand new cookbook. It is amazing. Can't wait to try the Salted Caramel.

12:57 PM, August 28, 2011  
Anonymous Diana said...

Thanks for the article link, Molly. As someone who has a quickly-approaching deadline, I still find it hard to sit down and just write without succombing to distractions. It's good to be reminded almost all writers have the same problem. And although you have to, as Anne said so eloquently, "fight tooth and nail to find time", it can still be done.

12:58 PM, August 28, 2011  
Blogger Molly said...

Hi, all! Ohio is beautiful. Plus: the ice cream! I'll have to visit more often.

Emily! THANK YOU! Total space cadet here. I just went to my Facebook wall, and sure enough, your post is right there... oof.

12:58 PM, August 28, 2011  
Blogger Dylan said...

Even with smashing mosquito's with books. Your time in Ohio and writing still sounds so damn distinguished! Have some good hopes on your book because I do.

1:11 PM, August 28, 2011  
Blogger Denise | Chez Danisse said...

I'm inspired. Thanks! Back to work... I must earn my evening cocktail.

1:15 PM, August 28, 2011  
OpenID thejesspress said...

Yay Ohio! How I miss the ice cream there. Don't forget to try Graeter's too if you can, although Jeni's is truly magical.

1:29 PM, August 28, 2011  
Anonymous Christine said...

I never notice people coming until they're there and I scream. My girlfriend periodically tries to figure out a way to 'warn' me that she's coming without startling me, but we haven't found one yet.

1:37 PM, August 28, 2011  
OpenID themoveablefeasts said...

Thanks for sharing-- I love the q&a with Chef Inaki Aizpitarte and especially his quote that the most important part of food is "the love and taste as welle as the taste of love". Ah so nice!

And I loved that last part about music and your writing. I'm not sure why either, but it is a happy thing. Good luck with your future 3,000 words!

1:49 PM, August 28, 2011  
Anonymous Victoria said...

Last Saturday we went to Vermont to visit Walter's sister. Her husband made a spectacular I-could-not-believe-how-fabulous-it-was cheesecake, so last night before I turned in to get a little sleep and wait for Irene, I made one. After all, if you're stuck in the house with the windows blowing in, and no power, don't you deserve a cheesecake?

Well, fortunately all is (surprisingly and most thankfully) fine here. We never lost power, and the windows held.

And I have most of a really good cheesecake.

P.S. Based on your last post, I already have Jeni's book in my hot little hands. I don't have to tell you how great it is!

2:12 PM, August 28, 2011  
Blogger Rebekka Seale said...

We are so lucky to have a Jeni's here in Nashville. I have a feeling I don't even know how lucky we are!

2:15 PM, August 28, 2011  
Anonymous Rona Y said...

If you're near Cleveland, you must must must go to Sweet Moses! A delightful old fashioned soda shop with excellent chocolate malteds, and my favourite sundae was the one with coffee ice cream, caramel and hot fudge sauces, almonds, etc. I think the address was 6800 Detroit Ave (not that I memorized it or anything. . . but I did! And I went there twice in two days, and I was only in Cleveland for 4 days!)

2:23 PM, August 28, 2011  
Anonymous A Plum By Any Other Name said...

Sounds like you are definitely working the kinks out! Having a negroni likely doesn't hurt either. ;)

2:33 PM, August 28, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have fans here in Chagrin Falls - ones who just got back from a week in Seattle, including Ballard. Hope you enjoy the Village and surrounding areas and that the peace here makes your words flow.....

3:00 PM, August 28, 2011  
Blogger Kristina said...

Aww, welcome to NE Ohio! How the hell have I not heard of Jeni's??

3:06 PM, August 28, 2011  
Anonymous izzyeats said...

Welcome to my neck of the woods! Can't believe you were in Chagrin Falls--I just drove through there two days ago on my way home from getting my hair cut :-)

3:50 PM, August 28, 2011  
Anonymous Roberta said...

I saw your book face out on a shelf at Book People in Austin and thought of you, which is strange since I don't know you. I thought about your blog and how much enjoy and waste no time at all reading each new post. Glad to hear you've had a productive week. Until next time...

4:21 PM, August 28, 2011  
Blogger heartbreak pie said...

Negronis! Awesome.

4:24 PM, August 28, 2011  
Blogger Michelle Stiles said...

I can't wait to read your second book!

