A Day With My Idol…

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Everything for a reason had never been clearer than a week ago Friday. It was the first day of IFBC and I wanted to be on time because my baking idol, Dorie Greenspan was going to be the key note speaker. I parked in the parking garage next to the hotel only to realize I left my wallet at home. So I tried to leave but they wouldn’t let me. Not without paying the minimum. Ummm. So I frantically called MDP and asked him to bring me money when he got off work so that I could break free from parking garage jail at the end of the night. Luckily he only worked about 10 minutes from the hotel.

Already off my game I walk upstairs and the first person I see is Dorie Greenspan. Now Laurie, my BBF is the woman who started Tuesdays with Dorie, had told me that I was to go tell Dorie hi for her. So I had an ice breaker and wasn’t just going to be a mumbling star struck fool. I probably still was but I didn’t care. She was with her husband Michael (a very kind and delightful man) and I just went for it walked up and said “Laurie says hello” she glanced at me and in one big swoop said Peabody while simultaneously hugging me. A warm, genuine hug. I was pretty much dying a happy death inside. The next thing you know before I can really say anything she was telling me that she loved my bag (I was sporting my Eat Cake for Breakfast tote) and her husband was handing a tube of her Beurre & Sel Sable Cookies (that are incredible!) saying “is she supposed to get some of these?” and Dorie said “you can give this lady whatever she wants”. Which is a dangerous thing to say because what I wanted was to scoop up Dorie and take her to my house and have her bake cookies with me. But alas I had no money to get out of the parking garage. So she was safe. :)
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I asked for a photo (as you can see) and she had her husband take a photo of us on HER phone. That’s right my baking idol was taking a photo of me and her…for HER. To say it was surreal was an understatement. Not wanting to hog her for myself, I thanked her and went to get my name tag. I was thinking that would be it and to be honest that so would have been enough. But that was not the end.

We filed into the conference room for the welcome and then Dorie’s speech. Which brought tears to my eyes twice. Once because of the incredibly sweet things she said about Laurie and the other because it was a reminder of why I blog. One of the things I love about blogger conferences is I often have a resurgence of wanting to blog again (sometimes you can lose your mojo). Even more Dorie reminded me why I started my blog. I didn’t start it to make money. I started it to share my love of desserts 8 ½ years ago. I figured my mom would read it (which ironically my parents don’t) and maybe a friend or two. I never thought it would get the amount of traffic it does now. It freaks me out sometimes. But I started my blog so that I could make desserts/food that people would want to go make themselves and then hopefully come back and give me feedback. Dorie talked about how one of the hard things about cookbook writing is that you used to just write a cookbook, send it off, and hope for the best. You really didn’t get much feedback. But then all of a sudden through blogs and forums she was getting to see people taking photos of her recipes and commenting about them. Instant gratification. I totally get that. It’s one of the things I miss greatly. People used to comment often, now across the board, unless you are giving away something comments have dropped off considerably even as traffic grows. Which is sad since I like to think I have built a community. It’s my favorite part of blogging, the interacting with people. Making people happy with my food and touching people’s souls with my words of self-acceptance and body image love.

We then got to ask questions (a little more on that in a bit).

She finished. I wanted to give her a standing ovation but people stayed seated (boo) and so I stayed seated too…I should have just stood.

I thought that would be it. She would be just like any other keynote speaker and do her speech and then be off. I was wrong.

The Amazon Live Blogging was taking place when MDP text me that he would be outside the hotel in about 5 minutes and to come meet his as he was not going to park. So downstairs I went. And there by the door was Dorie’s husband Michael…I asked to confirm that. :) I was kind of on a OMG that’s Dorie Greenspan high when I met him so things were a little blurred. I explained why I was down there and he graciously offered to give me money to get out of the parking garage. I told him thank you that was beyond kind but that MDP was already on his way. We started chatting about Laurie and our crazy story of how we are super close and yet have never met in person and won’t meet in person until she comes for my wedding reception as a bridesmaid. It was a fascinating story to him. I excused myself and ran to meet MDP and got money and came back. I decided that if he was willing to continue talking to me that was far more interesting to me at that moment than food (and that’s saying a lot as I love food). At that point another blogger (the only male member of French Fridays with Dorie…also a group Laurie started) had joined him. We began talking cookbook, not in the gee can you help us get one, but in the reality that cookbooks don’t make what people think they do and what it takes. We talked about how Amazon had screwed up a few years back and sold her two most popular books (Baking: From My Home to Yours and Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours) as a set for $5.42. I told him I felt a little guilty because I bought 20 sets that day, which Amazon had to honor. That Dorie’s Baking is the number one cookbook I give to people. He just smiled and said…we bought 100. That was so funny to hear. Amazon figured it out and the price went back to what it was supposed to be…$54.20. Oops…but an awesome oops for me, and the Greenspan’s. :D

