The New Paperback Edition of WDILTP is now in stores
I want to thank everyone who bought the new paperback edition of Why Do I Love These People? for themselves or a friend. I don't know how many did so, but it was enough to drive the book way up at Amazon for the whole week. I'm guessing the email blast was the cause of these sales, since there's been no other publicity yet whatsoever during this quiet week.
For those of you who belong to a book club, I'm working with Random House to create a program where, if your book club reads Why Do I Love These People?, you can get me on the phone during the discussion period. (Unfortunately, I cannot join you for the eating period, or I'd quickly turn into a blob). We're going to send another email blast soon to describe the program.
Speaking of eating, my holidays this year have been spent at home, with my mother and my wife's family visiting. My kids have three weeks off. So I have spent most of the time learning to cook some new things.
The theme of everything I cooked was "low & slow." I made a 7-bone Standing Rib Roast for xmas dinner, and if you don't know your roast beef, a 7 bone roast is about 17 pounds and it is almost impossible to cook evenly. I gave it about 5 hours at 200 degrees, then fired it at the end at 500. Came out pink and perfect throughout. Then a friend gave me some "artisanal grits" from South Carolina. Artisan grits sounds like a bit of an oxymoron, but that's what was fun about 'em. Soaked for a day, simmered for about 70 minutes to get them there - it took a lot of touch and feel to get the consistency right, but the time investment paid off. My brother-in-law and I made a cassoulet as well, with duck legs, duck sausage, and great northern beans, that took 4.5 hours to complete. Finally, my favorite of the whole week was this incredible bread that Mark Bittman wrote about in the New York Times a couple months ago. Super simple. Results are as good as any bakery. The trick is, very little yeast, a lot of water, and let it sit for 18 hours. No kneading, give it a second rise, and cook it inside a pot, so it traps the steam and works like a steam-injected oven, making the crust crisp and shatterable. Phenomenal bread.
Every new dish was a testament to what can be done if you actually stick around the house for long periods of time. Gives a lot of shape to the days.