4:31 PM, August 28, 2011  
Anonymous mav said...

been missing you via email but i am so glad you're hunkered down working away! speak soon! xox mav

5:13 PM, August 28, 2011  
Anonymous Maia said...

Thank you for sharing Buford's article about Lyon. Having lived in Paris and visited Lyon many times, I found it a very special read! It's amazing how thorough his knowledge of the city is having lived there for only a couple of years. Good luck with the manuscript and stay away from those mosquitoes!

5:14 PM, August 28, 2011  
Blogger Bee said...

this nice routine you've got going sounds pretty heavenly. i can't imagine uninterrupted time to get things done...
we survived the hurricane, with only the loss of a tomato or two. sad.

5:35 PM, August 28, 2011  
Blogger Emily said...

pps: you're welcome :-) also: my toddler was helping me type that first comment. it happens.

5:35 PM, August 28, 2011  
Anonymous Allison said...

I'm from Columbus Ohio and it makes me happy that you experienced (and loved) Jeni's!

6:23 PM, August 28, 2011  
Blogger Kit Yoon said...

Hi Molly - I am still exploring Ohio myself. If you were closer to Columbus, I would take you around to what I have found... Or you could go to my blog: http://coolcolumbus.blogspot.com/, if you think you might venture south. But that may take you away from your writing retreat! Enjoy Ohio. It has been more than we expected. And Jeni's definitely helped all that out!

6:25 PM, August 28, 2011  
Anonymous jen wittlin said...

Fantastic photos in this post. I especially love the pot on the stove.

7:26 PM, August 28, 2011  
Anonymous Janae said...

Oh man, I love Hunger Strike! My husband and I do a killer duet; he's always Eddie and I'm always Chris, ha ha ha. Good taste in music, Molly :) Enjoy the rest of your retreat!

8:07 PM, August 28, 2011  
Anonymous Kelsey said...

Sometimes you just need a change of scenery, sounds like you found a good one.

8:57 PM, August 28, 2011  
Blogger kt said...

I am drooling now, and it stems from two sources: all the delicious ice cream suggestions and the delectable Chef Aizpitarte!

9:25 PM, August 28, 2011  
Blogger Megan Gordon said...

Oh, isn't that Anne Lamott piece great? The part about watching the news (and how often it's a waste) cracked me up. I used to teach "Shitty First Drafts" to my college freshman and it was their favorite part of the semester. Hands down. Takes the edge off. And.... I'm thoroughly obsessed with Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream (Although I've never been) and dying to try one of her recipes. Must. Happen. Soon.

11:19 PM, August 28, 2011  
Blogger Julia said...

Welcome to Ohio from a fan that is moving from NE Ohio to Seattle...today! As for ice cream, Jeni's is Columbus's ice cream, Graeter's is Cinci's, and Mitchell's is Cleveland's. I haven't tried Jeni's but I'm partial to Mitchell's simply because they use my aunt's goat cheese (Lake Erie Creamery) for the Strawberry Rhubarb Chevre flavor! Enjoy your visit!

6:15 AM, August 29, 2011  
Blogger Amish Stories said...

We were lucky in the Lancaster area with Irene, mostly flooding and some down trees.So i feel very lucky compared to those who didnt fare as well as i did. Richard from Amish Stories.

6:17 AM, August 29, 2011  
Anonymous Rosie DeQuattro said...

I read Lamott's book on your recommendation, too, and loved it. It hits the nail on the head when it comes to procrastinating writers, of which I consider myself a major player. I posted a piece about Bird by Bird on my blog and thought your readers might enjoy it, especially Emily, whose review of the book on her blog was spot on!
http://www.rosiedequattro.com/2011/08/smells-like-moon.html

6:52 AM, August 29, 2011  
Blogger Justine said...

Even reading a wee mention of Book 2 is enough to get me excited. Happy writing! :)

7:08 AM, August 29, 2011  
Blogger Christina said...

Thanks for mentioning that there is a Jeni's in Chagrin Falls! I only knew about the one in Columbus. Thanks so much for the inspiring links and I hope you are enjoying your time here in Ohio.

7:52 AM, August 29, 2011  
Anonymous Laura said...

Is it sad that my first thought was "I hope that book #2 includes a recipe for those negronis"? I can't tell you how excited I am for it - yay for more Molly in my life. ;o)
Happy writing!!

8:57 AM, August 29, 2011  
Blogger Anne Zimmerman said...

Love another peek into the process. You are so devoted. Perhaps I'll begin bribing myself with an 8:30PM negroni and see what happens...

