Friday, October 23, 2015

The Time I Met One of My Baking Heroes, Marlene Sorosky, and Tried Not to Creep Her Out Too Much

Marlene and me

How does one possibly prepare for the moment when she comes face-to-face with her hero? That was the challenge I faced a little over a week ago when I attended a cooking class taught by one of my baking heroes, Marlene Sorosky. I booked the class weeks in advance. I knew the day was coming. I had time to mentally prepare, to brace myself. But no amount of time would be enough. The anticipation was killing me. Here are the main thoughts that ran through my head for the weeks, and especially the days, leading up to that all-important meet and greet:
  • What should I wear?
  • How do I not freak her out, since I'll undoubtedly be unable to contain my excitement?
  • Do I tell her about my blog? 
  • Do I tell her that I've been chanting her name for years? And when I make something from one of her cookbooks, I simply say, "This is a Marlene Sorosky."
  • What do I say to her? 
  • Do I bring my cookbooks to class to have signed? I have ALL of them. All 8 of them! In fact, I have two different editions of the same cookbook, plus an extra copy of one because I forgot I already owned it when I spotted it again at a store, bringing the total to 10 books. Hmm, maybe that would be a bit much?
  • Do I ask her to lunch?
  • Do I ask to take a picture with her?
My collection of Marlene Sorosky cookbooks. They are all autographed now!

Well, the day of the class finally arrived, and after agonizing over all these tough decisions for so long, I had to come up with a plan. Time was a'ticking. Here's what I ended up doing:
  • I wore a cute red cardigan and dark wash jeans. I looked polished but approachable.
  • Honestly, I probably did freak her out a little bit. I had a grin that took over my face. It was so large it was bumping into walls as I made my way into the classroom.
  • I told her about my blog, and how I've mentioned her in past posts. I told her that I've made countless recipes from her books, and my husband practically knows her by way of the food I've served him and referring to each item as "a Marlene Sorosky."
  • I brought all 10 cookbooks to be signed. I have no shame! I knew I would regret not having brought all of them later, and who needs unnecessary regrets!? The amazing thing was, she happily signed all 10 cookbooks! And she wrote a unique, different message in each one. She is so wonderful! I chatted with her for awhile, told her which of her books were my very favorite and named specific recipes that have become some of my go-tos. Her Kosher-for-Passover Spinach Matzah Quiche has even turned me into a hero to my relatives for 8 days every year.
  • I did not ask her to lunch. That's where I drew the line.
  • I did ask to take a picture with her. She cheerfully obliged! 
  • Oh, and during the class, she asked for volunteers to come up to the front of the room and demonstrate peeling an apple with the apple corer/peeler appliance. I did that, too. Why? So I could later say I've cooked with Marlene Sorosky. There's video to prove it.

So there you have it. My dream encounter with my baking hero, a chef and cookbook author whose recipes are sheer perfection, whose demeanor and personality are unstuffy, fun, and witty, and who has the cookbook sales (more than a million books sold to date!), internationally renowned honors (i.e. James Beard Award Winner, beating out Martha Stewart among others), and famous friends (the late, great Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, and more) to validate my otherwise seemingly unwarranted obsession with her. To some, meeting a Kardashian, or a hunky movie star, or a famous rock star, would be the ultimate encounter. To me, there are a handful of cookbook authors who might as well be rock stars. Marlene Sorosky is my rock star. I'm just waiting for the paparazzi to realize that.

Marlene is signing every single one of my cookbooks!

Marlene signed a different message in each of my cookbooks!

One of the oldest cookbooks in my Sorosky collection

Visit Marlene Sorosky's website here:

Follow Marlene Sorosky on Facebook here:


Andrew said...

What an awesome experience!! Now blog about more of her recipes please!

Food Gal said...

This is sooooo adorable! And so you! I love that you brought all your books for her to sign, too. I bet she was thrilled to do it, knowing how much you treasured each one, too.

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