Monday, August 29, 2011

Heating things up with Erica Bauermeister...plus a book giveaway

By Melissa Patafio


**Giveaway is now closed**

Erica Bauermeister is the author of the bestselling novel "The School of Essential Ingredients," and "Joy For Beginners," just published in June, 2011. She has been married to the same man for almost three decades and her children are now mostly grown. She has even lived in Italy! Erica is here today to talk to us about what summer means to her. We're glad to have her at CLC and we hope that the one lucky reader in the US or Canada who wins her latest novel will agree!



You can visit Erica on Facebook to learn more about her.



What’s your best summer memory?
When I was young, my parents would load all five kids in the car and we would drive from Maryland to a small fishing camp in Vermont. Not that we were the fishing type – but my grandfather was, and we loved him. We stayed in rustic cabins set around a lake that felt huge but probably wasn’t at all. I spent my days drifting about in a row boat on the lake, reading, or “rescuing” the frogs from in front of our cabin and transporting them to the other side of the lake (my grandfather was always joking about eating frog’s legs, although I never saw anything but delicious, corn-meal-covered trout on our table). I picked blueberries for hours, and wandered down to the main house for fresh homemade doughnuts, still hot with oil. It was a time to live in your body, or in books, both of which felt all the more three-dimensional because of where I was.

What food means summer to you?
Watermelon, no doubt. I have few cravings, but that is one of them. There is also a Caribbean sandwich stand in Seattle, near Golden Gardens beach. It’s the perfect bike ride from our house. We arrive, hungry and full of anticipation, and take our pork and carmelized onion sandwiches, lathered with garlic aioli mayonnaise, to the beach where we eat them, juices dripping into the sand, as we look across Puget Sound to the Olympic Mountains beyond.
Ah, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention blackberries, too. They take forever to ripen in the Pacific Northwest, but there are usually a couple weeks during August when the blackberries get huge and deeply purple. There are wild bushes everywhere around here, and one of the best parts of summer is taking a walk and occasionally stopping to graze off the bushes, picking the fullest, ripest ones you can find and letting them dissolve across your tongue, warm and lush and earthy.

What is your favorite part of summer in the Pacific Northwest?
Here in Seattle, we like to say that we pay for our summer with our long, grey winters when it turns dark at 4:30 in the afternoon and if there wasn’t good coffee we would all, quite simply, go crazy. But then there’s summer. Day after day, it stays light a little longer, and then longer still – an unending generosity of light, until you can sit outside in your backyard around a table, eating, and don’t have to even light a candle until 9:30 or 10 o’clock at night. The air is soft around you, the sky is abalone blue. Everyone is euphoric in the neighborhood and you can hear it in their voices, trailing over the fences between the yards. That’s why we live here.

What’s the most exciting thing you’ve ever done in the summer?
Five years ago, my husband and children and I were invited to go rafting down the Grand Canyon. The rest of my family was excited beyond measure; I was simply terrified. But I am also a deeply protective mother, and there was no way I was sending my kids down the rapids of the Grand Canyon without me, so off we went. It was by far the scariest thing I have ever done. And the most exhilarating, and life-changing, and soul-opening. And one of the great parts of being a writer is that even as you are facing a rapid that is bigger and more horrifying than anything you can imagine, there is part of your mind that is always thinking – I could write about this! (and I did – that was the start of Joy For Beginners).

What is a favorite summer ritual for you these days?
Summertime means the farmer’s markets around here. I love taking a big cloth bag and making my way down to the market, getting inspiration for dinner from the colors and smells there. The other night my daughter and I created a new recipe with shrimp and scallops and lemon and basil and oranges and avocado, served over lemon pasta. Sounded questionable (who puts oranges and avocado in pasta?), but it was fantastic. Summer in a bowl.

Thanks to Erica for visiting with us and for sharing her book with a lucky reader!

How to win "Joy for Beginners":


Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: What is your favorite summertime food?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)
5. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends September 11th at midnight EST.

31 comments:

Kritter said...

My favorite summertime food is this potato salad I make without mayo! figure friendly!

I follow this blog.
I am a fan on facebook

kdurham2@gmail.com

Margaret said...

My favorite is spring greens with berries salad. A local restaurant always makes summer salds with berries and I love it!I's a great combo.

I'm a GFC follower.