8:58 AM, August 29, 2011  
OpenID girlseeksplace said...

Enjoy your writing time. I'd love to have a week to do nothing but write.

9:29 AM, August 29, 2011  
Blogger roseshop602 said...

Your first book pulled me through a rough time! I can hardly wait for you to complete the project you are working on. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

9:45 AM, August 29, 2011  
Blogger Rhett said...

Sooo looking forward to your next book. I love the first one and re-read chapters all the time. Making your delicious ratatouille tonight. Yum!

9:45 AM, August 29, 2011  
Blogger Brit said...

So jealous that you tried Jeni's! I live in Texas so it's a little far, however, I did notice that a Central Market near me sells some of their flavors! Brown butter almond brittle is to die for! Also, looking forward to your next book!

10:50 AM, August 29, 2011  
Anonymous Lou Ann said...

Welcome to NE Ohio! I've been plotting my moves to get my husband to drive from Cleveland's West side to the East (Chagrin Falls) for a Jeni's Ice Cream (my favorite food) visit, but this weekend the timing was all wrong. Too bad, because I think the perfect place to meet you would've been over tastes of goat cheese-roasted cherry, or bumbleberry crisp. And then my head would've exploded.

Oh well, it'll have to be over some of that legendary pizza in Ballard. (my husband's favorite food - why can I more easily convice him to hop coasts for a slice of pizza than cross town for ice cream??)

Enjoy the sunshine.

10:55 AM, August 29, 2011  
Anonymous Sharyn Dimmick said...

Loved the Buford article. Thank you.

1:19 PM, August 29, 2011  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Thanks Molly for reminding me that Hunger Strike has a video. Temple of the Dog is one of my favourite albums of all time and I completely forgot. Happy writing!

1:49 PM, August 29, 2011  
Anonymous kickpleat said...

That last splattered photo is gorgeous. Messes rarely look that pretty in my kitchen!

2:08 PM, August 29, 2011  
Blogger Claudia said...

I need to finish a project. I think finding a friend who lies near a Jeni's ice cream, store is a very good solution. (As well as heeding Anne LaMott's truer-than-true advice). Savor and create! Sometimes it's even fun.

2:28 PM, August 29, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, please consider listening to their 8th Album, "Pearl Jam". Parachutes and the other songs on that album put me in such a creative space. I don't know what it is about that album's ambience.

Happy writing, and enjoy your friend time. :)

-La Singe

2:39 PM, August 29, 2011  
Blogger Alice Q. Foodie said...

Sounds like a smashing retreat. Heh... :)

2:46 PM, August 29, 2011  
Anonymous Ilke said...

Some productive retreat you have. I admire the people with self discipline!

5:04 PM, August 29, 2011  
Blogger Jessica said...

I like the idea of a "writer's retreat". Sometimes, sitting in the same spot, staring at the same wall, or out of the same window just does not inspire good writing. But I could see how a simple change of scenery would bring a whole new energy to one's book-writing endeavors!

5:07 PM, August 29, 2011  
OpenID fiveandspice said...

Ha! I've been obsessing over More & Co. for a while now! I keep imagining running away from my PhD program and showing up at their doorstep in Maine (probably carrying a little stick over my shoulder with a kerchief-wrapped bundle of food dangling from it) and begging them to let me move into their office space. Lucky you, to have such friends! Anyhow, keep chugging with the writing and the 'skeeter swatting! I'm sure the results will be worth every moment.

6:50 PM, August 29, 2011  
Blogger Mrs.T said...

Welcome to Ohio! Hope you enjoy it! Be sure to try Mitchell's ice cream, too.

6:56 PM, August 29, 2011  
Anonymous janni said...

Wonder why it is so satisfying to live vicariously through your postings? Well I don't really mean live because I do totally live, maybe I mean 'write vicariously through your blogs'. Ahhh. Thank you muchly for the Anne Lamott link. She's one of my heros.

7:50 PM, August 29, 2011  
Blogger Keri said...

Your writing retreat sounds amazing. What I wouldn't give for a full 8 hours to write! (Alas two young children mean less time for work). And thank you for more great advice from Anne Lamott... I'm curious however, about what you're eating for lunch and dinner on your retreat, because I think that the time I spend reading about, thinking about, making and eating food, is that time I could give up a few times a week in order to find those extra hours she talks about.

10:10 PM, August 29, 2011  
Blogger maximuspezz said...

