How are you all feeling today? Any better? No? Me neither. But it's December 2nd and the first Advent has already come and gone and so I have a little distraction for all of us. Drumroll......
But actually, it really does kind of work, at least momentarily. It keeps you busy, and off the internet, not just while you're plannning which cookies to make, and writing ingredient lists, and going grocery shopping. But also while you mix and beat and chop and bake. Then you get to assemble your masses of cookies, in cellophone bags or aluminum tins or perhaps little cardboard boxes wrapped up with string. And we haven't even gotten to the part where you have to decide whom to give the cookies too! You're looking at at least a week's worth of distraction in total. At least! Pretty good, huh? I'll say.
So let's do another giveaway, shall we? Let's get our minds off the end of the world. Leave me a comment here listing what your favorite Christmas baking list looks like and I'll pick a winner on Sunday. The winner gets a signed (and personalized) copy of Classic German Baking, an assortment of German baking ingredients (candied citrus peels, poppy seeds, marzipan, various raising agents, and mixed Lebkuchen spice) plus a jar of my homemade Pflaumenmus, which will hopefully motivate the winner (and at least a few other of you?) to bake the Lebkuchen-Powidltatschkerln - little rye cookie pockets filled with plum jam - in the Christmas chapter. I love those little babies - we discovered them in a magazine while on a "research" trip to Austria last year. They're soft and tangy and spicy and delicious. Spread the word!
(If anyone is wondering, my baking list would include those plum jam rye cookies, nutty Spekulatius, Pfeffernüsse, Basler Brunsli and Springerle, which I'll be making with Joanie next week and - if all goes according to plan - filming! In some capacity. We'll see. It'll probably be terrible. But also hopefully a little useful? Oh! And I've committed to the most insane thing ever: providing enough homemade slabs of Lebkuchen to make gingerbread houses with Hugo and FOUR of his little friends. Yeah. I don't know what I was thinking either. Hold me?)
In other news, the Washington Post recently included Classic German Baking in their round-up of the year's best cookbooks, writing "This overdue guide is a happy marriage of European craft and American sensibilities." Which made me want to marry the Washington Post in a happy marriage of my own.
On Food52's gorgeously illustrated guide to global holiday sweets, I was thrilled to get to contribute a little piece on Elisenlebkuchen (with recipe).
Deutsche Welle interviewed me on some of the nitty-gritty aspects of writing the cookbook, including my recipe for Brezeln (soft pretzels).
The loveliest cookbook store in Seattle, Book Larder, asked me 11 questions about food memories, my food heroes and favorite cookbooks.
But the most important thing I wanted to write about today is actually about the biggest complaint I've gotten on the cookbook so far: the relatively low number of food photos. For a variety of reasons, it just wasn't feasible for every recipe, or even every other recipe, to get its own photo. I did my very best to write the recipes as tightly and carefully as I could, so that home bakers would get good results without a photo guiding them. But I understand the frustration of some. So I've put together a list of every recipe in the book with an accompanying photograph - where I could, this will get updated going forward - and have posted them on a separate page which is accessible by clicking on the "Classic German Baking Photos" link under the book image that you see over in the right sidebar. It's a little clunky, but I hope it satisfies the need for visuals in the book and can be a helpful resource for all of you. Feel free to let your friends who have the book know about this. Thank you!