Saturday, March 24, 2012

Kathy Gunst Event

Kathy Gunst, "Resident Chef" for WBUR's Here and Now, and author of Notes from a Maine Kitchen, will be at Porter Square Books on April 11th at 7 p.m. to read and sign books. Here she tells us a little bit about her new book:

"Notes from a Maine Kitchen is my love letter to Maine. It's a collection of essays and recipes that follow the calender year, starting in January with smelt fishing and stews, moving to April and foraging for wild ramps, on to garden season, everything you've ever wanted to know about lobster, and mushroom hunting in the fall. The essays tell stories of what it is really like to be in Maine--cook here, garden here, forage, and live here year-round, not just during tourist season. I've spent the past four months since the book was published last October doing book signings, cooking classes and demos, and I've been thrilled to discover that the interest and passion for my adopted state is huge--from New York to Oregon to Seattle to northern California.

I grew up in New York and the question I am asked most frequently is "How did you end up in Maine?" I left my job at Food and Wine magazine and moved here in the early 80's with my boyfriend, John, who later became my husband in a backyard clam bake wedding. As I tell it in the introduction to Notes from a Maine Kitchen, "We had decided to spend a year in Maine. I would write my first cookbook and John would work as a radio reporter. I remember thinking: Oh, a whole year in Maine! Like a year in Provence, or Tuscany, or Paris. It would be our little adventure, a year away, a time to experience New England.

That first cold winter we would wake up each morning and struggle to light a fire in the wood stove (New York City doesn’t provide much training for properly lighting wood stoves.) As the cast iron began to heat up and we watched the snow drifts outside, we would often ask each other, “What are we doing here?” And every time we had one of those “Wow-we-made-a-BIG-mistake-moving-to-Maine-in-the-dead-of-winter” days we would go out and buy lobster. When all else failed, it was lobster that kept us going. Lobster equals Maine and lobsters were a known entity. They were delicious and made us feel so much better about being here. We would buy the largest lobsters we could afford, and marvel at how cheap they were (in those days they really were cheap, particularly in comparison to New York City prices) and steam them and dip the meat into butter and between mouthfuls say to each other, “This is why we moved to Maine.” And for a short while, with bellies full of sweet, briny lobster meat, we were just fine. But it got dark at four in the afternoon and temperatures dropped to near zero, and the holidays crept up with our families hundreds of miles away, and again we asked ourselves: “What in hell have we done?”

Come see me on April 11th at 7 p.m. and hear more. I may even bring a few goodies to sample. Hope to see you there!"
-----Kathy Gunst

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