Hi Molly - love that you went to Chagrin Falls. Worked there for several years. The restaurants are great. Is the Popcorn Shoppe still in the old mill over the falls? They had some really good ice cream, too. Love following your adventures. Thanks for all teh great pics and thoughts!

10:15 PM, August 29, 2011  
Blogger Cinnamon said...

I'm new here and just finished reading your first book. Can I tell you how excited I am there's going to be another one?! The first one is fantastic and I'm itching to try the recipes. Just awesome.

11:08 PM, August 29, 2011  
Anonymous Kimby said...

So, Molly, did you make Boulevardiers (ala Hemingway) since you're in the middle of writing? :) (Thanks for the link to new cocktails to try.) Loved your spattered stove photo, too!

11:24 PM, August 29, 2011  
Blogger Julie said...

Love Bird by Bird--I need to reread my copy and hope for some inspiration. Your writing retreat is brilliant--good, solid time to write with a lovely friend to celebrate the day's successes. Enjoy your stay, and good luck on the 6000 words!

3:18 AM, August 30, 2011  
Blogger ♥ Stevi said...

Love the irony of listening to Hungerstrike while writing a foodbook!

4:31 AM, August 30, 2011  
Anonymous Kathryn | Dramatic Pancake said...

I love the description of your "writing retreat!" Sounds kind of fun :) I really enjoyed your first book and am looking forward to the next!

7:33 AM, August 30, 2011  
Blogger Sydny said...

I share your appreciation of Jeni's (and was at the Chagrin Falls store last week). We have the remains of 6 pints driven from Ohio to NY in the freezer, and are planning another detour when we head back next week. Glad to hear the book is going so well.

7:53 AM, August 30, 2011  
Anonymous Amy said...

Can't believe you're here in Northeast OHIO. We're getting to be quite the food-town. Lots of interesting things are happening here that the world is just learning about. If you have any down time and want a little tour would be happy to oblige! I do a blog for a local restaurant and read yours all the time!

8:44 AM, August 30, 2011  
Blogger 22heures22 said...

it sounds like the best writing retreat ever!
(I don't agree with Bill Buford at all...I live in Lyon for 7 years, i'm french and not so much about food...but I don't see the city like him. not at all!)

8:52 AM, August 30, 2011  
Anonymous danielle said...

oh. my. god. hungerstrike! that takes me baaaack. once again i rejoice in your ability to give voice to the glorious roots of seattle. besos and best wishes for the rest of your retreat.

11:51 AM, August 30, 2011  
Anonymous Adrian J.S. Hale said...

Thanks, once again, for all the inspiration (and the link to the article on Negroni alternatives-- can't wait to try the Boulevardi). I'm looking forward to the next book, but I'm also enjoying being here while you go through the process of writing it.

Enjoy Ohio.

12:37 PM, August 30, 2011  
Anonymous Katie said...

My sister gave me a copy of "Bakers Notes" when I was home in Maine this summer (apparently published by More & Co). If you're not familiar with it, it's a little publication by Scratch Baking Co, based in South Portland, bakers of the most fantastic sweets. I love their bagels and pimento cheese--a must-have when I'm visiting home; the recipes for both are in "Bakers Notes."

1:43 PM, August 30, 2011  
Blogger Molly Gray said...

I am a HUGE fan. Read the first book over and over. I have also been living in Ohio the last five years and I have to say you couldn't have picked a better place for your writing retreat. Unfortunately, though, you chose to come a month after I moved back to the west coast. So would have loved to show you the best parts of the state!

2:53 PM, August 30, 2011  
Anonymous deb said...

Yes, it's official: I need to go to Ohio. Or find an Ohio. That Lamott article is fantastic, thank you for sharing it.

2:54 PM, August 30, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Molly, Im so excited to have discovered your book this past weekend at my library and now your blog. What attracted me to your book was the same emotional connection I have with food,family and memories.Im proud to say that I live to eat,you cannot tell by looking at me but Im anxious to try some of your recipes.

-Candice(British Columbia)

4:09 PM, August 30, 2011  
Blogger Sarah said...

Planet hunger strike
Ha!
God speed

6:22 PM, August 30, 2011  
Anonymous hillary said...

I'm counting down for the second book--especially after making your slow-cooked tomatoes recently. Reading the essay again reminded me of reading it the first time, while visiting a very sick family member in the hospital. It was the height of summer then, too, and making the tomatoes, I was once again struck by how food and, more importantly, reading the words of others who have been there is sometimes more than enough to get one through things.