He offered to buy us a beverage and I thought I’m not passing this opportunity up. I said yes but then excused myself to go get my stuff from the conference room. Back down in the lobby we drank coffee and tea and talked a myriad of topics, including a documentary suggestion that I’ll be watching on Netflix this week (watched…amazing it’s called Searching for Sugaman). Then low and behold there was Dorie. She came and sat with us and I discussed how much wonderful her speech was, butter, blogging, Laurie, that Laurie and I were wanting to do an E-book together (she’s was very enthusiastic about that idea for us), and many other things. I explained to her about the Saturday night dinner and she decided that sounded fun and was going to do that instead of what they had planned. In fact Dorie attended most of the conference. She was so accessible and smiled big as person after person asked for a photograph with her. As most would agree that Dorie’s speech and being at the conference was the highlight of the conference for them…it was for me. Dorie is sincere, humble (almost to a fault, I don’t think this woman realizes that if they made a poster of her it would be up in my kitchen), generous, and very kind hearted…it was seen through out the weekend by every one. Almost every person who has written about the IFBC conference has mentioned how touched they were by her.

Me leaving my wallet was the best thing to happen, if I didn’t I would have had no reason to go down to the lobby. They left so that Dorie could get in a little walk and fresh air and I went off to the conference. Still walking on a cloud. I saw her one other time at that Taste of Seattle event later that night. I had planned on being at the conference the next day but a bunch of stuff happened and all I was able to get to was the dinner and she wasn’t in my group. So I would just like to say THANK YOU Dorie for taking the time to re-inspire me and for taking the time to speak with me for as long as both you and your husband did. It’s truly one of the highlights of my life.

So onto the treats. So my question to Dorie during the Q and A part that followed her talk I asked her what would be her last meal…specifically dessert. She said ice cream. Then said oh wait, ice cream and cookies. Oh and chocolate pudding. Ice cream, cookies, and chocolate pudding. So this is my interpretation of Dorie’s last dessert (which hopefully she won’t be needed for a very, very long time because this world needs Dorie Greenspan). Chocolate Pudding Ice Cream is what I made. I didn’t get to making the cookies but I will.

If you do not own any of Dorie’s cookbooks…run, don’t walk to buy them. My favorite being Baking: From My Home to Yours but are all good too. Paris Sweets: Great Desserts From the City’s Best Pastry Shops and Baking with Julia: Savor the Joys of Baking with America’s Best Bakers are also great baking books. *note I am an Amazon affiliate and if you purchase through the link I do receive a percentage.

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Chocolate Pudding Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • For the pudding:
  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 6 TBSP sugar
  • 2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 TBSP cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and still warm
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  • For the ice cream:
  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

Instructions

  1. For the pudding:
  2. Bring 2 cups of the milk and 3 TBSP of the sugar to a boil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  3. While the milk is heating, put the cocoa, cornstarch and salt into a food processor and whir to blend. Turn them out onto a piece of wax paper, put the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, the egg and egg yolks into the processor and blend for 1 minute.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the remaining 1/4 cup milk and pulse just to mix, then add the dry ingredients and pulse a few times to blend.
  5. With the machine running, very slowly pour in the hot milk mixture. Process for a few seconds, then put everything back into the saucepan.
  6. Whisk without stopping over medium heat - making sure to get into the edges of the pan - until the pudding thickens and a couple of bubbles burble up to the surface and pop (about 2 minutes). You want the pudding to thicken, but you don't want it to boil, so lower the heat if necessary.
  7. Scrape the pudding back into the processor (if there's a scorched spot, avoid it as you scrape) and pulse a couple of times.
  8. Add the chocolate, butter and vanilla and pulse until everything is evenly blended.
  9. Pudding recipe adapted slightly from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
  10. For the ice cream:
  11. Add the heavy cream to the food processor and blend until well combined.
  12. Pour into a bowl and let chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  13. Pour into your ice cream maker and follow your manufacturers instructions.
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Comments

