If you’ve followed my blog at all, you might know that I was one of the original members of the bake-along of Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, and I’m actively working my way through The Baking Bible and The Bread Bible, with two semi-overlapping groups of baker-bloggers from around the world. All of these baking books were written by Rose Levy Beranbaum, whose first cookbook, The Cake Bible, is currently in its 52nd printing! A couple of weeks ago, Rose posted on her blog that she was going to be in Toronto this week, to watch her granddaughter, Haley, compete in the Parapan Am games. Haley is doing great at the games, so far. She’s already won bronze and silver medals! Rose was kind enough to take time out of her family trip to meet with fans and sign books at Golda’s Kitchen, in Mississauga, on Sunday afternoon. Since I live about an hour away, I convinced Jay we needed to make the trip.
We turned it into a mini-vacation, doing some shopping in downtown Toronto on Saturday afternoon, and we had steak, wine, and crème brulée for dinner. Sunday morning we wandered over to the St Lawrence market, which it turns out is mostly closed on Sundays, though a few shops were open on Sunday for the Pan Am Games. We then wandered down to the harbour, watched some airplanes take off, had some lunch then headed back to our car for the trip up to Mississauga. I might have been slightly excited, because we got there at about 3.
After, you know, just double checking that we were in the right place, and that this event clearly was happening, we headed over to a nearby Starbucks for some caffeine. When we got back, at about 10 to 4, there was a line of 4 or 5 people in front of me, and one of them was chatting with Rose!
Those of us waiting in line listened to Rose chatting with people as they got their books signed. Rose told us about Haley’s race from the previous night, and how if it weren’t for Haley, the raucous pool would have been the last place she would have chosen to spend time.
When it came my turn to put my books in front of Rose, I first pulled out my copy of Rose’s Heavenly Cakes that I received when I signed up for the bake-through.
Rose looked at it, then looked at me with a big smile, and said “I felt like I knew you, when you were standing in line.” At that point, I told her that Marie had told me to give her a hug from everyone who couldn’t be there, and Rose graciously obliged. So, hug delivered!
The whole time that Rose was signing books, she’d stop and chat with people, point out something about one of the recipes, mention something about the publishing process, or tell a story about someone like Julia Child.
I loved the setup at Golda’s Kitchen. As you can see, they had a long counter set up with all of Rose’s line of baking equipment, including the new pie kit – rolling pin, pastry mat, pastry rolling thickness gauges, and pie plate. When Rose was signing my Bread Bible, she said it had been so long since she’d signed one of them that she couldn’t remember what she normally wrote in it.
I brought my whole stack of Rose’s books, on the advice of a friend – how often do you get an opportunity like this?
As Rose was signing my Baking Bible, she said she had to add a little something special. Hence the heart in the “Bake with love!”
We stuck around for a few minutes after my turn to listen to some more stories. In the picture below, Rose was talking about the “Wicked good ganache” on the Chocolate Pavarotti, that “sings in the mouth!”
The blue rolling pin that you see on the counter is the one that Rose brought to give her friend and colleague Norene Gilletz, whose latest cookbook is The Silver Platter. Norene specializes in Kosher recipes. It was fun to listen to the two of them reminisce about Julia Child!
Rose is wonderfully warm, friendly and talkative, but at the same time soft-spoken, in person. She’s also just as helpful and full of advice in person as she is on her blog and on Facebook. It was really great to meet you, Rose!