6:32 PM, August 30, 2011  
Anonymous M.C. said...

I want to visit Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams! Next time I am in Cleveland, no excuses. And yes, good luck with the word count, I'm sure it will be fabulous! Salut!

6:49 PM, August 30, 2011  
Anonymous Heidi - Apples Under My Bed said...

What a lovely routine. & what a treat to spend this time with your friend. A negroni sounds perfect right about now :)
Heidi xo

9:22 PM, August 30, 2011  
Anonymous Kathleen said...

Just when I thought you couldn't get any more fabulous, Anne Lamott (also known as "The Patron Saint of Normal People") keeps coming up in conversation. Way to rock my world. Wishing you the best of everything!

6:16 AM, August 31, 2011  
Blogger giannacat said...

Speaking of slow roasted tomatoes....I made some the other day using your method. This morning I made the. most. fantastic. vingrette using lemon juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, basil and four or five tomatoes (s&p of course). I blended it all up and good lord, it is definitely a thing!

6:37 AM, August 31, 2011  
Anonymous molly said...

The mosquitoes really are something, aren't they? Almost as amazing as Jeni's. Did you make it to the lime cardamom? Holy heck.

Ohio seems a little unlikely as a writer's muse. But then again, there is Mary Oliver...

Hope you enjoy your stay here, Miss Molly, a few welts notwithstanding!

6:39 PM, August 31, 2011  
Anonymous Molly said...

Really enjoyed "Cover Me." Thanks for that. Better yet, since I'm slightly addicted to "I'm on Fire" this summer -- ipod, vinyl, whathaveyou - just pulled it up on Youtube. Had no idea there was a video for it; I guess that's what happens when you grow up without cable. A whole new layer to the song. Love. It.

8:00 PM, August 31, 2011  
Blogger ellie said...

Thanks for the post! fun reading!

9:20 AM, September 01, 2011  
Blogger Bonnie said...

I am from Cleveland, but live in Seattle (OK, Bothell) now. Went the one of the original Jeni's last year in Columbus, and this past year in Chagrin Falls. Funny that there is a "regular" ice cream store right next door! Their goat cheese and roasted cherries ice cream changed my life almost as much as your chocolate chip cookie recipe :) (And works well from the cookbook too)

11:22 AM, September 01, 2011  
Blogger Aurelia said...

Ha ha. That sounds like an exxxcellent work plan. Especially the negronis part of the day.

2:59 PM, September 01, 2011  
Blogger amelia said...

You think Ben would take in another struggling writer, even one he doesn't know? I wouldn't mind stepping into your current, lovely sounding life while I sweat over my first manuscript!

6:28 PM, September 01, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree with a earlier poster, the roasted cherries and goat cheese is a spiritual experience, in the fall they switch it to figs in cognac and goat cheese, when that happens, Christmas has come early.

6:35 PM, September 01, 2011  
Blogger Gaia said...

Can't wait for your next book!!!!

3:57 AM, September 02, 2011  
Blogger Karen said...

Can't wait to read your second book! My copy of your first one is well worn with a million dog-earred pages. :)

11:43 AM, September 02, 2011  
Blogger Madame Fromage said...

I love eavesdropping on someone else's brain. Thanks for all the wee cherry details.

1:32 PM, September 02, 2011  
Anonymous Jen said...

An Ohio-native and likely lifer here, and I'm always happy to hear when people visit here and enjoy themselves (sans August-mosquitoes--they are serious, aren't they!) I hope your friend Ben is thriving here, and keeps drawing you back for visits!

6:17 PM, September 02, 2011  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Wow -- I remember after my second year of college, riding a late ferry going home to sleep at my parents house after something in the city and chancing up with an old high-school bf who was listing to that album, which had just come out and even locals really hadn't heard of EV yet (I suppose it was a cd), and he played it for me and I was just blown away. Still have it in the rotation around here too. Also, during dinner prep. especially, a very different constellation of random rock stars: traveling wilburys, first album.

11:24 PM, September 03, 2011  
Anonymous Liz B said...

Molly -
Great to hear about the writing, can't wait for the next book :)

Regarding the mosquito bites - I found an amazing remedy, rub the inside of banana peel on the bites! If you are alone, or don' mind being covered in brown spots, I found that actually smearing some of the inside of the peel on the bites offers instant relief and brings down the redness over night. If you can do this for a few days, re-applying fresh 2x day and sponging off inbetween, then apply some scar/intense moisturiser for a few days after, they should fully be gone in a week!!
xxx

9:10 AM, September 04, 2011  
Blogger Abby said...

