Friday, November 9, 2012

apple mosaic tart and one sunny afternoon in the city..

apple mosaic tart, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
The morning I woke up to this on my Smitten Kitchen news feed, I knew this was the next thing the little kitchen would attempt to re-produce. I finally got around to this last week and it was perfectly lovely in spite of my gross mismanagement of the puff pastry. Normally, I don't have much to do with puff pastry as I've always related it to precious hors d'oeuvres or elegant desserts, neither of which have much of a place in my life. But when a certain test kitchen dummy blindsided me with a lobster pot pie challenge, somehow it seemed that pedaling up to the market for puff pastry was on the top of my to-do list. The produce market was ripe with apples and I was ripe to make this pretty tart. I got de-railed by something or other and had to re-freeze the puff pastry. Well, the pastry was in and out of the freezer 3 times before it made it's way into the tart.
Once baked though it was nice and puffy on the sides, the bottom was a little flimsy but brilliant, fresh from the oven. It was also great the next day for breakfast and then crumbled up with ice-cream and chocolate sauce for dessert the next two nights. I managed to consume it all by myself.
That was not the plan.
I was going to share it with my co-workers the next day...but somehow it never made it to the office. I had another idea. I'd bring it with me to the Smitten Kitchen book signing at Omnivore to share it with my friend while waiting in line. I wanted to tell Deb, whilst she was signing my cookbook, all about it. None of those things happened.
A little over a week ago The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook came out and last Sunday, Smitten Kitchen came to town. I'd been anticipating this event since I first read that Omnivore Books was an early stop on the book tour. I even refrained from pre-purchasing the book from Amazon, happy to pay full retail (something I NEVER do) in support of my local independent bookseller and of Deb Perelman, cookbook author and the genius behind Smitten Kitchen. I wanted an autographed copy.
So did everyone else, as it turns out.
On a gorgeously sunny Sunday afternoon in San Francisco, my friend and neighbor Sheena and I showed up around 1:30 for the 2:00 event and the line was already around the block. No surprise. I knew this was gonna be huge. Sheena dropped me off so she could park the car and by the time she met me in line, the line had grown another 1/2 block.
A few minutes later, a gobsmacked bookseller came out to inform the huge line that the 150 copies had already sold out. I had to chuckle, 150 books? There were at least 300 people there and probably even more who showed up and were deterred by the overwhelming crowd. A few minutes later Deb Perelman, with her equally gobsmacked husband Alex, came out to greet the crowd and say hello. She was so sweet and  so humbly overwhelmed at the turnout.
No one seemed deterred by the shortage of books. I saw no exasperation or impatience. I seemed that people were just happy to hang out with others of their ilk.
We were welcome to wait in line to purchase a book that would be mailed to us later. And guess what? we gladly did!

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