Margaret
singitm@hotmail.com

Tiffany Drew said...

My favorite summertime food is definitely watermelon, yum! Can't get enough of it.

GFC follower Tiffany Drew
Facebook member Tiffany Drew
Tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/enterthedrew/status/108206532243619840

jaidahsmommy(at)comcast(dot)net

Colleen Turner said...

My favorite summer time food is definitely guacamole! I associate it with being by the pool and jumping in and out to have a snack :).
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I am a GFC follower (Colleen Turner).
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I am a Facebook follower (Colleen Turner).
candc320@gmail.com

PoCoKat said...

My favorite summer time food is fresh field grown tomatoes from the Okanagan.

littleone At shaw DOt ca

PoCoKat said...

GFC follower

littleone AT shaw DoT ca

PoCoKat said...

Member of CLC on FB

littleone AT shaw DoT ca

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

My favorite summertime food is watermelon

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

meandmom said...

I would like to win.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

meandmom said...

My favorite summer food is ice cream although in our house we eat it all year round.

I am a subscriber.

I am a Facebook fan.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

Jennifer L. said...

I'd love to win this book!

My favourite summer food is watermelon and fresh corn on the cob.

I follow on gfc.

jentam777 at gmail dot com

Amy said...

My favorite summer time food is corn on the cob, and my preference is bi color. I could eat corn on the cob every night during the summer season.

I'm a GFC follower - Amy Bromberg
CLF facebook member - Amy Bromberg

amyrbromberg@gmail.com

I shared contest on my facebook wall and tweeted:

https://twitter.com/#!/jam_njellygirl/status/108424505696862208

cindy r said...

You're friends with Garth Stein, that makes you one of the coolest peeps around! YAHOO! I'm going to read ALL your books! I LOVE potato salad with artery clogging amounts of mayo! I follow this blog and am a member!
writeoncindy@yahoo.com

faithspage said...

My favorite summertime food is grilled hamburgers from the baseball park.
I follow on gfc, and a fan on fb.

kyfaithw at aol dot com

Susan said...

My favorite summer food is corn on the cob and grilled hamburgers with a really soft bun. yummmmm

I am a GFC follower and I am a Facebook fan of CLC.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Suzebomb(at)gmail.com

Kat said...

Summer is a great time of year! Great interview!

I always associate anything cooked on the barbeque with summer. I love grilled veggies!

I am a follower of the blog.

I am a member of CLC.

Posted on FB.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Carol N Wong said...

My favorite summertime food is cold watermelon. I love it is just point of ripeness. So good for hot days.

I am a GFC follower.
I am a Fan on Facebook

I tweeted this giveaway:
http://t.co/Bc5KShX

I posted this giveaway at Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1802916392

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

maria said...

I would have to say my fave summer food is salad, any kind of fresh veggies preferably from the garden.

billiondollarprincesss@hotmail.com

Baby Mama said...

Watermelon
sarahlovesvegas@hotmail

Baby Mama said...

gfc sarah_roxy_21
sarahlovesvegas@hotmail

Anonymous said...

My favorite summer food is steamed green beans

kchhwilson@yahooDOTcom

Candice said...

Peaches!

cjoy0821@yahoo.com

Nancy Dorman said...

Peaches, warm sun ripened tomatoes, watermelon, and ice cream!!!
Nancy Dorman
ngdorman at gmail dot com

StereoQueenBee said...

1. Please tell us: What is your favorite summertime food?

Fresh corn on the cob.

2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).

Am already a follower.

3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.

Facebook - Sabrina-Kate Eryou
Twitter - stereoqueenbee

4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

Am already a member.

queenofcrunk at gmail dot com

Allison said...

My favorite summertime food is fruit! Any and all whose season is in the summer! Especially strawberries.

I'm a GFC follower.

abrown546@gmailDOTcom

Anita Yancey said...

My favorite summertime food is watermelon.

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Anita Yancey said...

Follow on GFC!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Charlotte said...

I follow on gfc. I am a fan on fb. I follow this blog. and I reposted this on my fb page. My favorite summer food is all the fresh fruits and veggies that are truly in season.

c.semenchuk@comcast.net

Jencey said...

My favorite summer food would have to be my favorite desert Lemon Torte. I only make it in the summer time.

I am a follower on both the blog and fb.

jenceyg msn com