  1. Love the story about meeting Dorie, and it’s great to hear that she’s just as kind and nice in person as I would have imagined :)

    I almost never see a recipe that I have to make immediately, but I’ve been searching for a good, solid chocolate ice cream mix for a long, long time. The picture of this frozen looks exactly like the texture I’ve been searching for. Fortunately I had all the ingredients on hand, so I whipped up a batch of the mix. That’s chilling in the fridge for churning tomorrow, but the liquid mix right now tastes fantastic! I can’t wait to taste the finished product!

  2. I hope you know how jealous I am of you. Dorie is definitely my idol (just check my bookshelf for 6(!) of her books) :D And I’m glad you made this ice cream from scratch. I was almost expecting to see instant pudding mix in the ice cream.

  3. We heard about you from Dorie and Trevor (the male French Friend with Dorie Blogger). Another Dorista and I took over the administering of the FFWD site to give Laurie a break. We still depend on her to give us guidance, which she does. I am so sorry she couldn’t come to the conference but I have sent her the bags and pins and lots of pictures. I know she is so looking forward to your wedding. Loved you tales of Dorie and Michael – they are indeed special people.

  4. You are adorable,

  5. What a wonderful story of meeting Dorie and her husband Michael. You certainly deserved to have some private time with her as I know you adore her. I adore her, too, and have all her cookbooks. Her Baking From My Home to Yours is a favourite. Also love, Around My French Table. They are all well used. If I had known about the price mix up from Amazon, I too, would have done a massive purchase. I think everyone who loves to cook or bake should own them. Her love of both baking and cooking is inspirational. I love how she shares about the recipe and how you can be successful in recreating it for yourself because she writes the recipe perfectly.
    I was a big fan of Baking with Dorie and love to read everyone’s outcome that week. I loved how she would leave comments on their blogs. ( How exciting to have Dorie actually read and comment on your Blog!!)

    I love how you accidental kept running into them. It was fate and good Karma working for you… and Dorie! I love how lovely she and her husband were! I love that she called out your name when you said hello to her!!
    I always thought that she would be lovely but it is nice for it to be confirmed that she is an incredibly wonderful person in the flesh! But you know, most people who like to bake for others are wonderful. We just are that way!
    I am thrilled you had this time with Dorie and it is your special memory. ( I sure treasure my lunch time surprise meeting of Rose Levy Beranbaum. I was giddy for weeks after that.)
    Your chocolate pudding ice cream looks velvety delicious. A perfect recipe to dedicate to Dorie.

  6. It sounds like you had a great, meaningful experience! It’s nice that there are people who still value real interaction and community. On that note, I have a thought that might help you get more commenters. There are some bloggers who make it a personal rule to respond to everyone, and the responses are automatically delivered to the email address the commenter used. I think it’s a good idea, because if you just reply with @whoever, but they aren’t checking back, they will miss your response. I think commenters like to be acknowledged, just as the blogger likes to be acknowledged, so it really is a win-win. The ice cream looks fantastic! So creamy :)

  7. That is such an awesome story. I wish I could go to those blogger convention things… or any kind of fun convention (comic con!) but I either a. live too far away b. have school c. no money or d. all of the above. But that is awesome you got to meet Dorie :) And I really like that picture of the two of you.

    And this ice cream sound fantastic! I have tried chocolate pudding ice cream (I think it was a Boulder ice cream company) before and my god it tasted amazing! Dorie has good taste ;)

  8. Lovely post Pea. I am so thrilled that you were able to not only meet Dorie and Michael but to sit and have a conversation with them. I know how much it meant to you.

    And I think its very fitting that we not meet until I am a bridesmaid in your wedding. That seems so odd and fitting.