That sounds like a great writing retreat! I'm originally from Chagrin Falls, and when I was home for a few weeks in August I went to Jeni's about three times a week. It's so addictive. I'm completely in love with the salty caramel.

12:15 PM, September 04, 2011  
Blogger Julia said...

I'm half way through your book, which was an 18th birthday present from my sister, and am absolutely smitten. I've loved to bake for years, and have contemplated opening a bakery, but I just started college so baking has gone down the drain. But your book is keeping me afloat, so thank you!

7:33 PM, September 04, 2011  
OpenID Megan said...

I'm glad you're on your second book because I'm on the last 5 pages of your first one as we speak... Love your writing, your pictures, your stories, and your recipes! Looking forward to book two and keeping up with you on Orangette.

Best,
Megan

5:10 AM, September 05, 2011  
Anonymous Bull said...

"and smash a mosquito with my copy of Bird by Bird. That book is even more useful than I had given it credit for."

Best review of that book I've ever read.

5:34 PM, September 05, 2011  
Anonymous CCP said...

Bull said,

"...Best review of that book I've ever read".

And funniest. - Thanks, Wizenberg!

10:36 PM, September 06, 2011  
Blogger David Taylor said...

I found your blog thanks to The Times highlighting it as one of the 50 best food blogs. I am so pleased I have found it. I love the photography. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I cannot wait to read more

5:02 AM, September 07, 2011  
OpenID spinachandspice said...

Love Jeni's! But I'm oh so sorry you're in Ohio ;) Our weather is pretty awful right now!

11:41 AM, September 07, 2011  
Anonymous christina said...

i wanted to encourage you as your writing that i finally got my hands on your first book and not only did i finish reading it in a day because i couldn't put it down but i've made many of your recipes already including the winning hearts and taking minds cake for my parents thirtieth wedding anniversary, and they've all been huge hits. thanks for the inspiration, i can't wait to read your next one!

8:14 AM, September 08, 2011  
Anonymous gail said...

your book is great! The chocolate cupcakes are sublime and easy. from Gail in rural Ohio

11:23 AM, September 08, 2011  
Blogger anniehoopz said...

this warms my ohio heart. hugs from kenya!

1:22 PM, September 12, 2011  
Blogger Berit said...

If you tire of your soundtrack after a bit and are looking for new material (maybe some to remind you of your recent trip to the heartland?) I highly recommend "Bloodbuzz Ohio" by The National. On repeat. All day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K779pqvYQds

3:18 PM, September 12, 2011  
Anonymous Katie said...

Gorgeous photos. Sounds like a great writing retreat. Can't wait for the next book...

10:22 AM, September 14, 2011  
Blogger Jodi said...

I traveled to France and Italy this last summer and I took your book. I loved it and couldn't believe how much I connected to it...the food, the cooking, Paris as a savior and a lover, the words, and the beautiful moments of a family in real life. I just wanted to say that I so appreciated your hard work and your heartfelt outpouring of your life's story; it is a great picture. And, I loved adding sticky notes to the recipes that someday soon I will delve in to. Oh, and I even used a line from you as advice to my partner about buying a house together! ha ha Merci beaucoup

10:51 PM, September 14, 2011  
Anonymous Janeen said...

I just started reading your book, and must tell you that of the many things I've read since we lost my father in law this past spring, your chapter on your dad really hit me in a way nothing else has(in a bittersweet, good way). One minute Dad was here, and then he wasn't and -- like your dad -- we felt there was still much unfinished.

He was not much of a cook, but he was an ace at grinding cranberries for the massive batches of cranberry-orange relish he and my mother in law made each holiday for friends. And -- much to his credit -- he always appreciated a nice meal and let you know it (even when it was just so-so).

Your dedication nicely put into words what I think often: "We know we are shining, even though we cannot see each other."

Sweet, super, super, sweet.

Thanks for the great book!

5:30 PM, September 15, 2011  
Blogger balderton said...

Keep on going strong with the book Molly.

Bryce

5:29 PM, September 16, 2011  
Anonymous Potato Chops and Boneless Chicken said...

Molly, I've been reading A Homemade Life every night and going to sleep with dreams of toffee and French toast. I love your writing and identify with the way food connects your family and memories. Looking forward to book two!

5:53 PM, October 04, 2011  

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