Smitten Kitchen visits Chicago

On one of the great things about living in a city like Chicago is that no matter what you’re into, there is usually something going on that will interest you.  I’m a big blog reader, and incidentally several of my favorite bloggers have been on tour promoting their books recently.  Emily and I went to the Young House Love book signing the other week, and this past weekend I attended the book signing for the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.

I have been a fan of Deb Perelman’s blog since 2008, and have tried dozens of her recipes over the years.  The Chicago book signing was held at one of my favorite independent bookstores, the Book Cellar in Lincoln Square. (There is a bar in the store, what’s not to love?) I anticipated that an author of her popularity would draw a big crowd, so I arrived an hour before the event start time.  The Book Cellar is a small space, and a winding line outdoors would block the entrances to other nearby businesses.  They had an interesting strategy for dealing with the crowd that was gathering to have their cookbook signed – they assigned attendees a group, much like boarding groups on an airplane.  Each group had eight people, and since I was in group K, there were at least eighty people ahead of me.

My friend Lindsay lives in Lincoln Square, and came by to hang out with me.  Lincoln Square is an old German neighborhood in Chicago, and while the neighborhood has changed over the years, some classic German bars and restaurants remain.  We found a pair of seats at the bar at Hüettenbar and settled in for a few beers.

After leaving the bar we killed time in a kitchen shop before heading back to the store to find out if my group had been called.  I spotted the author’s husband and adorable toddler son leaving the store as I was walking in to meet her.  She was sweet and gracious in person, and as you can see posed for a photo with me.

I leafed through the book in bed later that night, and have tabbed two recipes to make for Thanksgiving dinner this week, and many more to make later.  I highly recommend her blog, and the book looks like it will be a great resource too.

-Eliina

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