    I dont comment as much as I should because I normally just text you. Sorry. Ill leave formal comments more often. :P xo

  9. @Caley- not sure how to do the direct respond

  10. I came late to the party of food blogging, it seems, and by that time TWD was already a “thing” so nobody seemed to feel the need to explain why their posts started with or included “TWD” or that certain cookbook that I had never seen in stores. After a while I figured it out, but up until I read this post I’d never realized who Dorie Greenspan was beyond a cookbook author. Maybe this is why the name “Dorie” seems to be a magnet for good recipes and happy bloggers and comments of “I love that one” or “sounds so good!” You’ve shown me who she really is through the eyes of someone much wiser than I am. She’s an inspiration that’s more than just an anonymous idea or a face with a name. She puts her heart and soul into what she does and it sounds like it shows. Thanks for sharing your experience, Peabody. :)

    Also, I see nothing wrong with that “last dessert” becoming a full last meal. Cookies for an appetizer (like crackers, but with sugar!), chocolate pudding as an entrée (hearty, has protein from eggs, filling), and chocolate ice cream for dessert…and breakfast the next day. :D We don’t do things by halves around here. This ice cream looks so creamy and amazing, but I’ll bet if it had a cookie crumble swirl to complete the idea, it would take it up to eleven.

  11. LOVE this post, girl! Maida Heatter, Rose Levy Beranbaum, Nancy Baggett and Dorie Greenspan are my favorite female bakers, food writers and cookbook authors of all-time. I’d nearly faint meeting them in person. So, I understand and totally relate to your enthusiasm. I have followed Dorie’s entire career in food…from Baking with Julia to her column, Tools of the Trade, in Bon Appetit magazine. So glad you had the opportunity to meet her and have a conversation with her and her hubby. LOVE the photo her hubby took! Now, March, and the IACP conference (Dorie is a member) in Chicago, cannot come soon enough! Thanks for sharing. xo P.S. I agree with Caley, above. Replying to comments is THE WAY to go in creating a community with your blog. It is the ‘David Leite Way’ (he’s a big proponent of this) and I’ve been doing it on my blog since day one. Commenters love it! :)

  12. @Stacy- only problem is I don’t think my blog is capable of the direct response. It says reply to comment and I do but people don’t ever seem to get it sadly.

  13. @KB- I thought about adding cookies to it but really wanted the smooth texture that the pudding gave it.

  14. Amy Schleider says:

    I’d like to break the Non-commeting mode of blogging as you have so stated and just say ….thank you for taking time to write such an endearing story about your experience at the conference. It appears other have launched a change of pace and decided to offer their remarks as well., including Laurie. I have to say, while way more limited than yours, even the few chances I have had to tweet or exchange emails with her, I have found her generosity both inspiring and like a hug. I have accumulated her books including the Pierre Herme books (2). It was so cute one of her first books came my way from a used book seller and belonged on a library shelf somewhere. he he Now its on my shelf. I love that. They (books) do have the life of the author in their pages. I hope Dorie stops by to read your story. That would be so fitting. She is like that though. Just an angel of the kitchen. Thanks again.

  15. Oh I am so glad you got to meet her!!!

  16. What a great story. I ave Searching for Sugarman on my DVR. Now I know I must find time to watch it.

  17. Hey! That was me! I am the male Dorista! I really enjoyed that moment in the lobby and I too decided to just “be” there in that moment instead of rushing to the conference. I think it is really cool that you and Laurie have gotten so close. We were disappointed that she was not part of the festivities at IFBC. The Doristas had a blast with Dorie all weekend long and having Laurie there would have been icing on the cake for us.

  18. I loved reading this post. I can only imagine what it’d be like meeting an idol. :)

  19. Wow, what an amazing story!! :) I would LOVE to meet Dorie some day!

  20. What an incredible experience. I’ve been wanting to get her baking book for a long time. I have a dream of being in London and bumping into Nigella Lawson in a shop. I think I’d probably just drool all over her. Way to stay cool!

  21. Ahh this makes me so happy. She looks and sounds like a lovely person.

  22. Thanks for sharing your special story! I enjoy your blog for its great stories and unique recipes. Keep up the good work! :)

  23. This is the best thing ever. Love it!!

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